June 1986. Thirty years ago, the first issue of Women’s Edition premiered in Omaha. What an experience this has been! I am so very fortunate to have had this incredible ride.
My late husband, Jim, and I started the magazine to help small business owners connect to you, our readers. Back then, statistics indicated that women made or influenced 80 percent of all buying decisions in this country. Thirty years later, the percentage has risen to 85 percent.
I have shared my life in this column with you, our readers, every single month. You have read about my kids (Carissa is now 37 and Adam is 25) and about the passing of my parents, my in-laws, and, of course, Jim. I meet people who at first seem to be complete strangers, who come and ask me about my kids and grandkids, like an old friend might. It is an amazing connection with you. I feel so very fortunate to have had this opportunity for you to have allowed me into your lives.
Roxy Orr, my Operations Manager, has been here for 28 of those 30 years. She is a rock! We have helped each other through the challenging times, and we have celebrated in the good times. Erin Lanza, my Art and Editorial Director, has been with me for 12 years. She is amazing. Roxy and Erin are the “old timers” at Women’s Edition. Thank you both so very much for all you do each and every day. Monica Davis, Michaela Wolf, and Liz Huett are the “newbies,” but they are fitting in great. A huge thank you goes out to all of you. I am so fortunate to have a group of strong women who occasionally disagree and who all know how to hold their own. My daughter, Carissa, played a huge role in all of this, as well. She has moved on to create her own identity with another company, but I couldn’t have done it without her help for 14 years.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of our advertisers and our readers. Our advertisers make it possible to print Women’s Edition every single month. You, the readers, pick us up every month and respond to the advertisers’ goal of connecting with you all. I wish I could personally shake the hand of every single one of you. From the bottom of my heart, I want to express my gratitude to you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thirty years is a big deal. Wow! Erin thought it would be fun to put pictures of the group as we looked 30 years ago. Check us out on page 4.
Onto our fourth decade! Love you all. We’ll talk next month.