AR Newsletter
New AR
Adventist Publishing House
Faces Management Shift
Four execs depart; interim president named as search committee forms
 
BY REVIEW AND HERALD PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
 
he Review and Herald Publishing Association (RHPA), the 161-year-old book-and-magazine publishing arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is reorganizing its management team, officials said April 29, 2010. The moves follow years of mounting financial losses and a desire to see a change in the organization’s leadership, the unit’s board of directors said.
 
RHPA facility in Hagerstown, Maryland.
RHPA president Dr. Robert S. Smith, who has held that position since 2000, and vice president/finance Hepsiba S. Singh, a longtime RHPA employee, will each retire effective July 1, 2010, although Smith’s active leadership ended today. RHPA Graphics vice president Mark B. Thomas has been named interim president, directors said. Two other RHPA executives have also concluded their service: Mario P. Martinelli, vice president for books and subscription literature, and Richard A. Tooley, vice president for periodicals.
 
The RHPA Board requested that the leadership of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists form a committee to recomend a permanent president, and look at the possibility of structural and policy changes for the unit. Board vice-chair Pastor Gerry D. Karst, a general vice president of the church, chaired the meeting in the absence of Don Schneider, North American Division president and board chairman. Pastor Jan Paulsen, General Conference president, attended and participated in the board meeting.

"The board of directors voted to put in place a process that will develop a reorganization plan for the publishing house, including a new leadership team,” said Karst. “This reorganization will move the operation in a new direction that will ensure its continued mission.  The rapid technological advances in the way people communicate and access print information, particularly in the younger generation, has necessitated a reevaluation about how this Seventh-day Adventist publishing house needs to function for the future."
 
Along with printing Adventist Review and Adventist World for North America and several other nations, RHPA publishes several other Adventist periodicals at its six-acre headquarters in northern Maryland: Guide; Insight; Insight Youth Resource Magazine; Kids' Ministry Ideas; LEAD; Listen; Message; Real; Vibrant Life; and Women of Spirit. The firm also prints the Cornerstone Connections Teacher's Guide; GraceLink Sabbath School Curriculum Bible Study Guides; GraceLink Sabbath School Curriculum Leader/Teacher Guides; Liberty magazine and Mission. It is the oldest Seventh-day Adventist publishing house, having been established by James White, a pioneering cofounder of the movement, in 1849 when he launched Present Truth, the magazine that became today’s Adventist Review.
 
Mark Thomas
For nearly 50 years, the RHPA’s business grew in its then-location of Battle Creek, Michigan. Following a 1902 fire, the organization, along with the leadership of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, relocated to Washington, D.C. In 1983, RHPA opened its Hagerstown, Maryland facility. The RHPA may be best known to tens of thousands of families across North America and around the world for its most famous product: the 10-volume Bible Story series for children. Written by Arthur Maxwell, it featured 1,200 full-color illustrations, and heralded a new era of quality in Christian products.
 
Among its other major book productions has been The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, which is also available on CD-ROM, as well as books by the late Russian church leader and Bible translator Mikhail Kulakov; prolific Adventist writer Clifford Goldstein; scholar George R. Knight and many others. The firm also has a second imprint, Autumn House Publishing, which has placed several titles in non-church distribution channels.
 
RHPA is the primary printer and distributor for Adventist World magazine, the international journal of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is printed in seven different languages and read, in print and online, by more than 8 million people each month.
 
The Review and Herald Publishing Association has nearly 200 employees in its workforce and reports an annual sales volume of $28 million. Additional information about RHPA can be found online at  www.rhpa.org; information about the General Conference can be found at www.adventist.org.
 
 




 
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