Thanks from the Juneau Empire

Posted: Sunday, January 02, 2011

As we embrace the promise of a new year I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation to a community that has supported the Juneau Empire this past year.  

To our growing number of readers; thank you for your loyalty. Our talented news staff strives every day to provide you with a good variety of informative and entertaining news stories, features and photography as was evidenced by their 22 Excellence in Journalism awards presented to the Empire this past year by the Alaska Press Club. The good work being done is for the benefit of you, our reader, and not for the recognition. It is the passion for their craft which drives the news staff to do such fine work. We thank you for inviting us into your home each day and for the opportunity for us to share the product of our profession.

There’s an old saying in our business … “content is king, but revenue drives the boat.” By taking advantage of the impressive readership and market reach our strong news product provides, our advertisers have an unparalleled opportunity to get their message out to our community. Without the growing support of local business, your Empire would be unable to provide you with the quality and value we offer every day. We are deeply appreciative of our many business partnerships and for the opportunity to help them grow and flourish in Juneau.

While living in Oregon, I witnessed a reader board sign out front of a local diner which read “Stop in for lunch before we both starve.” During the coastal summer travel season this little diner thrives, but throughout the year it relies on local support to stay in business. This small business helps to support community services through the taxes it pays. It employs several local residents, hires high school students and teaches those students about the responsibility of being in the workforce. It is a strong athletic booster at the local high school and is always generous with the local non-profit groups in the community. To me, these were more than just words on a sign, they aptly illustrated what makes up a village.  

In today’s tech-savvy environment, now more than at any point in history, we have a seemingly unending number of choices available to us. The consequences of the buying decisions we make can have a profound effect on the quality of life in our community. We urge you to join us in making a local buying decision whenever possible.   

I also want to extend my thanks to the many vendors and service providers that keep the Empire up and running.  We appreciate the great service and quick response from elevator repair, electricians, plumbers, health care, barge services, snow plowing, plant care, auto maintenance and repair, utilities, heating fuel, heating and cooling, banking, office and building supplies, technology services, tire shops, equipment rental, hotels, car rental and regional air cargo firms, to name just a few. Thank you.

The year 2010 ushered in a year of change for the Empire, some in the public eye and much behind the scenes aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of our products and operations. I can’t express enough my sincerest gratitude for the work and dedication exhibited by Empire employees. Change can be stressful and filled with uncertainty. Through it all, the employees of the Empire rose to the occasion again and again. I am proud of their exceptional effort throughout the year.  

I must also throw a shout out to the unsung heroes of the newspaper business, our delivery carriers. All of the work from news gathering, sales, graphic illustration, accounting, printing and product assembly would all be for naught without a group of dedicated folks who come in after midnight every day to bring papers out to the homes and business throughout Juneau.  It’s far from glamorous and often anonymous, yet this is a critical part of the operation. Thank you for braving the elements every day to complete the cycle.

For the new year, here is a wish based on oriental lore that in 2011 good taste and refinement will shine on everything and people will acknowledge that persuasion is better than force. We hope for a congenial time in which diplomacy, international relations and politics will be given a front seat again and that we will act with discretion and make reasonable concessions without too much difficulty.

In closing I wish to extend my thanks to a community that welcomed me to Juneau a little over a year ago. The experience has been wonderful for myself and my family. From the very first day I experienced a warmth of community here and have never felt more at home. Here’s to family, good friends and to those we have yet to meet.

Happy New Year!

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