From the COO

Remember fall 1993? If you’re a sports fan, you may remember that my Chicago White Sox lost the American League Championship series to the Toronto Blue Jays. That same year the Dallas Cowboys began their march to their fourth Super Bowl victory. Composites pros might recall that GM’s Corvette featured rear inner pa

Remember fall 1993? If you’re a sports fan, you may remember that my Chicago White Sox lost the American League Championship series to the Toronto Blue Jays. That same year the Dallas Cowboys began their march to their fourth Super Bowl victory. Composites pros might recall that GM’s Corvette featured rear inner panels of recycled SMC. In 1993, the composite CNG tank made its first commercial appearance. Veterans of aerospace composites might recall that Boeing delivered its 1000th 747 to Singapore Airlines, or that the Delta Clipper-Experimental (DC-X), a composites-intensive, rocket-powered vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, made its first formal test flight in New Mexico.

But no event that fall has had a more lasting impact on this industry than this one: Judy Hazen, a veteran of the plastics industry trade press and then the publisher of the relatively young and, as it turned out, short-lived Advanced Composites magazine, left that organization, founded her own publishing company, Ray Publishing Inc., and launched High-Performance Composites magazine. In 1995, she and Ray Publishing launched Composites Technology. She has since devoted her career to promoting the use of composites in many industries.

Ray Publishing and Composites Technology soared during the economic boom of the 1990s and weathered the economic storms of the early 2000s. Along the way, Judy and her team added the unparalleled SOURCEBOOK directory (print and Web versions), the COMPOSITESWORLD.com Web site (the most-visited composites industry site) and the COMPOSITESWORLD Weekly e-newsletter. Judy eventually recognized that her small publishing business could have a great deal more to offer the composites industry in partnership with a larger organization, and in 2005, she began to explore selling her business. After a two-year search and many discussions, Judy sold the magazines and Web site to Gardner Publications, describing the transaction as an ideal fit because of Gardner’s ability to deliver information about manufacturing technology to its readers.

For the past 16 months, Judy has been promoting the COMPOSITESWORLD brands and helping to maintain the high level of editorial excellence that you have grown to know and trust. Now, however, Judy has moved on to explore other career opportunities and we wish her the best of luck in the next chapter of her life.

Although much of the staff of the magazines remains unchanged, Judy’s departure does precipitate a few changes — most notably, the addition of the guy in the picture, top right. That’s me, Ryan Delahanty. As COMPOSITESWORLD’s chief operations officer, I have been working behind the scenes with Judy since November 2007 and now will assume her duties and responsibilities. I started my publishing career with Gardner Publications in 1999 as a district sales manager for Products Finishing magazine. In the following years, I began selling for Plastics Technology and Moldmaking Technology magazines, eventually becoming associate publisher. One of my major responsibilities was the growth and development of the Moldmaking Expo trade show. As I move into a more public role on the CT staff, I am excited to continue to learn about the composites industry and your businesses.

As we — CT and you, our readers — move forward, It would be easy to assume that Judy’s departure marks the end of an era and that my leadership will usher in a new era. However, I see this transition as one more step in the same positive direction — a continuation. The future of the composites business is bright, and Gardner is delighted to be a part of it. In the next few months, we will launch a new and vastly improved COMPOSITESWORLD.com Web site. And, of course, we’re looking forward to our inaugural COMPOSITESWORLD Expo. We hope you and your colleagues will join us in Chicago the first week of September for this great event.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me (ryan@gardnerweb.com) if you have any questions or comments about any of our products.