The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), recently announced a series of changes to its United States business organization designed to accelerate growth and efficiency. Suzanne Grimes, currently President, Food & Entertaining, was named President of a new division called “U.S. Affinities” that will comprise her present division plus the Home & Garden affinity. Alyce Alston, currently President, Home & Garden and Health & Wellness, was named President, “Emerging Businesses,” a new division responsible for developing and launching new businesses throughout RDA. “Reader’s Digest Community,” a division focused on growing and nurturing the Reader’s Digest brand, magazine and related products, will continue to be led by Eva Dillon, President, apart from the affinity structure. Mary G. Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer, said the changes are designed to build upon gains achieved since the company first adopted a U.S. affinity structure in 2007 that enabled it to leverage similar businesses, building multi-platform communities of consumers around the content of leading brands. Berner said the structure has helped the company grow advertising market share and build customer communities, strengthening relations with both consumers and advertisers. “These new moves are intended to enable us to bring our U.S. affinities closer together under one organization to drive growth and efficiency, as well as enhance collaboration, effectiveness and best practices among the various teams,” said Berner. “Going forward, a single organization will lead and support our U.S. affinity businesses, building around brands like, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Taste of Home, Birds & Blooms, and The Family Handyman. A single leadership team will also oversee advertising and the establishment of strong division-wide, customer-focused marketing programs.” At the same time, Berner said that RDA plans to more aggressively pursue growth initiatives, thereby creating greater opportunity for new business development, hence the increased focus on this area. “The new Emerging Businesses division led by Alyce Alston will create, test and grow new businesses from incubation to launch. This team – in keeping with our goal to create content that consumers receive how, when and in what form they want – will create content for use in all RDA channels and platforms,” Berner said.