About a week ago I wrote that the current executive director of ACerS, Scott Steen, would be leaving in mid-November to lead a forestry organization, and that the Society’s Board of Directors hoped to soon announce plans for find a replacement.

And, indeed, “soon” it was. At the board’s meeting this past weekend, it was announced that board members had selected somebody within ACerS’ staff, Charles Spahr, to be the new ED.

Spahr is currently the president of ACerS’ ceramic arts publishing unit (Ceramic Publishing Company), a branch of the Society that he took over about five years ago when he first joined ACerS staff.

CPC publishes two world-leading magazines for the ceramic arts community, Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated. Both of these publications have grown in prestige and reach under his leadership.

Moreover, he has led the CPC group in bridging the gap between print and electronic platforms. As a result CPC has developed a huge online presence, new online tools and forums, and many new products for their audience.

Before coming to ACerS, Spahr spent most of his career with Reed Elsevier, a publishing entity well known to the science and business community. There, he worked on content related to construction, manufacturing, metalworking software development, architecture and engineering, and food science.

Spahr also has a wealth of international experience, having managed several international subsidiaries, including operations in Scandinavia, Brazil and Australia. Much of the online knowledge he brought to CPC he gained while working as Senior Vice President of Electronic Products for Reed Elsevier, a post that made him responsible for implementing a common platform serving over 120 publications in ten major-market sectors.

ACerS President Edwin Fuller said that besides what Spahr brings in management and publishing acumen, the selection of an existing Society staffer – someone who already worked extensively with many ACerS leaders, has participated in our retreats and understands our governance system – provides a great way to have a fast transition that is minimally disruptive to current staff and members.

I’ve worked with Charlie, as I know him, on several projects, plus seen the excellent stuff his CPC staff have done in recent years, and I look forward to having the benefits of his guidance throughout the entire organization.