CEO and Owner, Pace Communications
When Bonnie McElveen-Hunter graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in the early 1970s, she decided to use her degree in business law and marketing to pursue a career in ad sales. But after just a year at Community Publishing, bigger fish beckoned and she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, to launch the magazine division of Fisher-Harrison Corp., which, a year later, in 1973, became Pace Communications. Today, Pace is one of the top 175 women-owned businesses in the country and the nation’s largest—and possibly oldest—custom publishing company.
While Pace initially made its name as a publisher of airline magazines, growth has brought diversity in terms of both clients and media. The company’s client base now includes not only a hangar full of airline companies (Southwest, Delta, and USAirways), but also travel, hotel, and entertainment enterprises (Carlson, Four Seasons, Harrah’s, Seminole Gaming); banks (Wells Fargo); technology firms (Verizon, Bluetooth); and more. And the media through which Pace delivers content to its clients ranges from print and digital to video, mobile, and social.
Diversity is also the hallmark of Bonnie’s career beyond the walls of Pace Communications. In 2004, then-President Bush appointed Bonnie national chairman of the board of the American Red Cross and reappointed her to that position in 2007. This followed a two-year term as U.S. ambassador to Finland, during which she began a series of Women Business Leaders Summits that have been held in Finland, Latvia, Jordan, Bahrain, and Dubai. Developed to encourage businesswomen to launch or expand business opportunities in their home countries, these summits were, not surprisingly, supported by custom content: newsletters, email programs, digital content, and special editorial sections, and as well as press and video news releases.
Bonnie’s commitment to high quality, compelling, branded content has served her (as well as her clients and constituents) well—at Pace, in the international arena, and in the nonprofit world. Her support for custom content has been clear through Pace’s active involvement in the Custom Content Council—through leadership, through programming, and through the Pearl Awards. Over the years, Bonnie herself has received numerous awards, for her leadership, for her service, and for her business and civic contributions. It is our honor to add our praise with an award that, by recognizing her important contributions to the custom content industry, congratulates Bonnie on a combination of all those attributes.