Who are you?
My name is Josh Neal, and I graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a degree in strategic communications. I worked for a fast-growing company in OKC for about nine months before moving to Tulsa and starting at PennWell. Shortly after, I was placed in the Books & Videos group with Fire Engineering and haven’t looked back. At 27, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the change our group has experienced over the years. I hope to continue to grow within FEBV and be a dynamic part of our continued success.
What do you do with the Fire Engineering Books & Videos team?
My official title is sales and operations manager, which encompasses many exciting duties. I was originally brought on to sale a new venture for the group, but shortly after that FEBV experienced a huge change and lost half our headcount. Since then, I’ve been involved in several important aspects of our group: managing digital content sales and fulfillment, working with operations to streamline customer experiences, communicating and working with our amazing authors to ensure successful titles, launching new initiatives, and learning everything I possibly can to better assist the team.
What have you learned about your job over the past four years?
The biggest takeaway from my job has been understanding and working with firefighters. To be successful in creating content for them, they must remain at the center of every decision we make. I’ve seen many companies make the mistake of not putting their customer at the forefront of every decision, and I believe it’s truly cost them. Our intention in FEBV is to help the men and women in the fire service become the best firefighters they can be. From the pricing of our books to how we deliver our content, I’ve seen how imperative it is to make this the primary focus for us as a publisher. I’d say this is one of the primary reasons we’ve continued to have success during the past year.
What is your favorite part of working with the Fire Engineering Books & Videos team?
I am the youngest person in my group by over a decade. That contrast alone has brought so many amazing perspectives to my career and expedited my growth tremendously. I’m very lucky to work with such talented people, and I’d like to think a part of how I work now contains a piece of each of them. Many people on my team describe me as the “glue” that holds us together. Truth be told, I just feel honored to call them my colleagues.
What are you most excited about moving forward with the FEBV group?
Over the past two years, our team has worked diligently to expand our digital content offering, not only in how we deliver books, but in video content as well. This is an initiative we will continue to push. Recently, Amanda Champion was brought in as our new VP. She has even more innovative ideas on how we can help the fire service with our dynamic content and customer-focused solutions. I see a strong future for FEBV under her leadership.