John French, President-CEO, Penton Media

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Top achievements of 2007: French points to the completion of Prism Business Media’s $530 million acquisition of Penton Media as arguably his biggest achievement this year. (Prism took Penton’s name after the deal closed in February.) “It’s been a wild time,” French said. “We were able to launch redesigns, recruit new executives and continue to run the day-to-day operation smoothly amid merging two of the biggest players in the industry.” He said two of Penton’s events, Waste Expo and the Special Event, had record turnouts this year, while its New Hope Natural Media division continued to expand its presence in events.

Top priorities for 2008: Making better use of Penton’s extensive database will be job one next year, French said. He added that he wants to push Penton’s products internationally and will also look to grow its custom media business. “Custom services thrive in a shaky economy,” he said.

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