Up Front - The Publisher's Column
I have had occasion to reflect a bit recently, both personally and professionally. In May, our oldest son, Matthew, proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Sarah. My wife, Jessica, and I could not be happier for them. Matthew and Sarah met in college and graduated together, earning bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management. They each spent time working for five-star hotels in Chicago and Carmel, Calif., before being recruited recently to Asheville, N.C., to join executive teams at the Biltmore Estate. We could not be more proud of their accomplishments and look forward to what the future holds for them.
Our delight in the news of the engagement was doubled by also getting to celebrate the high school graduation of our son Joseph — another extremely proud moment for his mother and me as he walked across the stage. Joey graduated with honors, is a Bright Futures recipient and received a Presidential Scholarship from Florida Gulf Coast University, where he will be attending this fall.
It is rewarding to watch your children grow, learn and find their paths forward. As they open the doors to new opportunities, we parents want to be there to help them if they fall. But we understand that they are now writing their own books, and each new experience is a new chapter.
I had similar reason for reflection recently here at Florida Trend as we celebrated the retirement of Janice Sharp, an esteemed company executive for more than 35 years who oversaw our marketing department. Janice was the fourth department director to retire from Florida Trend in the past year. As difficult as it was for us to say goodbye to our retirees, we as an organization were thrilled for them to begin their next chapters. For so many years (108 years collectively), they helped to build the foundation of today’s Florida Trend. Without their dedication and hard work, the company would not be where it is today — celebrating our 61st anniversary. Quite an impressive accomplishment.
Florida Trend is a unique place. Our average employee tenure is nearly 15 years — many have been here longer. Our employees’ longevity provides Trend with a trove of institutional knowledge; their creativity keeps us stocked with new ideas. Together, the two keep the magazine fresh and generate a store of new digital and print products to engage our readers.
I believe a key part of Florida Trend’s recipe for success has been the respect that we have for one another as co-workers. The industry has not gotten any easier for us, and we all seem to have more on our plates than ever before. But that is also what has made us stronger. We connect and communicate better than ever, with all divisions feeding off one another. All of our moving parts work together and contribute to the company’s overall success.
Florida Trend still has many more chapters ahead. We are excited about the future. We understand our No. 1 responsibility and promise is to stay true to our core mission — providing you with relevant, unbiased content at the highest levels of editorial integrity. All of us — whether veterans or new members of the team — look forward to helping you and your company succeed.
— David Denor, Publisher
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