"My tenure as chairman has given me more challenge, opportunity and growth than I could ever have hoped for."
At age 85, Gertrude Crain retired from Crain Communications after having spent 40 years with the publishing company her husband, G.D. Crain, Jr., founded in 1916. She joined the company, originally known as Advertising Publications Inc., as assistant treasurer and later served as secretary/treasurer until 1974, when she was elected chairman of the board. During her tenure the company grew from seven to 27 publications.
She was recognized by Savvy magazine as one of the top 60 women business owners in the country and by Michigan Woman magazine as one of the top 50 businesswomen in Michigan. Crain was named "1990 Woman of the Year" by Today's Chicago Woman magazine, and in 1993, was awarded the Magazine Publishers of America’s prestigious Henry Johnson Fisher Award, the magazine industry's highest honor.
"The violent environment of many TV shows simply does not offer the best atmosphere in which to try and make a sale."
An early critic of violence on television, Crain was active in urging its restraint before numerous advertising and communications organizations. She gave much of her time to industry and volunteer associations, serving on the Boards of the International Advertising Association, the National Press Foundation, The Museum of Science and Industry and the Advertising Council and as a judge of the Advertising Hall of Fame.
Imbuing her own spirit for excellence and decorum, Crain was respected and recognized by many for her influential role in advertising and communication circles. She was named "Outstanding Communicator" by the Los Angeles Advertising Women and named "Communicator of the Year" by the New York chapter of the Business/Professional Advertising Association.
In 1982 Crain became a founding member of the "Committee of 200," an organization consisting of the top 200 entrepreneur women business owners and CEOs in the country. Five years later, she was inducted into Working Woman magazine's "Hall of Fame," was honored by the State of Michigan for her outstanding business achievements and was named a "Chicagoan of the Year" by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. In 1992 Crain was the first woman to be inducted into the Junior Achievement of Chicago Business Hall of Fame.
"Doing and being happy in what you're doing-that to me would be the best success. And, with that, I must consider myself to have been successful."
With equal eloquence, she extended her commitments into community endeavors as well. She served as a director of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Corp. as a member on the president's board of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and as a member of the James Webb Young Scholarship Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois. She was also a past president of the Service Club of Chicago and the Cradle Society of Evanston, Ill., and a past president of the Parent/Teachers Association of the National College of Education in Evanston.