With a formal education in accounting and no previous publishing experience, Cheryl Horch began her career as a customer service representative for William C. Brown in 1990. The company's unique setup allowed Horch to learn the business from the ground up. Recently, her stellar career history was recognized by PrintMedia magazine (the North American Publishing
sister publication to BookTech the Magazine), as Horch is slated to be inducted into the 2001 Production Executives' Hall of Fame.
Although it was a publishing house, William C. Brown also had its own presses, and Horch worked for five years in manufacturing. After this stint in manufacturing, she worked as a production editor for one year, after which the company was bought by McGraw-Hill. During the reorganization, Horch applied for, and was awarded, the opportunity to manage production at the Dubuque, IA facility. For the past five years, she's held the position of manager for new book production for McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Accomplishments and accolades
Throughout her career with McGraw-Hill, Horch has successfully built a core group of MHHE (McGraw-Hill Higher Education) vendors. The group consists of 15 composition vendors and one prepress house. She started the program with the goal of decreasing vendor competition, opening communication and fostering success.
Horch states, "My goal is to help make everyone successful. There is
plenty of work to go around. As we grow, we can help the companies we work with to form a partnership."
She also utilizes the program to further her own knowledge of the industry. "I work with so many great people," Horch says, "and I rely on the vendors [to teach me what I still need to learn about the trade.]"
Making friends along the way
Rich Dunn, vice president and general manager of Quebecor World Dubuque and major print supplier to McGraw-Hill, has worked closely with Horch for the past two years. He offers glowing praise for the vendor liaison program, and Horch: "[Cheryl's] efforts in bringing all composition houses and printers together for the vendor summit has been a major tool to accomplish the standardization objective. I can truly say that this approach has clearly made McGraw-Hill a leader in the industry in simplifying the process of file submission to printers. Rarely do we have to ask for revised files. The simplicity has led to reduced cycle time and reduced costs through the entirety of the supply chain."
Happiness comes from within
Just as impressive as her success with the vendor program is Horch's ability to balance her work and family. She has been happily married for 10 years to Kurt, a police officer. They have two children: five-year-old Caitlin and three-year-old Danny.
Horch's success can not only be attributed to her business acumen but also to her positive attitude. When discussing her career, she emphatically states, "I love my job. I just want to make everyone happy."
Dunn seconds this sentiment: "Her very pleasant demeanor and approach to her job is truly a gift to all that work with Cheryl on a daily basis. Her leadership skills and attitude have permeated her entire staff. Put frankly, she is a gift to our industry and very deserving of this most distinguished honor."