- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 19, 2003

Chris McAndrews is heading up the interactive side of the National Geographic Society, a D.C. nonprofit educational organization.

Mr. McAndrews, 39, joined the organization as general manager and senior vice president for advertising sales of the Web site, www.nationalgeographic.com, which attracts 45 million visitors monthly.

The main challenge of the job is ensuring that each aspect of the organization, such as the magazine, television channel, maps and photography, gets equal play on the site.

“It’s not a matter of making dramatically different goals from the organization’s mission, but applying my own background in Web design to enhance the site’s content delivery,” he said. “The biggest take-away to me is how many resources there are to work with here,” including a 30-member Web division staff.

Mr. McAndrews moved to the East Coast after working at the San Francisco office of Travelocity, a Sabre Holdings company that provides online travel services. At Travelocity, Mr. McAndrews was the senior vice president for leisure travel and partner marketing and general manager for the office.

The career move “enabled me to continue working in the area of interactive media and promote travel and exploration, which are my personal interests,” he said.

Dennis Patrick, president and chief executive officer of National Geographic, said he picked Mr. McAndrews because of his “strong background” in general management and sales in the online industry, “which we feel make him uniquely well-suited to take the Web site to the next level of success.”

“We see our Web site, on par with our other various business units, as a key component of our overall business strategy,” Mr. Patrick said.

Mr. McAndrews is now meeting with the directors of National Geographic’s other divisions to fully understand what material should be emphasized on the Web site, noting that interactive media change about every three months.

“Eight million people read the National Geographic magazine, so I want to be sure that what we do on the Web supports the magazine’s efforts to get new subscriptions,” he said.

Mr. McAndrews lives in Potomac with his wife, Tamara, and their three children.

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