The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI) has announced recipients of the Distinguished Master Bookman Award and the Signature Award, and will induct three new members to the Cased-in Club.
The honors, presented Monday evening at the Awards Banquet at the Annual Conference in Bonita Springs, Florida, recognize BMI members who not only contribute to the success of the organization, but also to the continued success of the book manufacturing industry.
Matt Baehr, Executive Director of BMI, said, “Calling out exemplary individuals from various segments of the supply chain is a meaningful way to celebrate book production and our shared commitment to employees, readers, publishers, and the environment.”
Distinguished Master Bookman Award
The Distinguished Master Bookman Award, bestowed upon a BMI member who has made an extraordinary contribution to the book manufacturing industry throughout a long career, will be given to Jac B. Garner, former CEO and President of Webcrafters, Inc. based in Madison, Wisconsin. In his 20 years at the company, Jac provided strategic and financial leadership, led the business through a critical period of digital transformation, and focused on future-proofing the organization by investing in digital printing, short-run binding, and establishing aggressive sustainability goals for personnel and processes.
Jac Garner dutifully served as president of the Book Manufacturers’ Institute from 2013 to 2015, and had a seat on the board of directors from 2009 to 2017, cementing his commitment to the industry and community of manufacturing concerns. He currently serves as a board member at Metastar, Fordem LLC, the John J. Frautschi Family Foundation, and the Madison US Bank Advisory board. He is also a member of the Madison In Business Magazine Executive Hall of Fame.
The Signature Award, given to a BMI member who has made a valued contribution to the welfare of the industry and/or the Institute through the display of superior leadership qualities on an issue of particular concern to the industry or, for exhibiting such qualities over an extended period of time, will be given to Kent H. Larson, VP, Print on Demand Division of Bridgeport National Bindery, Inc. based in Agawam, Massachusetts.
With a career that spans nearly 3 decades, Kent Larson is recognized for his foresight and leadership at BNB, including his efforts to build a profitable print-on-demand business that enables publishers of all sizes to have high-quality books printed and shipped to any location around the world.
The Cased-In Club Award
Membership to the Cased-in Club is awarded each year to BMI members who have served in the industry for more than 20 years and have worked with the BMI with distinction. The 2018 recipients of this privilege are:
- Jay Foster, CEO of Flex Metrics by SoftSolutions
- Jim Heckman, VP at HF Group
- Tonya Powers, Sr. Manager, Marketing at Canon Solutions America, Inc.
Prior to the presentation of the awards, Joe Upton, VP of BMI and Chairperson of the Awards Committee, said, “The Awards Banquet is a highlight of each annual conference, and I’m extremely pleased to honor my colleagues in the industry. Each stands out for their commitment to driving innovation and efficiencies, and each stands as a role model for younger people just learning the business—and also their peers.”