Hi. My Name is Don Henninger.

Hello. My name is Don Henninger.

Actually, most of you already know that and probably are wondering why I opened that way today.

Here’s the reason: I did not want to write a good-bye column when it came down to my final installment. Instead I wanted to make it a hello column because as I end one chapter here at the Business Journal, I am about to begin a new one going solo. Hello is for the new one.

This column ends a string of 884 straight that have run over my 17-year tenure. Never missed a week. After a few years into it, it became a “thing” for me – keep the string going. Some would say 884 weeks without a miss is obsessive. I prefer to think of it as a solid work ethic.

But here’s why I really did it. It was my strongest link with you as fellow business people and leaders. I took that relationship seriously.

Like you, I’ve been slugging it out in the business trenches for a long time now, working hard to keep the top line healthy and the margins over goal; experiencing the joys and challenges of managing and leading a team of passionate professionals; coping with a sluggish economy in a time of rapid changes in technologies and demographics; looking for ways to tweak and reinvent our business and develop new products to ensure the runway ahead is a long and prosperous one.

You know, having fun.

In addition to running this enterprise, I’ve had a front row seat on what I think is one of the most attractive business destinations in the country.

I’ve seen the Phoenix economy diversify and expand, and while it’s still heavily reliant on growth it’s now more balanced by technology manufacturing, health care, bio sciences and education. Rapid pace growth will return in the years ahead. The economy will be better positioned to take advantage.

I’ve been privileged to work with scores of talented leaders in the community and been humbled to see the amazing work so many more are doing. Our region is blessed with solid leaders on all fronts. When private sector leaders here put their minds to it, amazing things can happen.

I’ve witnessed the resurgence of downtown Phoenix into a strong heart of the region’s economy.

All these things give me a solid boost of optimism as I begin a new chapter as an entrepreneur, looking to work with businesses and groups with common values in ways to help them reach new levels of success.

The future of the Phoenix region is bright indeed. And I’m looking forward to working with you, my friends, to make our region shine.

You can connect with me at dhenninger99@gmail.com or 480-650-2025.

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