Up Front - The Publisher's Column
A nod to the past - and future
This month’s FLORIDA TREND is bittersweet for me. It is the final issue that our longtime executive editor, Mark Howard, and I are collaborating on. Mark has been an amazing leader of our editorial department for nearly three decades. His many accomplishments, awards and recognitions are a testament to his hard work. Mark’s mastery of his craft has been inspirational.
Over the years, Mark and I have had the pleasure of having conversations with some of the state’s most interesting and influential leaders in business and government. Mark’s rapport with these leaders who help to shape Florida allowed our discussions to be open, respectful and meaningful.
One of my greatest takeaways from Mark is his remarkable power of listening. He has an amazing knack for asking smart, pointed questions — and then just sitting back and listening. In today’s world, too many people get caught up with trying to prove that they are the smartest person in the room by talking constantly — and never truly listening. Mark would say, “David, we are fortunate in our careers. We’ve earned our positions. We have no reason to have to prove ourselves to anyone. These executive conversations are opportunities for us to listen and learn.” I carry those words from Mark into all my meetings.
Just about everyone who meets Mark is impressed. He is one of the smartest, kindest and most genuine individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’m honored to call him a friend.
FLORIDA TREND’S success and editorial integrity are due to the efforts of Mark Howard.
I feel confident saying on behalf of Florida Trend readers, Mark’s peers across the state and our magazine’s staff, that we all wish him a wonderful, fulfilling and much-deserved retirement. Be sure to read Mark’s last column on page 100.
As we move forward, our editorial operations are in very good hands. Vickie Chachere, our new executive editor, has been working with Mark for the past three months to ensure a smooth transition upon his retirement. Vickie is an accomplished journalist and leader in her own right, bringing immense knowledge, sensibility and expertise to her new role. Having spent her entire career in Florida, Vickie knows the state well. She has also been an avid reader of Florida Trend for more than 25 years.
In addition to Vickie, the depth of editorial talent is impressive. John Annunziata, our managing editor, has been helping to lead our editorial team and its operations for more than 20 years. Our full-time staff writers — namely Mike Vogel, Amy Keller and Art Levy — have been with us for a combined 50 years — an impressive and well-respected group with an incredible amount of institutional knowledge.
I could not be more excited about the prospects for Florida Trend. It is well-positioned for continued growth. Our foundation could not be stronger, and our mission to keep you informed is stronger than ever.