Canadian Magazine Industry News
12 July 2013,     OTTAWA
Canadian Geographic names new society prez, CEO
John Geiger
John Geiger
John Geiger is now chief executive officer of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, following his resignation as president. Long-time society member Paul Ruest takes over the role of prez.

The CEO position is new and replaces the former role of executive director, previously filled by André Préfontaine. Préfontaine carries on his duties as publisher and president of Canadian Geographic, the society's flagship publication.

"This change came about as a result of a request by André, who has been a tremendous leader for the society and for our publishing business during extremely turbulent times," Geiger told Masthead. He credited Préfontaine for reinventing Canadian Geographic as a multi-platform publisher and helping to strengthen the society's various programs, including Canadian Geographic Education.

New society president Ruest is an educator and former president of Winnipeg's Université de Saint-Bonifacew. He's been with the society for 12 years including stints as vice-president and treasurer. He will act as president until an annual general meeting in November, at which time he is still eligible for the presidency should he choose to run.

Paul Ruest
Paul Ruest
"This is an absolutely important organization which must survive and flourish," Ruest said on the Canadian Geographic website. "We’re moving in new directions, and we’ve broadened our reach by establishing exciting new partnerships."

In 2011, Canadian Geographic Enterprises teamed with St. Joseph Communications, agreeing to let St. Joseph handle its printing, circ, marketing and production, so that it could focus on pushing into new platforms.

Continuing that push will be the core of Geiger's mandate as chief executive officer. The veteran editor and writer, who spent seven years as editorial board editor at the Globe and Mail and contributed to the paper’s adoption of social media and digital platforms, will be working to raise the society's profile through its publishing and education work, further integrating its portfolio of programs and growing its College of Fellows.

Moving forward, Canadian Geographic plans to further leverage social media and digital content to reach a wider demographic and interact more with the brand's audience. "We know it’s not enough to simply put information out. There’s an expectation of a conversation," said Geiger on the magazine's website.
— Jef Catapang
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