Rhonda Herman on her 25th anniversary
at McFarland. Photo submitted
Rhonda Herman, Executive Vice President of McFarland &
Company, Inc., Publishers, marked her 25th anniversary at the
local publishing company Dec. 1. The Jefferson-based reference
and scholarly monograph house was founded in Ashe County in
Herman, an Appalachian State University graduate, joined the
company in 1982 as business manager. She was promoted to vice
president in 1991 and, in 2004, to executive vice president.
McFarland employees threw her a party Nov. 29 and presented
her with a golden gift: the attentions of local mens barbershop
quartet the New River Chordsmen and a scrapbook containing snapshots,
some silly, some semi-serious, from her 25 years. Snacks, drinks,
and humorous reminiscences followed.
Rhonda has done just about every job there is in the company,
since the beginningand in fact she did some accounting
work for us even before becoming an employee, so its really
about a 27 or 28 year association! McFarland president
Robert Franklin said. Best way to train an executive is
to have them do everything, and, boy, did she! Exciting times,
these past decades.
Herman is noted for having brought the company into the electronic
age, eventually affecting every aspect of operations. More recently
she set up the companys several scholarly journals as
digital offerings accessible through the web and is working
on the production of electronic editions of McFarland reference
books. Her calm, wise advice and counseling of McFarland employees
is another of her tremendous contributions to the companys
success, company officials said.
I have been very fortunate, said Herman. At
a time when Ashe County did not have a lot of great opportunities
for a college-educated female looking to move up
in an organization, I took a chance with this then little-known
publishing operation that employed four people. I could not
have imagined what lay ahead. My job has taken me to every major
U.S. city and a few in Europe. And the book publishing industry
has undergone such change in the last 25 years that my job has
never been the same from year to year.
Herman said her efforts with authors have probably brought her
the most pleasure.
I have had dealings with famous people, including the
creator of Gilligans Island, a director for Bonanza and
a producer for Bay Watch, she said. I have had wonderful
relationships such as one with an Ashe County-born former World
War II POW who became a Greensboro physician and wrote one of
our finest war memoirs. I still look forward to going to work
McFarland publishes about 320 new titles a year and sells books
worldwide, including Iraq, Iran and North Korea,
Franklin is fond of saying. Just doing our part to make
Jefferson, North Carolina, world famous.