“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thirteen years ago when I launched Advantage Publishing, I solicited advice from publishers in other markets. Rick Jacobs, a mentor of mine, told me that each issue is like giving birth — and I laughed it off. Now, after 200 printed issues across several magazines, I realize he was far more accurate than I gave him credit for at the time.
This is the 50th issue of HOME. As we approached the milestone, I reflected on how far we have grown in nine years. Our editor, Jackie Smith, asked me to try and select a few favorite covers or a few favorite stories to highlight. Three months later, my list of favorites is just as long as when I started. How do I pick one over the other? There were some thought-provoking cover stories, some issues that hadn’t been addressed before, some pictures that stood out — but trying to pick one over another was like trying to pick which of your children was your favorite.
Emerson’s quote is spot-on. As in life, this roller coaster ride of publishing is really about the journey. I have learned so much along the way and am as excited about the paths to come as I ever was about the paths we have been on to get here.
Hitting our 50th issue is a sense of achievement and I think there are a number of factors that have made this a reality. HOME has been recognized with 11 awards from the Florida Magazine Association, including three best-in-state Charlie Awards. The awards bring validation to our team’s hard work, yet it is the people on the team itself who make this journey worth taking.
In going back and looking at the mastheads from each of the first 50, I am very fortunate to have worked with some amazing people.
I first want to thank my original advisory board: Mitch Glaeser, Jessica McKinney (then Pastore), Lori Willis, Melanie Shore, Andrew Rocco and my wife, Jennifer Costello, who spent months with me as we tried to create a publication unlike anything this community had ever seen. I also want to give credit to our incredible current board members who volunteer countless hours of their time, advice and guidance to make sure we keep our finger on the pulse of what our readers want to see.
I must also acknowledge a very loyal group of advertisers from our Building Edge Magazine days, led by Crime Prevention Security Systems, who not only encouraged me to start HOME, they signed up to advertise six months before the first issue ever went to print.
Each and every person that worked for this company helped us become who we are. They are over 100 strong, so I can’t name them all here. I am thankful for all of our HOMEy’s, past and present, that have believed in what we do: showcase the individuals, businesses and non-profits that help make us proud to call Greater Gainesville our HOME.
Our team, our advertising partners, our volunteer columnists, our board members and our readers are all the true success story — you all have made this journey very rewarding for me. I look forward to seeing what the next 50 issues will bring.
Until Next Issue,
Publisher, Advantage Publishing Inc.