Biographical / Historical
The publishing company that eventually became the Bureau of Business Practice (BBP) began as a small, private venture, the National Foreman's Institute (NFI), in Essex, Connecticut, in 1915. For the first thirty-five years of its existence, NFI was exclusively a publisher of training materials for the first line of industrial supervision. In 1950, NFI moved to New London, Connecticut, where they expanded their product line of monthly newsletters into the sales and industrial security field. Employee-handout publications and management and supervisory books also became part of the profile. Vision, a magazine publisher with major properties in the South American market, acquired NFI from its original owners in 1959 and established a publishing facility in New London, housing Croft Educational Services and several smaller, unrelated operations, along with NFI. Prentice Hall bought NFI in 1960 and moved the business to Waterford, Connecticut. Within three years, Prentice Hall had also bought Croft and added some book operations from its New Jersey locations to the Waterford division, now renamed the Bureau of Business Practice. BBP expanded their scope to a wide array of business and organizational categories, all focused on employee, supervisory, and management training. Products included newsletters, books, videotapes, posters, and training services. Notable publications from the BBP include Payroll Manager's Letter, Fair Employment Practices Guidelines, Labor Relations Bulletin, Office Guide, and Creative Secretary's Letter. Annual sales rose from $1 million in 1960 to $40 million in 1985, when the conglomerate that would become Paramount Communications acquired Prentice Hall. Paramount soon began divesting itself of its non-entertainment-related properties, and it sold Prentice Hall to Viacom. Viacom sold the Professional Information Group, of which BBP was a part, to Hicks Muse, which in turn sold it to Wolters Kluwer in June 1999. Aspen Publishers, a part of Wolters Kluwer International, acquired BBP in 1999. The BBP branch of Aspen Publishers in Waterford, Connecticut, closed in August 2003, although Aspen Publishers is still in existence, with headquarters in New York City.