By: Jim Rosenberg
To a career that has spanned the country and almost 40 years, John Rodney now adds recognition for his voluntary contributions to the America East Operations and Technology Conference and Trade Show. The past-chairman of the America East Committee was awarded the America East Distinguished Service Award here this week at the annual event.
From apprentice stereotyper in 1965 at the Courier-News, then in Plainfield, N.J., Rodney went on, following graduation from Rutgers University in 1973, to production assistant in Rochester, N.Y., for Gannett Co. After a year in training, he was named production manager at the Bellingham (Wash.) News. He soon moved east to The Valley News Dispatch, Tarentum, Pa.
Rodney left Gannett in 1978 but remained in the Keystone State as production director of The Easton Express while the Research Institute was located in that city before merging with what would become the Newspaper Association of America.
The 1980s found Rodney running production at another focus of new newspaper technology — Portland, Maine, where the Guy Gannett papers (now Blethen Maine Newspapers) were at the forefront of flexo printing. For 20 years, Rodney has figured prominently in efforts to improve flexo for newspaper production, serving repeatedly as president of the Newspaper and Publication Flexo Users Group.
In the 1990s Rodney spent two years as newspaper operations director for the NAA, where he’s also served on the Technical Committee. In 1996 he moved back to New Jersey, becoming operations director for South Jersey Publishing Co., owner of the flexo-printed Press of Atlantic City.