By Joe Sweeney
The final days of the year are always a good time to take stock of where you stand as a business, and that’s as true at Ingram’s as anywhere else. But it’s also a great time to look ahead. The coming year will bring in the magazine’s 40th as the bi-state region’s leading business publication, and our 18th year as owners. It’s been quite a journey. And one that has positioned us for an intriguing adventure in 2014 and beyond.
One of the highlights of producing Ingram’s is our December edition. Each year since 1997, we’ve dedicated the final issue to the subject of philanthropy and the vital role that business plays in making this one of the nation’s most caring, compassionate communities.
I can’t fully express the satisfaction I feel in knowing that, through our association with the Alliance of Area Business Pub-lications throughout North America and our continued efforts over the years to educate and persuade our colleagues to dedicate their own December editions to the subject of philanthropy, roughly 90 of our peer business magazines and weekly business journals have embraced the same practice. We’re proud to have led the charge to help develop this national philanthropic movement.
Our ties to philanthropy have also allowed us to partner with hundreds of organizations with projects like Ingram’s CEOpen Executive Golf Tournament, a fund-raiser that in eight years has generated $550,000 for 32 non-profit organizations in the region. And we’ve been able to rally the entrepreneurship and compassion of the business community in times of crisis, partnering with our good friends at Meara Welch Browne to raise nearly $400,000 and dozens of tons of supplies in relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina and the tornadoes in Greensburg and Joplin.
All of those efforts reinforce our belief that we exist to make a positive difference, and bolster our hopes that we are doing just that.
One way we aspire to make a difference is through our unique series of sector-specific Industry Outlook assemblies. These forums, held nearly every month since 1999, have brought to the table top executive industry leader—often, from competing companies—for discussions about how changes in their industries are creating new opportunities for business. It’s a venue unlike any other, and among our defining achievements as a business publication. Our extensive report on each session (as with the non-profit sector in this edition) allows businesses with related interests to follow the thought leadership in construction, design, banking, law practices, health care and many more vital areas of the regional economy.
None of that would be possible without the support of our loyal advertisers; Ingram’s has been entirely supported financially by the sale of advertising and sponsorships, and we deeply appreciate our patrons’ support that enables us to serve this community.
Now, we look ahead to 2014 with a sense of anticipation over profound change. We’ll soon raise the curtain on our new and enormously improved Ingrams.com, a project that has been inordinately complex and complicated, but one that we believe will set a new standard for local and regional business news and access to valuable data. We know of nothing in the nation like what we’ll soon roll out, and we’re aiming to change the business communications and news paradigm.
We’re confident that readers and users of Ingrams.com will find a new relevance in a reliable brand. Some things won’t change: The printed product will continue to serve as the mother ship, and we’ll aspire to set standards of excellence with our selection of honorees in longstanding recognition programs like 40 Under Forty, Top Doctors, Icons of Education, Best of Business KC, and more.
Because Ingram’s is one of a few locally owned media properties, we’re demonstrably committed to the region and can apply a singular focus to business news, analysis and information. We restored that local ownership in February 1997, just a week after the magazine was sold to an out-of-market conglomerate.
Unlike some national publications and media that impose cookie-cutter operations on wildly diverse markets and business communities, we’re committed—“devoted” is perhaps more appropriate—to this regional business community, and, with our extended reach on-line in particular, to the broader communities throughout Missouri and Kansas.
We hope the business community throughout our region will assist by aligning with Ingram’s and Ingrams.com as well as Destination Missouri and Destination Kansas in 2014 to strengthen the unique programs that Ingram’s Media will bring to this region.
We wish each of our valued readers and advertisers and their families a blessed Christmas and a new year that is both happy and prosperous. Thank you for your consideration to become involved with Ingram’s as we enter our 40th year in serving this great community.
Editor-In-Chief & Publisher