At Business Publications Corp., our vision is to be a strong and growing company supporting a strong and growing community, and during these tumultuous times, the community element of that vision is more critical than ever. Parallel to our most important responsibility of keeping our employees, customers and loved ones healthy and safe, I believe leaders like us have a dual responsibility to keep our business healthy to weather all manner of volatility.

In the case of Business Publications Corp., I am grateful that in recent years, caring for our enterprise and considering how we can best support our community included investments in staff, new products, and expanding special events and forums. That bullish attitude contributed to 2019 being the Business Record’s best year ever. Thank you. We believe that the work we have done to bolster our company will help us continue to deliver the news and information about our business, cultural and philanthropic communities you need in the weeks, months and years ahead.

With that set up I’m going to briefly share some good news items.

Let’s start with an area many of you have told us you most value — investing in excellent journalists and staff. As you will be hearing more about from Business Record Publisher Chris Conetzkey, we will be welcoming veteran journalist Michael Crumb to the reporting team. With 25-plus years of experience, his name is likely familiar to many of you; he was a reporter for the Associated Press for 10 years and comes to us from the Ames Tribune, where he was a reporter and editor. You have already provided great feedback about the stellar additions of veteran reporter Kathy Bolten and former Marshalltown Times-Republican Editor Emily Barske. 

Business Publications Corp.’s success has also helped us attract talent in other areas. We are reinvesting gains by adding to our events team and last year welcomed Stacey Thompson, who was an event planner for Kum & Go and the Krause family and worked on high-profile events like Bravo. On the dsm Magazine side, Rachelle Kjellberg joined us from the Iowa Newspaper Association and Emily Schultz came on board as a high-quality digital and print media production leader with experience in markets such as Chicago and New York. Growth and opportunity is also available on the inside as we promoted 10-plus-year team members Sara Brown to director of Business Record sales and BPC events and Shaun Reikena to art director of dsm and our custom publishing division. 

Another thing business leaders recognize is that when we have a group of talented, ambitious employees, they will attract offers from other employers or perhaps wish to expand their experiences beyond what is available. That is the case with Katherine Harrington. Please join me and our entire Business Publications Corp. family in congratulating Katherine on her new position as the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO. We are proud that team members can grow here and use their leadership skills to support the community in new and exciting ways. 

We are going to continue to invest in talent that helps businesses do business better. Thank you for being part of why we are so confident and thank you for supporting our commitment through your readership, advertising and engagement. 

We are here for you and with you as we navigate the challenges ahead. Together, we can continue to support our community and each other, no matter what.