April 16, 2014

Up Front

Florida Pride

Bruce Faulmann | 5/1/2009
Being a Floridian has always been an enormous source of pride for me. I was born in Detroit, and like many from that part of the country, my family found every opportunity to make the two-day drive south on I-75 to escape the cold, snow and overcast skies of Michigan for a week or two in the warmth of Florida’s glorious sunshine and blues skies.

Bruce Faulmann
Bruce Faulmann, Publisher
[Photo: Mark Wemple]
After several years of vacationing here, my family made the decision to move to Anna Maria Island, truly one of Florida’s greatest treasures. Life on the island for a 9-year-old boy was absolute paradise. Even as a youngster, I realized how fortunate I was to live every day in a place visitors spent thousands of dollars to experience. In fact, those visitors were my first source of self-generated income. While kids in other parts of the country were selling lemonade, I had a stand selling sand dollars, seashells and hanging planters made from coconut shells and twine. On a good weekend, I could net $50. Not bad for a kid from the north now sporting a new suntan and bleach blond hair, looking very much like a native island boy.

From that early age, my love of Florida shaped and defined me. Through my college years at Manatee Community College and then at the University of Florida, where I earned a degree in advertising, I never considered leaving the state to pursue a career. Florida was in my soul, and I wanted to be a part of its growth and success.

It was that connection to my community that attracted me to the newspaper business, where I spent 24 years before coming to Florida Trend. During my newspaper years, I was described often by colleagues and customers around the country as “Mr. Florida” because of my constant, passionate promotion of the benefits of doing business in our fabulous state.

So here I am, the new publisher of Florida Trend, one of the country’s best business magazines and a true Florida treasure thanks to the outstanding work of Lynda Keever, my predecessor, Mark Howard, our extremely talented editor, and an amazing and dedicated staff.

For me, being at the helm of Florida Trend is an e-ticket ride (longtime Disney fans will appreciate that comparison), and it is an honor and privilege only six other people have enjoyed over the magazine’s 50-year history. It’s a big job, in a big state with tremendous assets. And even though our state faces many challenges as we navigate this difficult economy, with the support of you, our valued readers and advertisers, I look forward to facing those challenges head-on. As the state’s economy becomes more diversified and less susceptible to economic ups and downs, it is Florida Trend’s mission and responsibility to keep you well-informed, and I commit to you that Florida Trend will continue to be Florida’s most relevant statewide business magazine.

Since coming aboard four months ago, I’ve spent much of my time traveling the state meeting with the people committed to their communities, their businesses and to the state’s success. The purpose of my travel has been to listen to the dialog in each community, learning about the successes, the challenges, the concerns and about the people who are making a difference. Those visits will continue on a routine basis throughout my tenure as Florida Trend’s publisher, so that we’ll stay connected to the stories of the communities and the businesses that make up our large and diverse state.

In between visits, I invite you to share your thoughts with our staff and me. I look forward to hearing from you.

— Bruce Faulmann
Publisher

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