This month marks our 31st anniversary. I’m proud to say it’s been an honor serving you, our loyal readers and advertisers, over the years. Anniversaries are a good time to look forward, even when there are some uncertainties, but also the perfect time to reflect. I, for one, can look back with the satisfaction of knowing I’m not living in the past, but rather valuing its contribution to the present and to the future.
I can clearly remember our first issue as if it were just yesterday. I have several favorite covers and articles at my fingertips to remind me of the importance of surrounding myself with positive images, stories, and moments that elevate, uplift, and inspire me.
The best part of this journey has been hearing from so many of you. I love it when you write or call to tell us how much you appreciate the work we’re doing. But truly, it’s you we must thank for the many years you’ve supported and celebrated with us. The stories you’ve shared, the questions you’ve asked, and the impact we’ve been able to make collectively is astonishing. I’ve learned so much!
When we agreed to highlight 31 People to Know, everyone’s first thought was of legendary heroes. Unfortunately, far too often, community and business leaders who make the biggest difference often get overlooked. Even if they get due credit in their industries, they don’t receive all the recognition they deserve. Meet 31 outstanding individuals everyone should know, starting on page 8.
Every October, you’re likely to see a wealth of information come out about breast cancer – and that’s a good thing. Awareness surrounding breast cancer is incredibly important, as early detection, often through screening, can catch the disease when it’s most treatable. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women with the exception of skin cancer. The average risk of a woman in the U.S. developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12 percent, or a 1-in-8 possibility. That’s way too high to leave to chance. Read about Breast Cancer Awareness on page 26.
Since I started this magazine, I’ve kept a quote on my computer that reads “Change is the only evidence of life.” As I would look at that quote, I didn’t always take it in. Sure, changes were always happening, but sometimes they were so mild I hardly noticed. Then there were days when change would smack me right between the eyes. Sometimes it was too much to figure out, but I do know that in life, nothing ever stays the same.
Today, I realize that change provides the punctuating moments in our lives. This letter, my last to you, is one of those times. The day our fall issue goes to print marks the day when it’s time to take the next step forward into my new chapter.
I launched this magazine in October 1991 with the goal of creating a publication that surpassed other community and regional products. We envisioned success as the creation of a magazine that was not only readable, enjoyable, and connected to our local communities, but also one that would help build local businesses. We believe we’ve done that, to the best of our abilities.
It’s been a phenomenal privilege to be part of our communities where business people lead by example. I hold all of them in the highest regard, and I’m honored to call many of them my friends.
Success is always about people, and ours was all due to local business owners, dedicated staff, and, especially, our loyal and passionate readers. It’s because of the support of many visionary and fearless local business owners who advertise in WestCoast magazine that this journey has been possible.
As for the magazine’s team, it’s been like a family. We’ve shared the joyful times launching the magazine and building it together, celebrated marriages and children, and we’ve dried each other’s tears when losses, both professional and personal, entered our lives. Mostly, however, we showed up for each other, our clients, and our readers, to create a magazine that makes us all proud.
Finally, I wish to thank our loyal and passionate readers. It’s because of you that local businesses thrive, including WestCoast magazine.
As for me, my joy comes from building products and leading teams – a classic entrepreneur. This magazine, along with our local communities, has provided me with joy in immeasurable amounts. I look forward to a world of infinite possibilities for all of us.
Be well and stay safe as you laugh, hug, and love a lot more!