SIPA December Member News

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Welcome New Members

We are excited to welcome the following new members to the SIPA community: 

Longtime SIPA publisher M. Lee Smith dies at 74 

Famed news publisher M. Lee Smith passed away last week at the age of 74, after a long battle with cancer. In 1975, Smith founded M. Lee Smith Publishers, which would become a longtime SIPA member company specializing in legal publishing.

Smith sold the company in 2005 to Dan Oswald and retired. In 2011, M. Lee Smith Publishers merged with BLR, an idea that Bob Brady, CEO and founder of BLR, said that Smith first approached him about in the late '90s. M. Lee Smith Publishers remains a division of BLR.

"Lee was a true southern gentleman and a savvy businessman," Oswald wrote in his blog last week. "Lee... built an incredible business that successfully served hundreds of thousands of customers over the years. I had the privilege of knowing Lee as a colleague in our industry for many years before having the opportunity to relocate to Tennessee and purchase his company from him...

"I was lucky to know Lee Smith. I was lucky that he entrusted me with the business he had built and the people he cared so much about. And I was lucky to call Lee my friend and adviser. I'm going to miss him."

Smith served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Howard Baker in the late 1960s and as a top aide to Gov. Winfield Dunn in the early 1970s. For years, he also wrote a news column carried in about 40 Tennessee newspapers, and appeared in numerous political commentaries on TV.

"More than almost anyone, he participated and reported on the evolution of Tennessee as a predominantly Democratic state 50 years ago, to a predominantly Republican one today," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in an article on The Tennessean website. "He had a sense of purpose about building a two-party system and he enjoyed it."

CBIS acquires grants compliance divisions of AIS 

In a transaction between two SIPA members, Thompson Grants, a division of Columbia Books & Information Services, has acquired Atlantic Information Services' grants compliance publishing and training divisions.

The grant offerings of AIS, including the Guide to Grants Management for Colleges and Universities, have long been leading resources in the higher education community directly and through partnerships with associations in the university research community.

"As we continue to expand our reach within the grants community through publishing, conferences, data licensing and a burgeoning training division, AIS' grants division was the perfect fit. We look forward to further developing our relationship with the higher education community through grants information and training" said Joel Poznansky, president of CBIS.

The acquisition will expand university subscriber's current offerings with access to Thompson Grants' complete suite of full grants life-cycle resources including compliance information, databases, eLearning and conferences.

CBIS has also acquired joint rights to AIS' grants training division under the brand Federal Fund Management Advisor and will continue to partner with leading grants expert Bob Lloyd to produce grants training. Federal Fund Management Advisor produces 40+ grants compliance webinars annually.

Bruce Guzowski, managing partner of SIPA member Guzowski Advisory LLC, represented AIS on this transaction.

Announcing $25,000 in scholarship awards to members, their employees and their families for school and SIPA's 41st Annual Conference

The Specialized Information Publishers Foundation will grant $25,000 in scholarships in 2017 to support the pursuit of educational and professional development.

Scholarship awards will be given exclusively to SIPA members, employees of SIPA member organizations and their family members. (Only one scholarship will be given to any one member employee's family.) 

Members and their employees may also apply to receive assistance with registration fees to attend SIPA's 41st Annual Conference, June 5-7, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the program and download the scholarship application on our website. Please be specific about how much scholarship money you seek and how and at what institution it will be used.

The application deadline is Feb, 1, 2017.

NewsRx team appears on CEO Exclusive Radio

C.W. Henderson (bottom left) and Kalani Rosell (top left) of SIPA member NewsRx, LLC, and their strategy partner Chantay Jones (bottom right) of NewsRx Tech recently appeared on CEO Exclusive Radio with host Soyini Coke (top right) of SIPA member Annona Enterprises. The 40-minute podcast featured discussions on automation, artificial intelligence and the groundbreaking things that NewsRx is doing.

Previously considered a publisher, Henderson said that NewsRx is really a technology company now. "In our system, our news articles are written using artificial intelligence that uses the exact same steps that I learned in journalism school and my [early] career," said Henderson. "So, AI is the same as a human in terms of writing our news articles; it's because we were willing to write the code that was required.

"Of course over the last two decades, you have to keep writing code, keep revising code because the world changes."

Earlier this year Coke interviewed Stephanie Williford and Dorothy Whisenhunt of SIPA member EB Medicine. 

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Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
If not, you're missing out on daily strategies, tips, profiles and case studies that can build your audience and increase revenue. To sign up, please contact Nevena Jovanovic.

Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…