In 2005, InterBusiness Issues begins its 16th year of publication. And it was "just" 15 years ago (March 1990) that InterBusiness Issues expanded from an eight-page newsletter to a magazine dedicated to the business professionals in the Peoria area.
One minute, March of 1989 seems like yesterday to me. The next minute, it seems like eons ago.
I do know that the one certainty in that time has been change. The waterfronts have been-and still are being-transformed. Commercial development, particularly the unique businesses imagined and opened by local entrepenurs, is adding an enviable vibrancy to the area. And even more exciting than recalling what's changed in the last 15 years is looking forward to what the next 15 years will bring. Take a mental picture now because you won't recognize a lot of what you see today in 2020.
I do remember 1989 as a time of tempered excitement here. Peoria was named an All-American City. Yet clouds were on the horizon:
- Caterpillar was laying off employees.
- The Civic Center lost $722,000.
- Property values declined.
- A local fire killed nine people.
- The city manager resigned.
- We endured a third straight year of drought.
And if that weren't enough for us to worry about, the national headlines of the year brought us one thought-provoking event after another. Consider this list:
- Exxon Valdez spill.
- Tiananmen Square protests.
- United Airlines crash in Sioux City, Iowa.
- "World Series" earthquake.
- Berlin Wall falls.
Hidden behind those headlines were stories that, looking back on them, maybe deserved more of our attention. I mean events like the first GPS satellite, the first episode of the Simpsons TV show, and the first Nintendo Game Boy.
Through it all, we've brought you monthly insights that we hope have contributed to your professional and personal wellbeing. Our contributors strive to address the key issues you face and provide solutions.
We've been pleased to publish insightful interviews with the top business and civic leaders in the communities. Three Caterpillar chairmen, three Peoria mayors, two East Peoria mayors, a UAW 974 president, our congressman, and even a father and son have shared their backgrounds and visions with you.
Add to that list the presidents of Bradley University, Eureka College, and ICC and the heads of numerous private companies and public entities, and you have a list of people who care about-and contribute to-our community.
Make that a partial list because if there weren't so many more of you in that category, this publication wouldn't have survived. And we've thrived, despite the fact that more than 60 percent of new magazines fold in the first year, and only 18 percent are publishing after 10 years.
For 11 of these past 15 years, InterBusiness Issues has brought you 440 "40 Leaders Under Forty." Through their profiles, you've met the best and the brightest of the area's young leaders. I fully agree with so many of you who've told me that "meeting" those people each year serves as an annual renewal of optimism.
From issue #1 to the present, we've been unabashedly pro-business in the monthly perspective we provided in this Editorial Comment. (See pages 60 and 61 for a quick review of these comments over the years.) We continue to believe that perspective provides the key to our economic vitality and quality of life.
This area-like all of our businesses-has taken twists and turns that couldn't have been imagined 15 years ago. But through it all, together we've endured, survived, and prospered. Keep watching, as we'll unveil more than our new look in 2005.
Here's to another rewarding 15 years for all of us. IBI