John Hernan, a construction advertising sales executive whose West Coast-based career at Engineering News-Record and its parent firm McGraw-Hill Corp. spanned more than 44 years, died on Dec. 19 in California of melanoma-induced cancer. He was 85.


Hernan began his ENR career in 1960 and soon became one of its most prolific and successful sales executives. At his retirement in 2004, McGraw-Hill Construction Group Publisher Jay McGraw said he was “one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable members of our advertising sales team.” John Bodrozic, president of Meridian Systems, a Folsom, Calif., project management software firm, recalls Hernan’s guidance at the company’s startup in the mid-1990s. “John taught me many of the ropes in understanding marketing and advertising,” he says. John Geffel, general manager of Sage Software, an Irvine, Calif., construction software firm, says the ENR sales manager was “a man true to his word and a man whose words were always true."

Before joining ENR, Hernan was an ad sales manager for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. He earned a business degree from Stanford University after Army service in World War II. A public memorial service for Hernan is set for Jan. 17 at 12:30 p.m. at St. Hilary’s Church in Belvedere, Calif., a San Francisco suburb. Donations can be made to the Society of St. Vincent DePaul in San Rafael, Calif.