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Publisher shuffles leadership

December 29, 2014
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Publisher shuffles leadership
Anita Eerdmans. Courtesy Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 

A local book publisher has named a new president, publisher and board chair.

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company in Grand Rapids said last week that William B. Eerdmans, Jr. will step away from his role as president and publisher and assume the role of chairman of the board of the family owned company.

Anita Eerdmans will replace Bill Eerdmans, her husband, as president and publisher.

She previously served in the role of VP of marketing and head of the imprint Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

The transition took effect on Dec. 22.

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company is an independent publisher of religious books, from academic works on theology, biblical studies, religious history and reference to titles on spirituality, social and cultural criticism and literature.

Anita Eerdmans

Anita Eerdmans began her career in the Eerdmans editorial department in 1974, before transitioning into the marketing department, which she leads.

Since 2006, she has also been responsible for Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, which she has led to national prominence, publishing titles that have won national awards: Caldecott Honor Award for illustration, Batchelder Award for translation and Schneider Family Award for books about disability — all given by the American Library Association.

Eerdmans will be the third president and publisher in the company’s 103-year history.

Bill Eerdmans, Jr.

Bill Eerdmans has been president and publisher since 1963, when he took over the position from his father, William B. Eerdmans, who founded the company in 1911.

During his long tenure, Eerdmans has overseen steady growth both in the number of books published by Wm. B. Eerdmans and in the worldwide reputation of the publisher.

Eerdmans’ legacy includes the expansion of the publisher’s list beyond its Reformed Protestant roots to encompass books by Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish and other authors, as well as many books on ecumenical and interfaith dialogue.

His ongoing passion for justice and equality led to the publication of many anti-apartheid books during South Africa’s apartheid years and books on race, gender and a host of other pressing social issues.

More recently, his interest in Russian theology and literature has led to a number of translations of important Russian writers.

He continues to be active in the acquisition and assessment of new projects for the company. 

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