President and CEO, The Pohly Company
This is hardly Diana Pohly’s first honor. In addition to the Pearls that Diana’s company won this year (and every year since the program started), Diana has carried home awards from Apex, Astrid, SNAP, Print, Magnum Opus, and just about every other award show with a focus on custom content. Her company has been named one of the fastest growing in America by Inc. and has been listed for many years among the 100 largest women-owned companies in Massachusetts by The Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College and The Commonwealth Institute. And perhaps most satisfying, a few years back, Fortune Small Business said that Diana Pohly was one of America’s “best bosses.”
In many regards, The Caldwell Award may be the most fitting award Diana has won so far. Consider the following:
- After many successful years in advertising, Diana was wooed to custom publishing and, in 1996, became president of Cadmus Communications, a company that had started life a decade earlier as Marblehead Communications, under the direction of the custom publishing pioneer John Caldwell. Diana purchased Cadmus to years later and renamed it The Pohly Company.
- As one of the founders of the Custom Publishing Council—along with John Caldwell—Diana served as the CPC’s first marketing director, as an early co-chair, as a leader in the CPC’s important decision to break away from the MPA, as a long-time board member, and as a force in launching the Pearl Awards—coining the name, helping to establish categories and judging criteria, and, with her firm, developing both the entry materials and the plaques and trophies themselves.
- In 2006, when the CPC decided to create a lifetime achievement award, naming it after John Caldwell, and presenting it, posthumously, to Caldwell himself, Diana drew on her long association with Caldwell—as a competitor, a colleague, and a CPC co-founder—to co-write the bio used in the presentation.
Like John Caldwell, Diana has had an extensive and long-lasting impact on the custom content industry. In her service to what is now the CCC, she worked hard to establish new programs, bring in new members, and encourage those members to get as involved as she has been. And as she has both expanded and diversified her business, she has helped build the careers of employees who have, along with her, (one of America’s “best bosses”) pushed the boundaries of custom publishing—across media, across technologies, across industries, across any barriers in her path.