From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Publishing Corporation Officials Cleared of

Date 04 May 1996 20:51:43


95354      Publishing Corporation Officials Cleared of 
                     Misconduct Allegations 
                         by Julian Shipp 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC) board of 
directors has overwhelmingly agreed that allegations of personal misconduct 
between PPC president/publisher Davis Perkins and managing editor Stephanie 
Egnotovich are unfounded and no further action on the matter is warranted. 
     Price H. Gywnn III, PPC board chair from Charlotte, N.C., met here 
with more than 20 PPC employees Aug. 28-29 to hear their concerns about an 
alleged affair between Perkins and Egnotovich and about the corporation's 
employee morale. 
     The PPC board met here Sept. 25-26 in predominantly closed session to 
discuss these matters and propose strategies for enhancing future 
management, employee development and morale. 
     Gwynn said the board brought "no formal charges" against Perkins or 
Egnotovich, and described the claims as "stories, stuff and rumors." 
However, Gwynn said, the accusations were significant enough to confer with 
Perkins and Egnotovich and reveal the board's decision to all PPC employees 
during a Sept. 26 PPC staff meeting. 
     Gwynn said his report "culminated in an expression on the part of the 
board of full confidence in [Perkins] and [Egnotovich] in regards to their 
personal conduct." Gwynn said no hearings were conducted or depositions 
taken, but board members discussed the matter with Perkins and Gywnn, who 
said he served as a PPC employee representative. 
     "This personnel matter was discussed at significant length and I told 
the [PPC] employees the board is convinced that no impropriety [between 
Perkins and Egnotovich] has taken place," Gywnn said. 
     Though concerned over the consequences of the allegations, Perkins 
said he is pleased with the board's decision.  Egnotovich could not be 
reached for comment by presstime. 
     "I'm very pleased that the board supports my leadership at PPC and 
relish the challenges that face us in the future," Perkins said. 
     In addition to attaining economic stability and battling declining 
sales of some of its product lines, a significant PPC challenge that 
remains is enhancing operational efficiency. On Aug. 14, PPC terminated its 
accounting contract with the PC(USA)'s Corporate and Administrative 
Services (CAS) and established its own accounting department. This decision 
resulted in the elimination of seven accounting-related positions in CAS. 
     According to Gwynn and Perkins, the PPC board approved a series of 
staff reorganizations designed to more effectively utilize leadership and 
strengthen PPC's overall capacity to address future developments. 
     For example, in addition to the creation of a unified PPC 
Curriculum/Westminster John Knox Press (WJK) production department, the 
board has authorized a search for a person to fill a new position, that of 
Westminster John Knox Press director.  
     Gwynn said that person will fill the vacancy left by Perkins since he 
departed WJK and will be responsible for all WJK activities, both marketing 
and editorial. Gwynn said the position will be advertised over the next 
couple of months and the person selected for the position will more than 
likely come from outside the current PPC staff. 
     Effective by Jan. 1, 1996, Doug Deatz, PPC vice president and 
corporate treasurer, will assume the duties of PPC Curriculum director. 
According to Perkins, this is partially due to the retirement of director 
Mina Grier at the end of 1995. Perkins said the decision will allow Deatz 
to focus on curriculum publishing and distribution of other PPC 
denominationally related resources. 
     Perkins described PPC's financial health as "fairly strong" and said 
the corporation is entering the remainder of 1995 with "realistic 
expectations of showing black ink on the bottom line." 
     Though he declined to release end-of-the-year financial projections he 
described as "still tentatively based" due to fluctuating sales, Perkins 
said PPC currently has  approximately $3 million in cash. At this time last 
year, Perkins said, PPC borrowed about $700,000 from the General Assembly 
Council, so the corporation's current cash position has shown "a swing of 
roughly $3.7 million." 
     "I feel reasonably good about PPC's short-term profitability," Gwynn 
said. "But we've got some problems on the horizon, and when we get there 
I'm sure we'll rise to the occasion and deal with them appropriately."      
     PPC is an independent company whose board of directors is elected by 
the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly. Its imprints and product 
lines currently include Westminster John Knox Press, Geneva Press, 
Presbyterian Publishing House, and Presbyterian and Reformed Educational 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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