Surprise announcements out of the blue often leave more questions than answers with a lot of assumptions thrown in. Such is the case with my announcement this week that I intend to retire after 14 years as Business Journal publisher.
The first thing a couple people asked me: What’s wrong?
The answer: Not a thing!
I am at the same point as many baby boomers who look behind and see a long road of accomplishments and look ahead and wonder what else may come around. In my case, I am winding up a 37-year newspaper career, the last half of which has been with the Business Journal, which have been the best years of them all.
This is a case of spreading my wings in a new direction while I still have lots of time left to discover new experiences.
People also will shuffle around a bit and look at their feet while they ask, “you’re not dying, are you?” To which I say I most certainly am! Just the same as you. We’re born, we age, we die. I am trusting that my final deadline has not yet been determined. If it has I hope to find a way to miss that deadline, too. I’ve gotten away with a lot of that all these years.
Not dying, then maybe you’re sick? Nonsense! I don’t get sick, (knock on wood), it’s simply not an option. In fact, I’ve had a grand total of one sick day in the past 15 years. I actually think that I’ve had zero but just in case I missed one and the record reflects differently, I’ll stick with that.
And the business and future of the paper, in case you’re wondering, has never been stronger. The staff from top to bottom is outstanding. I will miss them all. The fact that they’re so good is one of the reasons I decided now was the time to go. The strategic direction for the paper and the company overall is exciting and it’s well under way as you can see with the recent evolution we’ve made in design, marketing and digital-first content strategy.
I’ll be hanging around a bit longer while our company identifies my replacement. And I’ll remain solely focused on Business Journal business until the last day I walk out the door.
And then? I have a number of ideas. They center on redefining my role in the business and not-for-profit community in a more personal way. I already have a few ideas, too, and I look forward to sharing more details on them in the months ahead – after I leave the paper.
I have been privileged to have built relationships with so many passionate business, community and political leaders that have been integral in the Valley’s development these past two decades. I love the Valley and look forward to contributing to its continued growth.