It was the best of times, it is the best of times

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.

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Now my dream is to help you take your businesses to their best potential, enlisting the help of other professionals whom I’ve met in Madison and so admire – people like Barbara Hernandez and Anita Matcha, and others who this week are actually becoming part of Glynn Patrick and ASSOCIATES at the same time they will continue to lead their own successful businesses. Without crossing too wide a line, let me add that TDS has signed on with GP&A for a corporate communications project, and I’ve been asked to do executive coaching for an area CEO and to develop a business growth strategy for another client, so I’m really serious about this project. No way am I retiring! Retooling, yes. Retiring – NO!

And, with IB as our key client, let me add that I’ll still be able to pop in and hug Jan Wilson, whom I love as a sister. Carol Hornung’s son is my dog-sitter. Gloria Babcock is the mother of my grandchildren. Tom Breuer is my friend as well as a great writer, and I absolutely love and adore Terri McCarthy and Karen Bosold. Jessica Hamm started at IB in a clerical role and has carved her own spot in the company, with her events and her attention to detail, and in my soul with her laughter and flair for fashion – something I completely lack. I never got to know Carol Shufro as well – she was a later addition to IB and never reported to me – but I admire her work and the joy she brings to IB.

These people are my family. And as Jon takes his place at the head of the (conference) table, I’ll take my place as a lifelong friend of Bill Haight, and we’ll both watch with pride where his company goes next.

This, then, is my last “After Hours” column. You can find the archive and new blogs at Glynn-Patrick.com, where I’m taking up permanent residence, and I’ll continue writing the “Open for Business” blog for IB on Thursdays.

To all of you, thank you for your readership and your support of In Business magazine and the wonderful people who create it for you. I’ll see you at the Dane County Small Business Awards, which I will be emceeing again this year … this time as publisher emeritus, which may actually turn into my favorite role yet.

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