Sunday, November 27, 2005

Omnigraphics Deal

When The Computer Phonebook was published it apparently caught the eye of a major reference book publisher, Omnigraphics, with offices in Detroit, MI and Fort Lauderdale, FL. After some correspondence and a few telephone calls in late 1996, My wife and I wound up getting invited down to their offices in Florida for a few days to meet with their people and discuss my database and newswire service. Omnigraphics had been publishing all sorts of reference books for libraries and schools but apparently they didn't have much information on the computer industry.

When we got to Florida I thought I was only meeting a few of their key people but actually wound up walking into a large meeting room filled with people and giving a spur of the moment presentation on everything I was doing. It seemed to go over pretty well though and it was great meeting Fred Ruffner, Jr. their company president along with the entire staff of Omnigraphics. Afterwards they offered to buy a one-time non-exclusive license for my current database with periodic updates on a quarterly basis.

My wife had accompanied me on the trip and Omnigraphics arranged for an incredible hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Plus Mr. Ruffner treated us to a tour of the area by boat and a lovely dinner at his home, complete with a local artist playing piano at his home while we ate. It was absolutely an amazing trip that I'll never forget.

There was even a job offer to work for Omnigraphics but it would have involved moving to Fort Lauderdale. My son had just been born and we just weren't interested in moving away from family just then. Sometimes I wonder where that might have led to though. Unfortunately Omnigraphics isn't around any more. It appears they were bought out some time ago by another publisher in Canada from what I could find out.


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