Chief Executive Officer, McMurry
Chris McMurry is a professional racecar driver, a startup technology entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a frequent conference speaker, and a devoted husband and father. He steered McMurry from its roots as a four-person agency—then called Vim & Vigor, after its original flagship custom publication—into a full-service marketing communications firm with more than 170 staff members, three offices, 10 acquisitions under its belt, and some $50 million in annual revenue. This year alone, Inc. has called McMurry one of the “fastest-growing private companies in America,” and the Society for Human Resource Management and the Great Place to Work Institute have named it one of the 10 Best Small Companies to Work for in America.
Much of that growth can be attributed to Chris’s visionary approach to custom publishing (in all its forms)—a vision that also helped shape today’s Custom Content Council [formerly the Custom Publishing Council]. As one of the CCC’s founders, and as CCC president and chairman when the Council decided to break off from the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) in 2002, Chris charted a course that incorporated the CCC as a bylaws-governed, board-run, for-profit organization, funded primarily through a revenue-based dues structure. In addition:
- His championship of Reach, the CCC’s first custom magazine, set the stage for the development of Content, the CCC’s current three-times-a-year publication targeted to 30,000+ marketing executives.
- His service as an advisory board member of the USPS’s Mailing Industry Task Force—and his work with other CCC members on postal issues—helped advance industry interests in this critical area.
- His creation, through McMurry, of Publications Management (now ContentWise) has not only provided regular coverage of custom publishing, but has also served as a tracking device for the industry’s growth, validating and legitimizing its success. These surveys provide a key benefit for CCC members and have become the underpinning for industry data released by the bible of communications statistics, VSS Communications Industry Forecast.
Interviewed by Min’s B2B a few years ago about the intersection between one of his hobbies—racecar driving—and his work, Chris said, “Business is also about thrills. My desire to be stimulated at work is helpful to moving our business forward and to doing innovating things.” The impact of that drive has clearly taken—and continues to take—McMurry (the person), McMurry (the company), the CCC and the custom publishing industry on a thrilling ride.