August 26, 2013 Last Updated 10:24 am

Personnel changes at Active Interest Media: Jeff Tkach named Group Publisher of Backpacker and Climbing, etc.

Press releases from AIM:

Boulder, CO, August 26, 2013 – Active Interest Media today announced that Jeff Tkach has returned to Backpacker magazine, where he began his career in advertising sales, to take the new position of group publisher of Backpacker and Climbing. Tkach will lead sales, marketing, and events operations at both brands, which are located in AIM’s Boulder offices. He will report to Allen Crolius, VP of Sales for AIM’s Outdoor and Mountain Groups.

“I’m thrilled to join these two iconic brands at a moment of incredible innovation and growth,” said Tkach, who drove a successful, digital-fueled re-launch of Organic Gardening Magazine in his previous role. “Both titles have just celebrated 40 years of serving the most active readers in the outdoors, and both are exploiting events, tablets, social media, and other digital platforms to broaden – and deepen – their best-in-class audience engagement.”

“Jeff brings a unique blend of strategic thinking and detailed client service to this job, said Jonathan Dorn, SVP and General Manager of the Outdoor Group. “His integrated media platforms at Organic Gardening were a thing of beauty, in part because he starts with a marketing-solutions approach and in part because he works harder than anyone to match customer need with a partner’s goals. You’ll get creative ideas from him – but also dialed-in delivery.”

During his previous stint at Backpacker (2002-2006), Tkach was one of the magazine’s most successful account managers, working closely with dozens of established and up-and-coming brands, from Subaru and Asolo to GoLite and Big Agnes. “It was the perfect apprenticeship,” said Dorn. “There’s no better way to learn what drives the outdoor industry than to study at the feet of core product innovators.”

One of Tkach’s first strategic internal shifts was to promote Backpacker’s Sharon Houghton to Advertising Director of both titles. “As our Rocky Mountain sales manager, Sharon is beloved by clients across the endemic gear spectrum, many of whom she will continue to serve on a day-to-day basis,” said Tkach. “She’s earned this opportunity to expand her portfolio and take on higher level management responsibilities.”

A trail runner, hiker, and cyclist, Tkach is also a certified CrossFit trainer and a board member of several national nonprofits dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship and organic agriculture. A new mom, Houghton has been a nationally ranked triathlete and regularly demolishes Dorn on lunch rides.

Former SKI veteran Jo-Ann Martin Named AIM Outdoor Group’s East Coast Sales Director

Boulder, CO, August 26, 2013 – Active Interest Media’s Outdoor Group and Mountain Group, including titles such as SKI and Backpacker, are bringing back a familiar face with the addition of Jo-Ann Martin as East Coast Sales Manager.

Jo-Ann was a tenacious top performer for SKI and Skiing from 1990 to 1998. Overseeing and building non-endemic accounts in New York City and on the East Coast, she managed to double sales and bring in 40 new clients. Jo-Ann, who will be based in the NYC metro area, has a ski house in Killington—and is excited to once again combine work with her passion for the outdoors.

Most recently, in her role as the Integrated Account Manager for Time Inc.’s Cooking Light, she was named Sales Person of the Year three times and was the recipient of the Never Say Never Award in 2012. The categories she handled at Cooking Light, including automotive, food and beverage, package goods, and pharmaceuticals, align with AIM’s non-endemic targets.

“I personally couldn’t be more excited about having Jo-Jo back on the team,” says the combined group’s VP of Sales & Marketing, Al Crolius, who worked with her at the ski books in the 1990s. “Her energy and drive coupled with her likability made her our top sales performer before, and without question she will bring us success at AIM.”

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