Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Dana Chase Jr

An editorial force and man of vision. That’s what Diane Ritchey, editor of Appliance magazine, says about Dana Chase Jr.

And that is why ASBPE has named Chase, chairman of Dana Chase Publications and editorial director of Appliance magazine, as the Society’s 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. Chase received his award and spoke at ASBPE’s annual Awards of Excellence banquet June 19 in Washington, D.C.
The banquet also honored ASBPE’s Magazines of the Year and more than 200 other winners in 36 editorial, design, and Web categories. It was held in conjunction with the association’s National Editorial Conference June 19–20.
Chase is the Society’s fourth honoree. In 2000, the first award went to Bernie Knill of Penton Media’s Material Handling Management. In 2001, the recipient was Vernon Henry, corporate editorial director at Advanstar. Last year, the Society recognized Howard Rauch, editorial consultant and former vice president and editorial director at Gralla Publications.

Following His Father

Chase “has dedicated his life to magazine publishing for more than five decades,” Ritchey says. “He is responsible for the entire editorial direction of Appliance . . . and its international editions. Although he is sometimes involved in sales and publishing because of his position as owner of Dana Chase Publications, he truly is the force behind the editorial content. …”
Chase has spent his entire business career in trade magazine publishing and promoting growth and innovation in the multibillion dollar appliance industry. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Dana Chase, Sr., who in 1944 started Appliance magazine and in 1949 founded the International Appliance Technical Conference (IATC), where engineers worldwide present technical papers on new technologies for the appliance industry. Twenty-three years ago, Chase initiated a Best Paper Award to be given each year in honor of his father.
Chase truly is the force behind the editorial content of the magazine, Ritchey says. He has been the editorial director since 1978. He has established programs that help to make editorial the priority at Appliance. “At the age of 75, Chase still reads everything that is published in the magazine. Nothing is published without his approval.”
Chase created two magazine editorial advisory boards, which are made up of appliance industry leaders. One board focuses on engineering, while the other is centered on purchasing. The board regularly meets with magazine staff to offer suggestions on the publication’s direction.
Always striving to improve the editorial service to the appliance industry, Chase’s editorial goal, Ritchey says, is to have readers be conversant with all business, plant, and engineering information that will be helpful for the future of an individual company and for industry growth.

Man of Vision

Chase was the driving force in creating the first truly global publication to serve the appliance industry. In 1995, Chase launched three international editions: Appliance- European Edition, Appliance-Latin America Edition, and Appliance-China Edition.
He organized two international industry tours with appliance makers and suppliers, while regularly attending industry trade shows and touring appliance manufacturers. The first tour was in 1976 to Germany; the second tour was to Japan in 1979.
Chase also recognized the Internet’s potential. In 1995, he was well ahead of the publishing trend by encouraging the creation of two industry Web sites. The first,, is a B2B site, and the second,, serves consumers looking to purchase an appliance.

Optimistic and Energetic

His outstanding quality is his optimism and vigor, Ritchey says. He has a habit of concluding management meetings, planning sessions, consultation, and general conversations with an assured “onward and upward.”
“He has always made this statement as if there is no alternative direction — no backward, reverse or hesitation, no downward, no standstill — only onward and upward,” she says. “His will and energy constantly fuel his employees and the industry. He recognizes and treats people as powerful creative beings capable of great performances.”
Chase has been a long-time supporter of the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI). He received the PEI Lifetime Service Award from PEI at its annual meeting in 1998.
In June 1999, he received the Distinguished Recognition Award from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). This award was given in recognition of the magazine’s and his many years of contribution and support of AHAM and the appliance industry.
He has also has been active in the publishing industry, serving on the board of directors of the American Business Media, 1985–1987 and in community affairs, serving on the Oak Brook Public School Board for five years.

In Dana Chase’s Own Words

“My father started our publishing company in 1944, with a staff of one and some part-time help from me. He served as a mentor for me. He approached all aspects of the business on a very high and moral plane. He started the publication because he believed there was a need for such a publication and his objective was to serve and inform. There really was no definable appliance industry at that time. I believe our publication was instrumental in identifying and establishing the appliance industry.
“In the years that followed, I covered the entire editorial spectrum — news, new products, new literature, editors’ mail, plant features, industry roundups, etc. ”
“I have always felt the only reason for a publication to exist is to serve its readers with the best possible information in a timely and informative way. We believe that a publication that serves a specific industry should provide a balanced editorial content to meet the interests of all its readers. Thus, every issue has information aimed at serving functions such as engineering, production, procurement, management, and marketing and sales.”
“I also believe it is important that you become involved in and attend publishing organization meetings such as ASBPE and ABM…. It is a great way to learn and perfect your editorial skills.”
“We also think it is important to have periodic meetings among staff. We have cross functional meetings monthly. Once a year we have a combined editorial/sales meeting. This provides an opportunity for the two groups to get to know each other better and a chance for sales to suggest possible editorial subjects for the coming year. They do not dictate to editorial, but they often learn of trends and developments worthy of editorial coverage.”
“I strongly recommend that you establish an ongoing program of researching your readers. As I mentioned earlier, you must be prepared for change, and that includes change in your readers’ needs and wants. Not only will you have new readers all the time, but your longtime readers’ interests and priorities will change. An important way to keep abreast of these changes is through research. You need to know what your readers are thinking and how you can better serve them. You can conduct some of this research internally, but I also recommend that you use outside sources to obtain independent research.”
“One of our most important additions to our editorial service is our annual ‘Portrait of the U.S. Appliance Industry.’ It contains a Who’s Who of the Industry, Life Expectancy of Products, Share of Market Data, and The Saturation Picture. The information contained in the Portrait has been cited and/or quoted by the national media — Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes — and used by brokerage houses and financial firms. The significance of this exposure is that our publication is recognized as the leading source of information on the appliance industry. Our editors are contacted for quotes and additional information because they are recognized as the experts in the appliance industry.”

What Others Say

“It’s an honor for me to say I’ve known Dana for 40 years. He’s a fine family man and has done a marvelous job running his company. He deals with his employees and colleagues with the same careful guidance, patience, and respect as he does everyone else. Dana shows a great deal of honesty and straightforwardness toward people.
“Dana has the traits of an excellent businessman. He has done the correct things at the correct time. I’m very happy to see him recognized for his achievement. You’ve made a marvelous choice.”

— Ray Gaumond
close friend and former president of a small manufacturing company

“What a delight to hear of the selection of Dana Chase as the recipient of the annual Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Those of you in the publication business know very well that to survive and thrive for over 50 years requires a considerable measure of intelligence, tenacity, skill, good timing and good luck. In Dana’s early days his father was there to teach and lead, and now in recent years, his children Susan and David have shared the burden. But for most of those years, Dana ran it all.
“My experience is largely the non-business part of Dana’s life. We have spent many wonderful times together fishing, golfing, vacationing, and dining, and he has become my oldest and dearest friend because he embodies the characteristics I most admire. Dana is absolutely honest. He will not misrepresent or prevaricate. Dana has no guile. I cannot ever recall him speaking ill of anyone. Dana is fair in all his dealings. He is thoughtful, kind, generous, and a wonderful parent and husband. For 50 years, it has been my great privilege and pleasure to know this man so well. Your Society has made a great choice in Dana Chase… .”

— Richard Morey
Chairman, The Morey Corp.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career without having attended the school of Dana Chase Jr. Everything I know and value about the business of b-to-b publishing I learned from Dana Chase, who brought me into his company as an entry level editor before I had even finished college. At the time, I was told that I’d have the opportunity to learn every aspect of the business if I was willing to put in the work. During my 14-year tenure, Dana and his company delivered on that commitment. With roots in editorial, I was particularly fortunate to have been mentored by a publisher who held fast to the value of real ‘readership,’ consistently ensuring a high quality editorial product, while just as tenaciously refusing to jump on the ratecutting bandwagon.
“Today, these are the two core values on which I will not compromise under any circumstance. Those values rest on a foundation of bulldog competitiveness, which is another reÅection of the impact Mr. Chase has had on my character as a publisher.
“He was also a leader who understood that only one in 10 ideas ever amounts to a successful innovation, and he encouraged me to keep coming with ideas even though most of them were the dumbest things he’d ever heard of. The few I did come up with that worked, however, never would have been communicated had I not been aware that he truly valued the creative thinking that must prevail prior to any innovation. He knows the business is ultimately about committed, smart, hard-working people and he recognized committed, smart, hard-working people.
“Finally, he sets the bar extremely high for his company, his employees, and himself. He’s the most demanding boss I’ve ever worked for, but I’m a better, I believe unique, publisher as a result.”

— Scot Stevens
Publisher The Croydon Group Ltd.

“As a daughter and a colleague, I have a dual perspective of who Dana Chase Jr. is. Having ‘grown up in the family business’ around the dinner table and during my summer breaks, I was always cognizant of what my dad did. It wasn’t until I joined the organization 12 years ago, that I truly began to understand who my dad was.
“In many ways his personal characteristics are the same as those he is known for in business (besides his colorful sports jackets). He is a strong person who is direct and straightforward. Praise from him is highly regarded, because it is only given when truly warranted. At the same time, he is a gentleman with integrity and a strong moral foundation. These are the characteristics that our company was founded on and that have helped guide each and every editor working for him over the years.
“He has always fostered an open-door policy while encouraging the development of ideas from everyone in the organization. Many of these ideas have directly contributed to the quality of our editorial, in addition to how, when, and in what language that editorial is delivered to our readers. Those with ideas are rewarded with the responsibility of implementation. I understand why so many current and past employees view him as a mentor. He provides a challenging atmosphere and rewards dedication and hard work with ownership and accountability. You are not restricted by age or lack of experience but rewarded for dedication, hard work, creativity, and intelligence.
“We are often perceived as a much larger company because of the products we produce, the quality of the people we employ, and the global reach we have achieved. The leadership of Dana Chase Jr., has made that possible in an increasingly more difficult economic and ‘ROI’ atmosphere. Ultimately, it is the reader who benefits and without the reader we wouldn’t be here.
“I would like to congratulate my father for the honor of this award, as I feel it is well deserved.”

— Susan Chase Korin
CEO Dana Chase Publications, Inc.

About the Lifetime Achievement Award

Our Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2000 to recognize editors who have made significant and lasting contributions to our editorial profession and to the industries their magazines serve. To receive the Lifetime Achievement award, a candidate must meet four requirements:

  • Significant tenure (20 years or more) on business publications. Nominees need not currently hold editorial positions, and may be retired, but they must have spent the bulk of their careers in senior editorial positions. Nominees need not be members of ASBPE.
  • A commitment to editorial excellence. This may be demonstrated by general reputation of their publications(s); industry-related awards (e.g., ASBPE, Neal Awards, Folio:); internal company awards; other forms of recognition or other valid measures of editorial success.
  • A commitment to the business and professional press. Nominees should be or have been involved in lending their experience and time to benefit others in the business press. Examples might be participation in local or national business press or related organizations, corporate or university teaching, mentoring programs, or significant research or publication of articles on business press issues.
  • A commitment to the industries their publications serve. Examples include committee work with trade or professional associations or standards groups; frequent speaking engagements at industry events; significant research or publication of articles on industry issues; or significant advocacy work with government agencies.

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