Mimi Kirsch • Written March 2014
A deep curiosity about the world and a love of art, design and travel converged when Mimi Kirsch entered the world of magazine publishing.
She is the publisher, president and owner of Paradigm Communications Group which publishes the Alaska Airlines Magazine and Horizon Edition Magazine.
Women in her family inspired her. One aunt panned for gold in Alaska. Another's adventures on boats between San Francisco and Shanghai, China in 1929 were documented in travel articles. Her mother's courage in confronting enormous life challenges taught Mimi to never give up.
Kirsch studied psychology and art at Goucher College. She worked in psychiatric research and as a Montessori teacher before being hired as advertising manager at World Publications, publisher of Runners World and six other national sports magazines. There she discovered she loved distance running and "hit her stride."
Publishing was where her passions converged.
She launched Paradigm in 1987 with a vision that focused on customer service. Kirsch credits her strong team for the award-winning work published every month in the in-flight magazines. Paradigm is successful because all Paradigmers understand the marketing goals of the clients and work hard to create great magazines that engage, entertain and inform the onboard passengers. The magazines reflect the quality, integrity and goals of Alaska Air Group and its brands.
Kirsch and her team have been fortunate to have partnered with Alaska Airlines' marketers and CEOs, who through time, have led the hugely successful airlines from 24th largest to 6th largest in the nation this year.
Paradigm's publications have been recognized regionally and nationally with numerous awards for editorial and design excellence. Paradigm received the Seattle Mayor's Small Business Award in 1999 and the Alaskana Award from the Alaska Visitors Association for promoting travel in Alaska.
In addition to building Paradigm, Kirsch has been active in the industry. She was president of the Seattle Advertising Federation 1989-1990, was named "Person of the Year-Magazines" by the AMA and was awarded the American Advertising Federation's top honor, the Silver Medal, in 1993 for contributions to the advertising industry.
Mimi encourages her staff to volunteer in the community and matches their donations to Northwest Harvest. She has volunteered at Shorecrest High School, The Dunn Gardens, the Washington Women's Foundation and the Seattle Children's Theatre, where she served as president of the Board of Trustees. She was named "Volunteer of the Year" by the Alzheimer's Association.
The Seattle Women's Business Owners Association honored Mimi with the Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year 2004 Award and The Puget Sound Business Journal chose her as a 2007 Woman of Influence.
Mimi and her husband have been married 38 years . Their daughter, who works in marketing at Google, is a terrific writer, athlete and the mother of two amazing daughters.