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Connectiv Awards 2020 McAllister Top Management Fellowship to Thomas CEO Tony Uphoff

Editor’s Note: Hear Tony Uphoff and other leading B2B media executives including Industry Dive’s Sean Griffey, Arizent’s Gemma Postlethwaite and Government Executive Media’s Tim Hartman in a live stream on Thursday, April 30 at 1pm ET called “CEO Power Panel: How Industry Leaders Are Planning for Their Companies to Not Just Survive but Thrive.” The event is free for all Connectiv members and more information is available here.   

Tony Uphoff, president and CEO of Thomas, a leader in product sourcing, supplier selection and marketing solutions for the manufacturing industry, will serve as the 2020 McAllister Top Management Fellow.

One of the highest executive honors in B2B media and information, the fellowship is awarded annually by Connectiv to help promote the study of business media, with McAllister Fellows acting as teachers and advisors at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Uphoff, who joined Thomas in 2017, has helped lead the 102-year-old former print directory publisher in a radical leap to becoming a “data platform company that runs like a software business focused on user experience.” Thomasnet.com today serves more than 1.5 million buyers per month across 70,000 different categories containing over 500,000 North American suppliers and 7.8 million product listings.

Previously, Uphoff served as CEO of Business.com and held a variety of executive roles at B2B media and information companies such as UBM and CMP, where he helped transform CMP’s $125 million legacy print operation into UBM TechWeb, a $275 million media, events and marketing services business.

“I’m thrilled to receive the 2020 McAllister Top Management Fellowship,” says Uphoff. “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had great mentors, coaches and role models throughout my career. Quite literally I continue to stand on the shoulders of giants and I look forward to helping the next generation of business information and media leaders. I’d like to thank the McAllister Foundation and Connectiv for this incredible honor. I look forward to participating at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.”

The fellowships are endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Donald McAllister, Jr. and Ms. Liane E. McAllister, in honor of the late Donald McAllister, Sr., who was an active figure in specialized business media for over 70 years and a chairman of Connectiv’s predecessor, American Business Media. McAllister was chairman of the executive committee at Geyer-McAllister, one of the country’s oldest family-owned publishing firms, until its sale to Reed Business Information in 1998.

Marion Minor, owner and CEO of EPG Specialty Media, was the most recent McAllister Top Fellow and spent her three-day residency at Medill earlier this year discussing “How B2B Media Continues to Evolve and the Business and Career Opportunities It Presents.”

“The McAllister Top Management Fellow plays a key role in imparting B2B/information services wisdom at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications,” says Abe Peck, the school’s Director of Business to Business Communications. “Today, the Fellow interacts with students and faculty across the curricula, conveying key B2B trends and strategies and sharing the alignment of content creation to business goals. Increasingly, this involves digital, data and events, all of which are integral to the school’s continued transformation—and to Tony Uphoff’s own vision.”

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Marion Minor Teaches Next Generation of B2B Leaders at Medill

By Abe Peck, Director of Business-To-Business Communications, Professor Emeritus in Services, Medill School at Northwestern

Marion Minor, owner and CEO of EPG Specialty Media, recently became the latest McAllister Top Manager to discuss trends in B2B/information services at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). The Top Manager award, and a parallel Top Editor award, is awarded in consultation with Connectiv, the school and the McAllister family.

During her three-day residency across two campuses, Minor customized her presentation, “How B2B Media Continues to Evolve: And the Business and Career Opportunities it Presents,” for graduate and undergraduate students interested in business reporting, cross-platform content, science writing, and IMC media foundations and allocation. To further synch with the classes, her presentations were augmented by insights from EPG’s SVP Market Development Joanne Juda-Prainito and Sportsfield Management Associate Publisher/Editorial Brand Director John Kmitta.

“Marion did an impressive job of outlining where B2B and her company are going,” said Abe Peck, Medill’s director of business to business communication (Peck also is executive editor of Autonomous Media’s Inside Unmanned Systems and Inside GNSS). “Her customized presentations mirrored the ever-more-precise audiences B2B targets today. Her colleagues’ expertise fleshed out the various ways B2B can serve readers and customers, and provide rewarding careers. And her visit was marked by unfailing good humor.”

Minor also met with deans and faculty involved in both research and practice, including Ed Malthouse of the Spiegel Research Center, who works with large data sets of consumer information to help managers make marketing decisions. She visited The Garage, an entrepreneurial space for Northwestern students, and the Global Hub, the new flagship building of the Kellogg School of Management. A celebratory dinner held in her honor was attended by, among others, Ed Gillette, CEO of Scranton Gillette Communications, and Greg Watt, president/CEO of Watt Global Media.

“I was very impressed with the caliber of the students and the curriculum, not to mention the all-star professors,” Minor commented after her visit. “I hope in a small way that I as the Connectiv representative had some influence on how these future content creators [editors] and marketers interact with B2B as they proceed with their careers.”

The next McAllister Top Manager will be announced at the Connectiv Executive Summit, May 13 in New Orleans. Eliza Strickland, senior editor of IEEE Spectrum, has agreed to serve as the next McAllister Top Editor.