MMPA’s History

by Aileen Hough

MMPA (Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association) was founded in 1995 with this mission statement:

MMPA exists to foster a strong magazine and publishing community through networking, education and recognition of excellence.  Rooted in integrity, leadership, excellence and service.

Following meetings of members of the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development and forward-thinking publishing executives, MMPA was formed in January 1995. One of the publishers in the forefront was Steve Hedlund who said, “Several of us had been meeting informally for a few years, and we agreed that all publishers in the state could benefit from an organized group.”

Throughout the last two decades, MMPA has produced some of the best educational events available, which grew into the annual Summit & Expo. Other initiatives have been added, including the annual Excellence Awards program developed by Greg Carey. Specialty awards were added, including:

  • Hedley Donovan: This award recognizes an individual with a history of long-standing, notable contributions to the publishing industry.
  • Greg Carey Leadership: Created in 2001, this award is presented yearly to the individual who embodies the spirit of dedication and leadership exemplified by Carey.
  • The Innovator Award: The Innovator Award was first presented in 2002 and recognizes companies that have successfully established and executed a new concept in the magazine publishing business.
  • Magazine of the Year: The award was first presented in 2010 and is designed to recognize consistent, comprehensive, and cumulative excellence in publishing.

Over the years, MMPA has provided additional resources and tools for members. These include a new website, enhanced database management, the e-newsletter FinePrint, and the formation of committees to manage events, communications, membership, sponsorship and networking. One priority has been to improve support for freelance individuals, vendor members and sponsors. A new generation of MMPA members and volunteers continues to bring ideas and features to the organization, including the new People’s Choice Award.

In 2015 MMPA began working with IntrinXec Management, Inc,, a company that brings years of experience to the management of the association and MMPA events.

The publishing community in Minnesota continues to grow. In part, that’s due to the dedicated individuals who continue to support the organization. Some of today’s members are noted in historical documents from the 1995 MMPA development documentation, including Steve Hedlund, Burt Cohen and Cindy Hayden. Celebrate MMPA’s twentieth birthday in 2015 by attending something you have not been to before or volunteer to help with an event.