Innovative Interfaces, Inc. has named a new President to lead the operations of he company. Effective August 2010, Neil Block, formerly Vice President for Worldwide Sales, advances to the role of President responsible for all divisions of he company, including sales, marketing, customer service, and development. Block joined the company in 1988.
Jerry Kline, who co-founded Innovative Interfaces in 1978, owns the company and will continue to serve as its Chairman. In this move, Kline steps back from the daily operations of the company he has actively led for over 30 years, while continuing strategic oversight as Chairman. Kline recently founded SkyRiver Technology Solutions, a new company to provide cataloging and other bibliographic services. Both SkyRiver and Innovative Interfaces are currently involved in a lawsuit that challenges OCLC's position in the industry, claiming violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The appointment of Block as President provided other opportunities for internal advancement. Mary Chevreau advances to Vice President, North American Sales. Chevreau previously assumed responsibility for sales to existing customers and now leads all aspects of sales in North America, reporting directly to Neil Block.
The promotion of Neil Block represents an important milestone in the history of Innovative. As one of the few privately owned, founder-led companies in the industry, some speculate on the future of the company once the founder is ready to step out of daily operations. Innovative has consistently followed a pattern of promotion from within and has remained outside the grasp of venture capital or private equity involvement. This latest move reinforces that pattern. While an important step in the evolution of the company, the real message involves continuity, not abrupt change.
Serials Solutions has also seen a major transition in its executive management. On September 12, 2010 ProQuest announced that Michael Gersch had been appointed as the General Manager of Serials Solutions and as an Executive Vice President of ProQuest. Serials Solutions operates as a business unit of ProQuest. Gersch will report to ProQuest CEO Marty Kahn. Most recently, Gersch comes to Serials Solutions from LexisNexis, where he served as Vice President and Managing Director of its Litigation Solutions division. Rob Mercer previously served in a similar capacity as General Manager of Serials Solutions and Vice President of ProQuest. Mercer continues with the company as head of Global Sales for Serials Solutions and as part of the senior executive team of ProQuest.
Jane Burke previously served as General Manager of Serials Solutions from June 2005-Jan 2009. Burke has since shifted to a broader role for the company as head of Strategic Initiatives of ProQuest and is part of the executive team reporting directly to Marty Kahn providing strategic support across all ProQuest business units with technology innovations. Prior to joining ProQuest, Burke served as President and CEO of Endeavor Information Systems.