School’s In, School’s Out
Another year, another CEDIA EXPO on the way.
Where has the time gone? It seems like this show has been around forever, but in fact it started only 17 years ago, from the humblest of beginnings. Today, it’s one of the largest trade shows in America, and a fact of life for the tens of thousands of people involved in the custom electronics industry. Its phenomenal growth has led to the creation of a second annual show, to kick off next April in Las Vegas.
Most of us now have experienced Denver as host once, and hopefully the kinks will be ironed out and we’ll all know where to head at night to get some decent grub and possibly (probably?) tie one on.
I’m here to tell you, though, that you don’t need to wait until you touch down in Denver to get some education. The issue you hold in your hands would very much like to school you. Take a look at our “Points of View” columnists on page 10; they have strategies for you on employee and customer relations, marketing your expertise, writing contracts and managing risk. Heck, Ira Friedman—the best columnist in the business, for my money—begins a year-long series that outlines a whole new way for you to do business.
It’s been real…and so have you
I’m wrapping up my final issue of CustomRetailer, and this column is my final task. I’ve decided to take a calculated risk (Frank Sterns’ column on page 34 was a big help in this regard)—I’m making a career change and moving into the world of public relations and marketing. My significant other Betsy and I are packing our bags and moving from the hustle and bustle of our beloved and native Philly to the, um, not-so hustle-and-bustle of southern Rhode Island.
The good part is that at the end of the road awaits the opportunity to join my friends—and now colleagues—at Caster Communications, a PR firm that has distinguished itself over the last decade representing some of the best brands in the custom business. I’ll still be attending CEDIA, CES, EHX and lots of other industry events; I’ll just be seeing our world through a different lens.
I’ll miss putting this magazine together every month, and I’ll really miss writing this column. I have been truly honored and privileged to make these monthly attempts to serve you, to perhaps provide a fresh perspective on things, to tackle the issues that face our industry in thoughtful and provocative ways. Everything I’ve done here during my tenure ultimately has put you, the reader, front and center. I respect the hell out of all of you, because as small businesspeople, as entrepreneurs, as experts and as innovators, you are the true embodiment of the American Dream in an America where the dream has died for so many. The continued growth and vitality of this industry is truly inspiring.
Over the course of my two-plus years at the helm of CustomRetailer, I’ve worked with and learned from some great people: my former publisher, the late Bruce Jacobs, and my current publisher, Carol Campbell; our New York Editor, Nancy Klosek, the kindest person on earth and someone who’s forgotten more about the industry than I’ll ever know; Brian Ploskina, my managing editor, who likewise will soon be moving on, in his case to the world of education, which will be better for it; Senior Editor Audrey Gray, a true journalist in every sense of the word; and my esteemed predecessor and the guy who convinced me to take this gig, Ron Goldberg. Above all, I’ll miss working with my trusted art director, Al Gaspari—not just for his incredible professionalism, vision and talent, but for the countless belly laughs we’ve shared on all of those late nights and early mornings doing what we love to do: making magazines.
I’d very much like to stay in touch with all of the friends and acquaintances I’ve made in this industry. You can reach me at my not-so-intuitive personal
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve your interests. It has been an absolute blast, and I sincerely wish you all the best.
And, of course, the beat goes on at CustomRetailer! Stay tuned for our blockbuster CEDIA issue next month! CR