By Brian Holding
October 4, 2012
The sun never sets on Human Kinetics offices in Champaign, Illinois; Leeds, England; Windsor, Ontario; and Adelaide, Australia. Our business activities run all day and night as well as during many weekends. Pursuing our mission of producing resources to help people lead healthier, more active lives takes many forms and occurs in many places.
Here’s a look at some of the events filling our day on Monday, July 30.
HK’s week begins, as it always does, in Australia, 14.5 hours ahead of the time at corporate headquarters in Champaign. Wendy Simpson, the new managing director of HK Australia who replaced the retiring Chris Halbert, e-mails a monthly sales report showing improvement in Australia sales.
In England, the excitement of the London Olympics is exhilarating. At the Global Coaches House in the heart of London, Ted Miller, our vice president of Product Acquisitions, wraps up a meeting with strength and conditioning specialist and coach, and HK author, Clive Brewer. The International Council for Coaching Excellence organized the Global Coaches House as a place where coaches can hear presentations from experts, network with their peers, and take a break from the Games. During the event, HK releases the International Sport Coaching Framework, a booklet distributed free of charge during the Games.
Sara Cooper, managing director of HK Europe who set up HK’s book exhibit in London, returns home after watching Leeds’ own cyclist Lizzie Armistead win a silver medal. As Sara wraps up her day in Leeds by planning HK’s presence in Glasgow, Scotland, at the International Coalition for Aging and Physical Activity’s World Congresson Active Aging to be held in August, Greg Reed, director of the Journals Division, begins his day in the United States by discussing how we might better serve this group with our scholarly and professional publications.
Shortly after 6:00 a.m. in Champaign, Marcia Purcell, senior credit specialist, sends out an e-mail indicating all financial and fulfillment systems are up and running. Already, about 10 staff members have started their day.
The news spreads quickly that HK Canada’s Internet service is disrupted when road construction breaks a line in the area. Managing director Jake Rondot’s staff scrambles to determine the impact of the outage. Our websites have become a vital link with our worldwide audience. Each year, more than 2 million unique users visit our websites. The HK Canada outage occurs as the staff are preparing for their largest trade show presented by their largest online education partner, the Canadian Fitness Professionals Association.
Steve Ruhlig, vice president of Sales and Marketing, receives weekly updates on a new rewards program for HK customers and apps sold through Apple and Amazon. Later in the morning, Steve talks with Apple staff about their iBookstore and college textbooks. Digital products including apps and e-books continue to help expand HK’s sales. Rick Hollwedel, director of Consumer Sales, works on a new contract with Barnes & Noble as they look to expand their distribution of HK’s e-books outside the United States.
Jason Muzinic, director of our Consumer Division, fields a call from author Derek Johnson about his forthcoming book on pitching and then turns his attention to a retail chain’s question regarding author Drew Sharp’s willingness to do signings for his book Dave Bing, which will be published this fall.
Barry Johnson, director of International Development, and Drew Tyler, manager of International
Sales, debate the merits of a new distributor in India. Later in the morning, Barry will meet with an educator from Brazil.
Board members of the American Kinesiology Association— executive director Amelia Lee, president Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, secretarytreasurer Penny McCullagh, and vice president Phil Martin—begin meeting at HK and are joined by Kim Scott, director of association management. Rainer Martens, HK’s founder and president, helped launch the AKA in 2007 with a donation to the Human Kinetics Foundation.
At lunchtime the aroma of mini Italian beef sandwiches and sweet potato fries drifts out of the HK cafeteria as food service director Albie Williams and his staff begin to serve lunch. At the same time, personal trainer Tina Mattila arrives at HK to lead about a dozen HK staff members in an aerobics class in Club Kinetics, HK’s fitness center.
Holly Gilly, vice president of Product Development, meets with Lynn Davenport, director of Higher Education and Professional Product Development, and Greg George, director of the E-Learning Department, to review a proposal from a potential partner who might be able to help HK provide gradable activities that integrate into various learning management systems used by universities.
Scott Wikgren, director of the HPERD Division, joins a conference call with Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition; Don Disney, director of Youth Initiatives at the Cooper Clinic; Paul Roetert, CEO of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; and several others to discuss the President’s Council’s support of Fitnessgram as the new national school fitness assessment.
Throughout the day, performance evaluations take place between coordinators and staff, as HK is midway through its two-week evaluation period.
Roger Earle, director the Higher Education and Professional Division, talks with Jay Hoffman, editor of NSCA’s Essentials of TacticalStrength and Conditioning, a book HK is planning to publish with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Roger then phones Anthony Wall, director of professional education at the American Council on Exercise (ACE), to discuss how HK products might be bundled for certified ACE professionals to earn continuing education credits.
Late in the afternoon, Jill Wikgren, vice president of Operations, and Ann Maloney, director of Human Resources, exchange ideas for the upcoming neighborhood education seminars and the fun-in-the-park event to be held at HK on the upcoming Saturday. HK recently partnered with the Champaign Park District to provide 8.8 acres of our land for a neighborhood park.
As the end of the work day nears, a UPS driver backs a semi-trailer into the loading dock to pick up the last shipment for the day. Doug Palm, Shipping director, helps load three pallets onto the truck. Earlier in the day, several large freight orders departed on other semis.
Shortly after 5:00 p.m., our custodial staff, including Scottie Baker (who recently turned 74), begin arriving at HK. At 2:00 a.m., they turn off the lights.
-- Brian Holding, CEO, email@example.com