For the past seven years, Business NH Magazine has shined a light on women leaders in NH to demonstrate the economic influence of this sector of the economy. We have profiled six intriguing leaders from this year’s lists who are chosen for the fast growth of their organization, the influence they wield or the significant achievements of their companies. Here is one of the profiles:
When Vicki Boyd was in high school, she fell in love with the idea of opening her own school, one that was nontraditional, was student focused and would transform education. A school that would be a laboratory for innovation, new ideas and new ways of teaching.
While she did not pursue that particular dream, Boyd says she has lived the spirit of it every day during the past 15 years of working at Heinemann in Portsmouth. Boyd is the executive vice president and general manager of Heinemann, a publisher of professional resources and a provider of educational services for teachers of kindergarten through college.
“Life is a mystery,” she says, “But somehow through all these twists and turns, I found myself in a setting where I can exercise these values and amplify them.”
Boyd started her career with a degree in Humanities before heading west where she worked in Colorado in outdoor education and as a counselor at a boarding school in California. Eventually she fell in love and her partner convinced her to move east, where her career took yet another turn. “I was always in and around schools, but in nontraditional roles,” she says. “And then I actually took a side step into politics.”
Boyd began working for Jeanne Shaheen’s gubernatorial campaign and eventually went on to work in her administration on education policy.
After many years with Shaheen, Boyd says she and her wife were in the process of adopting their second child when Boyd decided it was time to get out of politics and into a job where she could spend more time at home with her family.
With years of education policy under her belt, Boyd was recommended for a position at Heinemann. “One of the things that really attracted me to Heinemann was its mission is consistent with my mission in life, which is very much a dedication to teachers, supporting professional growth and development, supporting the professionalism of teachers,” Boyd says.
“And more than that, it embodies a philosophy with the values that resonate with my own. A particular philosophical approach that Heinemann promotes is about a child-centered approach to instruction and teaching and learning. It’s this belief that everything happens in that relationship between a teacher and a child. That relationship is everything,” she continues.
Boyd started at Heinemann as the head of professional development services and then was promoted to editorial director and publisher, and ultimately general manager in 2015.
Boyd says she’s most proud of the way the company has maintained its spirit of innovation over the years and they do that, she says, by allowing their authors—who are also teachers in the field—to develop and explore new ideas and new ways of presenting information.
In fact, one of their newest books recognizes the busy days of teachers and streamlines the information with infographics that make it easier to consume and get the value of what it has to offer.
Boyd says one of the ways Heinemann is growing is by developing digital companions to its flagship series of books that complement the material and enhance teacher development. “One of the things we want to be really careful [about is making sure] digital companions are not a distraction, but just like everything else, they are about helping teachers find their way to this approach.”
She also says they anticipate expanding their workforce of 176 employees by 8 percent in the coming year.