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Director of Product Advancement

Job Details

Full Time
4 Year Degree
$66,746.00 - $84,192.00 Salary/year


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH), located in Louisville, KY, has a 165-year history of adapting educational materials and providing services that have successfully leveled the playing field for U.S. students in the classroom, and enhanced independent living for adults.  Now, APH seeks to meet the challenges and barriers that people who are blind or experience low vision encounter in a rapidly changing world, and expand its reach globally, serving all people with vision loss across their lifespan.  APH aims to make a swift and significant positive impact on the currently less than desirable outcomes on employment, income, housing, education, and other issues that contribute to an unequitable quality of life for the population we serve.  To this end, APH’s vision is “an accessible world, with opportunity for everyone.”


To help achieve this vision, APH is hiring for the Director of Product Advancement to ensure the ongoing success of the most inclusive and impactful products in our catalog.  This key leader reports to the Senior Director of Product Operations and Customer Analytics, and supports the Product Advancement team in their efforts to assure that our established products continue to meet their mission and business goals through needed product modification, monitoring relevancy and quality, managing partnerships, balancing inventory, and responding to the feedback of our customers who are babies, students, and adults who are blind and visually impaired, and the professionals who support them.


This position requires a professional with the right mix of relevant experience and skills; an ability to flex between strategic, business, and mission-focused decisions; the ability to negotiate and find win-win compromise; and a high level of energy to accomplish tasks in a fast-paced, high-growth, cross-team development environment.  He/she/they must exhibit(s) the APH core values of respect, growth, and innovation in all aspects of work.



  • Manage a product portfolio of hundreds of successful APH products.  Oversee the Product Development Modification (PDM) Process and assure that all established and performing products at APH are kept modern and current in accordance with appropriate processes and procedures, with an eye on cost-control, inclusivity, contract management, relevance, and marketing.  Manage the product pipeline, budget, and timeline to ensure adequate resources, timely launch dates, and other required goals.
  • Experiment with new processes and technologies to increase efficiency and to reduce development time and product costs.
  • Supervise a team of product managers and product specialists, working collaboratively with staff from other departments within APH.  Support their ongoing professional development and team-building skills.  Maintain a vibrant team atmosphere that fosters creative thinking and collaboration in a hybrid work environment.
  • Create and maintain dashboards and other reporting elements to effectively communicate with APH leadership, staff, and other key stakeholders on project status and roadblocks.
  • Manage the Obsolescence committee and process for identifying products that have appropriately reached the end of their lifecycle and a system for managing remaining inventory and communicating with customers.  Work with manufacturing to balance inventory management.
  • Develop and implement plans for appropriate product safety and certifications and the internationalization of proven APH products as identified through marketing strategies.
  • Oversee the business of the department, including the annual budget, financial reports, activity reports, contract review and approvals, leadership meetings, and reports to funders including the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Help teams define and attain sales and business through the product maturity and sunset stages of the product lifecycle; develop an annual sales strategy for these products.  Analyze ongoing sales information and trends to inform product strategy.  Work closely with the Social Enterprise and Communications and Engagement departments to define sales and marketing plans annually.
  • Network and develop relationships and partnerships with field partners, teachers, vendors, experts, and the U.S. Department of Education.  Build and encourage relationships with customers.
  • Recommend relevant products for modification through the PIC process.
  • Oversee and grow the Tests and Assessments program at APH through appropriate field partnerships.  Develop measures of success for the program.
  • Represent APH through webinars, attendance, and presentations at conferences, networking events, etc.
  • Effectively apply established methodology and enforce project standards utilizing established product management governance and related tools to ensure we have the most innovative, universally designed quality products.
  • Ensure compliance with all external review expectations, including management of the annual Department of Education GPRA requirements.
  • Work closely with Ex-Officio Trustees and the Trustee Advisory Committee and review information from customer service, surveys, and other sources to ensure processes and products continue to meet the needs of blind or visually impaired students throughout the United States and its territories.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Education, Information Technology, or related field.  Master’s degree preferred.
  • 5+ years’ relevant work experience in Product, Project, Publishing, Customer Service, Business, or Program Management or a combination of these areas and/or other related experience.
  • 3+ years’ work experience in the field of blindness and visual impairment or related field and a familiarity with the APH product line.
  • Solid general management capability with skills in the following areas: strategy, operational management, finance, collaboration, and innovation.
  • Strong leadership qualities and organizational skills.
  • Independent judgement and mature decision-making skills to deal with situations that have significant financial, mission, and compliance impacts.
  • Understanding and/or willingness to learn of project management techniques, methodologies, and best practices.  Knowledge of Agile/Scrum/Lean/NPD principles and practices also preferred.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills and ability to communicate technical, business, and mission issues in support of strategic goals.
  • Demonstrated leadership and management experience in team environment.
  • Experience working with vendor partners, government partners, and meeting government requirements.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Knowledge of accessibility practices.
  • Willingness to travel 2–4 weeks annually.



$66,746 - $84,192

To apply, click here.  If you have trouble accessing the application through Paycom, please contact Ryan Ward at


APH IS A DRUG FREE WORKPLACE.   An offer of employment is conditioned upon successfully passing a drug screening test.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, place of birth, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability or protected veteran status. EOE/AA/M/F/Vet/Disability Employer