Straight-talking Stan Modic: the nation's business press honors T&P's former publisher-editor and its celebrated columnist with a well-deserved lifetime achievement award.

Author:McKenna, J.F.
Position:Champion of manufacturing - Cover story

The American Society, of Business Publication Editors (ASB-PE) has recognized Stanley J. Modic, Straight Talk columnist and former publisher and editor of Tooling & Production magazine, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented to Modic at ASBPE's annual national meeting in Chicago last month.

No one who has ever worked with Modic is the least bit surprised.

But Modic was earlier this year when ASBPE national president Roy Harris called him with the news.

"It was a thrill to be able to surprise someone with this honor--especially a modest editor who has no idea that staffers have made secret plans to put his name forward," says Harris, the editor of CFO magazine. "Stan Modic is the classic Lifetime Achievement winner, someone who brings innovation after innovation to our profession and yet who never thinks of it as a personal accomplishment until someone like ASBPE takes note."

A veteran of the push and pull of daily newspaper work and a magazine journalist of unquestioned originality, Modic has been not only innovative but uncompromising--his writing, in his professional standards, in his respect for and advocacy of the manufacturing industry he has covered since the 1960s.

Manufacturing, in turn, has reasons aplenty for which to thank the steadfast Modic. He has pushed it during its strongest times in America, and he has rallied behind it in its most uncertain ones.

"There's little doubt that U.S. manufacturers are facing tough competition from abroad. Part of it has to do not so much with technology, but rather with the transfer of technology. But the line between a technological edge and a competitive edge is often blurred by media reports, particularly when they treat only a single factor and ignore the rest."

Given the state of global business competition, Modic's comments are particularly poignant. Fact is, though, he wrote those words in a column in September 1990--not long after taking over the editor's chair at T&P.

That's part of the Modician mystique. He has always been many steps ahead of the reporting pack, starting with his days on Penton Publishing's Steel magazine, to which he applied his considerable newspaper know-how. Out of Steel rose Penton's flagship publication, Industry Week--and Modic rose with it, as one of the staffers who helped launch IW and then as editor in chief of the publication that tackled the management of manufacturing in a way never seen before.

As IW's top editor, Modic set the...

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