What do you get when a publishing executive is as equally skilled at quietly getting the most from a talented staff of editors, designers, and writers as he is working with the business side of publishing? The answer is an extremely productive and engaged communications staff that provides, above all, great customer service to AMC association clients.
Unlike most literary types—Clay is a lifelong journalist and avid reader of humorist David Sedaris and The New Yorker magazine—he also knows his way around a budget and profit-and-loss statement and “gets along wonderfully” with Excel spreadsheets. This talent, coupled with a career path that spans both for-profit and nonprofit environments, allows Clay to bridge the best of different worlds.
For example, his experience in using a formal product-development process helps AMC association partners make informed, knowledge-based decisions on whether to develop new products or improve or end existing ones. Long used by for-profits, the process is proving invaluable to association volunteers grappling with these types of complex decisions.
Clay is also a people-person who knows how to lead and foster collaboration through open communication, professional development, and recognition. He strives to identify opportunities for staff to grow professionally and to develop new or existing skills that continually improve service to AMC clients. “At any given time, we have 100 or more projects in the works that we complete together in a creative, high-quality way,” Clay says. “The bottom line is that our success is the result of having a group of extremely smart and creative designers, editors, and writers whose good humor and love of hard work are a joy to be around.”
As for future challenges, Clay points to keeping pace with changes in digital communication. It’s a challenge that this publishing director and one-time dotcom executive looks forward to embracing.