The boards of directors of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association are pleased to announce Ted Heinecken is the winner of the this year's Voice of the Heartland Award.
Heinecken began his career as the Midwest sales rep of Oxford University Press in 1963, and in 1969 formed his own rep group Heinecken-Ide Associates. After selling Heinecken-Ide to Fujii in 2008, Ted continued to bring his wisdom and industry saavy to accounts in the Midwest until his retirement earlier this year.
Deb Leonard, executive director of GLIBA, said, “The Voice of the Heartland is awarded for a lifetime of dedication and service to independent bookselling and booksellers in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions. Ted has given over 50 years of advising, nurturing, and encouragement to indies in our area. I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive this honor.”
Tom Lowry, of Lowry’s Books in Michigan, said, “From his first days as an Oxford University sales rep to his founding his own rep group, which was a stellar mix of the literary presses to the largest of the independent presses to some very saleable stuff, to his selling the Heinecken group to Fujii, Ted was always was in thick of new titles, bestsellers, literary titles, and so on. He just knew his stuff. He employed some of the best reps in the Midwest and was very kind and gracious to stores, GLIBA, and other causes."
Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, MO said, "I worked with Ted for many years and found him to be an outstanding supporter of independent bookstores. He was fiercely loyal to his booksellers, continuing to call on stores no matter how tiny or how financially strapped. He was the very best of old school. I always felt like he had my back. When I was just learning the ropes as a buyer his advice was critical to my success. I consider him a mentor colleague and friend."
On behalf of MIBA and GLIBA, we think Ted’s information on the Fujii website says it all: "Ted Heinecken, legend." Thank you, Ted, for your dedication to independent bookselling throughout the Midwest.