Jun 3, 201309:09 AMAfter Hours
with Jody Glynn Patrick
It was the best of times, it is the best of times
(page 1 of 2)
When you next see Jon Konarske (or meet him), give my friend a hearty handshake in congratulations for his promotion from associate publisher to managing publisher of In Business magazine!
I could not be more excited and proud to announce in this column that I am moving into the role of publisher emeritus, which means I am transitioning this very week into full-time employment in my own company, Glynn Patrick and Associates, LLC, which specializes in 360-degree business consulting. I’m also thrilled to announce that IB has become a primary client; I will have the opportunity to work with Jon on the projects he would like to see completed to further his new vision of the magazine.
I’m excited and proud, because of my maternal leanings toward Jon, having worked with the young man for 10 years; let me also add “happy” and “delighted,” as it was my plan and timetable that put us in this very spot at this very time.
It’s funny, after 17 years, to officially be stepping down from the top spot on the masthead at about the very time some of you finally figured out I WAS the publisher! I’ve often been introduced as the editor, and I’m quick to correct that misconception – not because the publisher HIRES the editors (true) but because my longtime (25-year) friend and colleague Joseph Vanden Plas does such a wonderful job as editorial director, and I don’t want to even inadvertently put his work in shadow. I worked with Joe in Milwaukee for a newspaper chain, and then asked him to join me in the Chicago market, where we published over a dozen suburban weekly papers together (16, actually), before I convinced him to resettle one last time at IB when I took the job in Madison. He is a true heart friend and always will be.
The publisher is the general manager of the day-to-day business while also working in his or her area of expertise. My expertise is business and journalism, and Jon’s comfort zone is sales and business, which is why we’ve always worked so well together. Knowing how important that balance is, I’m also over-the-moon happy to announce that Alan Sanderfoot is moving from his role of creative director of IB into the office that Jon is vacating to take my office. He is assuming the responsibilities of associate publisher, so here’s a round of applause for him as well. Alan brings years of editorial and event expertise, as well as graphic supervisory skills, to the mix. I respect his skills immensely and have purposely brought him into all editorial discussions this past year to prepare him for this role at IB.
If this seems fast to you, let me assure you that I’ve been working on a succession plan since my first day at IB, and if you are leading an organization, I’d suggest that you also be on the lookout for that special blend of talent that you think could perhaps take the organization even further than you might. I sampled and tested candidates (unbeknownst to them, though I confided my plan to Bill Haight) throughout my time at IB, and a couple of years ago formally announced to all of our staff that I was embarking on a two-year mentoring plan to transition Jon Konarske into my job.
Since then, Jon’s really been thrown into the business side of things. Sometimes I felt like I was holding his head underwater because he had a lot on his plate already, but I knew it was imperative that he learn how to do our larger annual budget, SWOT analysis, cash-flow analysis, and that he could figure staff distribution formulas and master the imprecise art of pricing products. A year or so ago I handed over supervision of accounts payable and accounts receivable, and he’s been invited to editorial board meetings and been part of every discussion and planning session for new products.
I would credit Jon, in fact, for launching our IB Expo product with Jessica Hamm, our events manager. He did the strategic planning and pricing and marketing plan for the new product and Jessica brought it all together. She is a real pro and I know she’ll continue to be a great asset to Jon, as she was to me.
I have loved leading In Business magazine. However, I have always been honest that I’ve left some of the best jobs in the United States – including managing the Chicago Ronald McDonald House, serving as a police crisis interventionist, leading a child abuse investigation department, and others – to do the next best job. I’ve lived in Denver and Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Chicago – traveled much farther than a little girl raised in Macomb, Ill. might have dreamed. Except I did dream it and did do it.