An anniversary is a time of reflection—to look back at past successes and failures and more importantly, to look forward to the future, putting that 20/20 hindsight to good use. It is a time to examine what has worked and what has not, to exploit strengths and shore up weaknesses, a time to strategize and plan accordingly. As a small business owner, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the details of day-to-day operations and lose sight of long-term goals—as they say, it’s often difficult “to see the forest for the trees.”
Every August we observe another anniversary of this magazine, which kickstarted the company that would eventually become Central Illinois Business Publishers. 2007 marks our 18th year of telling the stories of the business community in central Illinois.
The first edition of InterBusiness Issues, published in August of 1989, was a tiny eight-page newsletter. Somehow, with few contacts and no reputation on which to stand, we were able to sell five business card-size ads at $100 each. My late husband and I had no experience in design or production—our first order of business was to go out and purchase an Exacto knife, some graph paper and a bottle of rubber cement! We had never heard of “desktop publishing.”
We couldn’t have known this at the time, but it was an opportune moment to start a new business publication. It arrived at a turning point in Peoria’s history—having just been named an All-American City after emerging from the worst slump in recent economic history. CAT was back, and gloom and doom was giving way to hope and optimism. “Someone did forget to turn the lights out when they left Peoria,” that first editorial said.
Through the years, the business has grown and evolved from its modest beginnings. We’ve embraced the inevitability of change and steered our way through unforeseen difficulties. This year, forced to cope with rising paper costs and a major postage increase, we began to explore our cost-cutting options. That led us to a new printing partner, whose volume and scale will allow us to stabilize our costs while actually improving the quality of our magazines. This issue, we have also made some tweaks to our logo and design. We hope you like the new look.
As always, each August we feature the nomination form for our annual 40 Leaders Under Forty awards—see page 46. This year, we celebrate the 14th anniversary of this exclusive club. The great majority of our 40 Leaders alumni are still in the Peoria area, making our community a better place to live and work. We caught up with five members from the Class of 1998—you can read their stories on page 48.
We appreciate the tremendous support we’ve received from the community over the years, and we look forward to many more! If you have comments or suggestions, please visit us at peoriamagazines.com.