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6 Years in Business Means Many to Thank

Originally published
Originally published: 11/1/2012

It’s Monday morning, and I’m looking out my office window. It’s been raining for three days, and as Hurricane Sandy makes her way up the Eastern seaboard, the weather forecasters say to expect four or five more days of the same, with some high winds and colder temperatures to boot. Sandy isn’t here yet, but I’ve already averted disaster.

Sunday I had gone to the airport to catch a plane to Manhattan for a three-day publishing conference, but 10 minutes before I was to board, I received an email notifying me that the conference had been cancelled. I approached the ticket counter to inform the agent my agenda had changed, so I would not be going on the flight. I requested my luggage be removed from the plane. I remember when I booked the flight, I thought I should take the earliest flight so I could spend the day site seeing, but I settled on a noon flight. Being on that earlier flight would have stranded me in New York for four days with no conference to go to and not much to do since the city had essentially shut down for the storm. I guess I was just lucky. 

Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you make your own luck with hard work, a good plan, and great execution. But as a business owner, you know it’s about a lot more than luck. It’s about the people who help you personally and professionally, and without support from both groups, things would unravel. With that said, it would seem appropriate with this month’s column to give thanks to close friends, family, and business associates who have helped me through the last six years.

My mom and dad have always been in my corner no matter what endeavor or challenge I’ve taken on. Unfortunately, my father passed away about year after HVACR Business was launched, but he helped celebrate the acquisition and our first year in business. And, to this day, my mom still helps with my teenage daughter, Erin, driving to and from tennis, swimming, work and more. Thanks mom.

To Alison and Erin, my daughters, I give thanks for inspiration. Alison a graduate of Miami University with a degree in social entrepreneurship — a natural risk taker and adventurer who has given me the motivation to chase a dream. For the last two years she’s lived and worked in Guatemala until phoning late this summer informing me of a new challenge and opportunity in Jamaica working for the Branson Center, one of Richard Branson’s companies. 

Erin is working her way through high school with an impressive GPA — unlike her father. I’ve tried to interest her in this business by having her work summers for me. When asked if she would have an interest in a job in the publishing business her response was quick: Dad there is no way I want to publish an hvac magazine. I would however, consider selling it and buying a fashion magazine. Maybe you can relate if you have children you are trying to interest in your business.

There are always the behind-the-scenes players who are nearly impossible to thank other than to simply say Thank You. This group is all about action, not rhetoric. Each has helped me personally, and without them, I wouldn’t be in a position to write this column today: Rick Wiedemer, Mike Sherman, and Chris Tjotjos.

And of course there are some who have been front and center, such as Jim McDermott and Ron Smith, who were instrumental in the strategy, design, and launch of this publication and to this day are still close advisers. Jim and Ron, thank you for all of your advice and support.

Internally, there’s Barb Kerr, who wears many hats at this company. But without question, the most challenging one is trying to keep me organized, and on schedule. Barb, thank you. Just remember that as a return gift, I’ve forced you to become a more patient person. 

Tonya Vinas and Heather Onorati have our brought our editorial product to a new level. You, our readers, have judged it to be the best in the business. As a result, I spend time tying to improve other parts of our business not running nearly as well.

Working closely with them is Megan Lasalla our designer and artist. Meg likes to say, “I want this layout to be pretty.” Assuming Erin moves forward with that fashion magazine, Megan should be her first phone call.  I know all of you will agree there isn’t a better-looking B2B magazine in the market. Thanks Meg.

There are literally hundreds of others to thank. But just as it starts during those Oscar speeches, the music is playing, so I have to conclude. I’m thankful for all of the people in my life. I’m just in a unique position to thank some of them here today. 

It’s that time of year, so take the time to let people know how much you appreciate them and thank them for all they do and have done for you.   


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