Familiar Face To Head IPMA
IPMA's former international president, Carol Kraft, has been hired as the association's new COO. She says the group must be ready to change in order to survive.
by Bob Neubauer
It's taken almost three years but the International Publishing Management Association has a new chief operating officer at last. And the biggest surprise to many may be how familiar she is.
Fresh from her very recent retirement from Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Minnesota, former IPMA International President Carol Kraft has been appointed IPMA's full-time COO. She fills the position last held by IPMA Executive Director Larry Aaron, who left IPMA in 1999. The change in title to COO reflects IPMA's desire to redefine the role.
Kraft intends to move ahead quickly in her new position, and has already been on the road promoting IPMA. She was spotted at the recent On Demand conference in New York, and has been attending the Heidelberg/IPMA digital printing road shows that are touring the country.
The past few months have been a whirlwind of change for Kraft. She passed the International President baton to Craig Sedgwick in March, right before retiring from BCBS after 32 years there. She most recently served as vice president of technical operations and business support at BCBS, where she oversaw the St. Paul-based company's entire infrastructure.
Kraft's move to the role of COO at IPMA may have raised a few eyebrows, since for a time she was in charge of the hiring committee to find a new executive director, before Sedgwick assumed the task. She insists, though, that she had never intended to seek the job. Recruitment efforts had been going strong until the moment she came aboard, she says. In fact, she adds, her retirement came as something of a surprise.
"I actually was not planning on retiring from Blue Cross this early," she says, adding that she had always imagined she would go into something completely different when she retired, like community theater.