I believe this is my fifth or sixth publisher’s column, and sadly, this one will be my last. A month ago, I accepted the position of publisher of Architectural Record, the iconic 124-year-old publication read by over 93,000 architects around the world, and SNAP, our bi-monthly publication for Architectural News and Products. It is a dream job for me, since I was raised in a house where two magazines were a constant on our family’s coffee table – Architectural Record and The New Yorker. My mom never missed an issue of the latter, and my father’s current subscription to Architectural Record started in 1950.

When BNP bought Architectural Record, SNAP and Engineering News Record (ENR), I thought that if I were to ever make a change and leave Stone World and my other publications, this would be the time to do it. While I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life, and already neck-deep in my new publications, I have mixed emotions.

Essentially, Stone World is where I started and where I grew up. During my early years, traveling everywhere I could find a stone fair, I was able to see the world like few of my peers. I also saw the industry evolve, as the demand for stone in the U.S. and worldwide grew rapidly.

I was lucky enough to be at the helm of Stone World for some great years of growth, but also endured the recession that started in 2008, from which we are finally recovering. I made some incredible friends here, and I hope to remain close with many of them; in fact, I know I will. One that stands out is one we lost — our editor for much of my tenure here, Michael Reis, who died suddenly in 2014, a loss we are all still grappling with, professionally and personally.

My staff has been amazing, and is more than a little responsible for my success. Jennifer Adams, our editor, has ensured that Stone World has not missed a beat since we lost Michael. She is supported by young editors that represent our future — Jason Kamery, Heather Fiore and Sara Garafalo. My sales team of Janelle Minghine, Steve Smith and Dee Wakefield have been so great to work with and a huge reason we have fared so well. I can’t name them all, but everyone that I worked with knows that I could not have lasted this long without them. My successor, Larry Bagan, will work with all of you and lead the magazine to great places, I’m sure.

With my last words, I want to comment on something that is truly exciting in our industry. We are seeing something happening in our world that people were talking about when I first started, and probably even before that. The two largest national associations for the stone industry, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Building Stone Institute (BSI), have entered into a period of cooperation, with the hope of merging the associations after a trial period of two years.

After so many years of the industry calling for collaboration, this really is a big deal. Each organization brings so much to the table and can complement the others’ strengths. We have been publishing the Building Stone Magazine for a few years now, and it is something we are all extremely proud of, as well as our collaborations with the MIA on our Stone Industry Education series, their Annual Membership Directory and so many other projects. They have all been successful, and most of all, enjoyable. Jim Hieb and Jane Bennett will now make a great team, and hopefully lead one powerful voice and accomplish great things for this industry. 

I may no longer be with Stone World, but it will remain with me for the rest of my life. Thanks for the ride, everyone.