Anniversaries are made for this

Twenty years… Twenty years?! I can’t believe we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of our Top 50 CEO awards. I can still remember the day Tonia, my daughter and our VP of National Sales, suggested we do something to honour Atlantic Canada’s corporate leaders. We talked it over with our new editor, Dawn Chafe, and she suggested we integrate a trend she’d observed among regional top performers: their commitment to giving back to the community. We filled in a few more pieces, put out a call for nominations in the Globe & Mail (remember when we could still get them here?) and just like that—Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO awards were born.

I know we had our doubters… people who didn’t think it would last more than a single issue. But we believed in it and it grew, from that first modest magazine to what is now a stellar regional recognition program.

I just finished reading P.J. Naworynski’s book, Against All Odds.  It’s about Canada winning the hockey gold medal at the 1946 Olympics and all the obstacles that they had to overcome. This team had to be put together in less than three months and no one believed they’d be able to put a competitive team on the ice. But they did it. It was much the same way when we launched Atlantic Business Magazine itself, incidentally celebrating its 30th anniversary in January. We were almost seven years into our publishing journey before our naysayers started to believe we might know what we were doing.

But just as there have been naysayers, so too have there been champions. Air Canada has been a long-time supporter, inviting us to share our magazines with visitors to their Maple Leaf executive lounges throughout North America, Europe and Asia. So too, have major hotels in Atlantic Canada considered us an added value for their guests and welcomed us into their rooms. And there have been loyal advertisers as well—marketing partners who have consistently trusted us because of the quality of our product and its ability to cost-effectively deliver their messages to the largest audience of business readers in the region. Last and foremost are our most vocal champions: our readers. Your insatiable appetite for regional business stories inspires us to do better, each and every issue. Thanks to all who have believed in us.

In that spirit of gratitude, I’d also like to thank everyone who contributed to this year’s Top 50 CEO edition. To the sponsors and our judges: the value of your support cannot be overstated. Also, sincerest gratitude and most heartfelt congratulations to our award winners… we are honoured you entrusted us with your stories. Thanks as well to our hardworking team for pulling together and making this publication something to be proud of. I don’t know how you do it, but you always manage to pull it off.
When you’ve been around as long as I have, you get to see trends come and go. Thirty years ago, people said Atlantic Business Magazine didn’t have a future. Twenty years ago, they said the Top 50 CEO awards would never last. Today, I hear the naysayers, particularly digital markers (no conflict there, I’m sure), advising their clients that print is on the decline and that they should spend their marketing money elsewhere. My rebuttal to those naysayers today is the same as it was years ago: There will always be an audience for high quality print magazines with strong, award-winning content. We’re here for the long haul. See you in another 10 years.

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