(Shutterstock illustration)

The Marvel of Milestones

Back Commentary Jul 1, 2024 By Winnie Comstock-Carlson

As this magazine celebrates its 35th year of publication with this very issue, I find myself thinking about both the seriousness and the joy of most things in life, while I think about milestones generally.

The seriousness is when we commemorate, rather than celebrate, the anniversary of significant and sometimes tragic events in our history. But on the other side of the ledger are the joyous markers: a wedding anniversary, a birthday, a birth.

Business owners and the leaders of nonprofit organizations know there’s value in recognizing their own anniversaries. It’s a great motivator to continue whatever magic they found along the way. What’s especially significant about our own milestone this month is what has been said from time to time about the supposed “death of the print medium.” Daily newspapers have been the major target of those predictions because they simply can’t deliver the “news” early enough to beat out the digital world. Also, advertisers often look for opportunities for longer-lived advertising options than a daily newspaper can offer. 

At Comstock’s, our goal has never been to deliver immediate news, although we’ve broken news a few times through the years. A newspaper, or the 24/7 news cycle, can tell you what happened; but a magazine like ours can help explain why it happened and perhaps even what’s next.

I believe there are several reasons for the long life Comstock’s has enjoyed to date. 

1. Our readership: you! We have a very targeted audience of business decision-makers and professional and community leaders throughout our region who routinely read us and often display our magazine on the tables in their reception areas. Visibility is a key component to success. 

2. Our engagement with and support of hundreds of community events every year and the inclusion of photos from many of those events in our RSVP pages. We celebrate the success of others. 

3. Our relationships. People are so important in this business and every business. Creating strong relationships of support is key to our success — and everyone’s, really. 

4. Our advertisers. That comes from the relationships we’ve developed over 35 years. Our advertisers have been extremely supportive — they want to reach the same audience we’re targeting, and they believe in Comstock’s and want the magazine to continue publishing — it’s good for their businesses, and it’s good for the region. 

5. Our Editorial Advisory Board made up of 28 highly recognized business leaders in many industry sectors. We meet bi-monthly over lunch, and they consistently provide many ideas, insight and feedback on story ideas and the magazine as a whole. They’re very engaged.

With this letter, I’d like to thank our professional and dedicated team. Judy Farah, our editor, has been outstanding, consistently coming up with a great package of stories for each issue. Her editors, Jennifer Fergesen and Dakota Morlan, work so well together and come up with great concepts, both for stories and graphics for the magazine and also for our digital product, comstocksmag.com. 

A special shout-out to Clayton Blakley, our senior vice president of Business Development. This issue marks Clayton’s 34th year with the magazine; he began working here on our one-year anniversary issue. Clayton is consistently a high revenue producer, and he never lets me down. Ruvi Palafox is our art director. Everything you see in our magazine comes from or goes through her capable and creative hands. Special Sections Editor Jessica Laskey creates a full section or even two each month with well-developed and insightful story content. Kelsey Perez brings visual life to those special sections with her graphic layout and design skills. Valerie Piotrowski, Lisa Bonk and I round out the other members of our advertising sales team. Dayna Dixon creates a huge chunk of the ads you see in Comstock’s — whether they’re the corporate profiles or many of the display ads. Roughly 50 percent of the ads in our magazine are created by Dayna with the help of Andrew Sawdy, who assigns writers and photographers and collects all of the many components that go into each ad. Giovanna Avalos works on our digital product, coordinates our RSVP photo page sections, delivers magazines to newsstands and handles all the details for our several events. Tamara Duarte manages our magazine’s circulation department. Taryn Roberts handles our accounting and finance.

We’re a small team, but a mighty one, and we all love what we do. I thank each and every member of our team, from the bottom of my heart. There are a couple dozen more people who have a hand in Comstock’s, from our many and varied writers to our photographers and graphic-design people, whom I also thank via this letter. 

Thirty-five years is a relatively long time, particularly in our industry. As President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” We believe Comstock’s has been and continues to be well worth the doing. 

Winnie Comstock-Carlson
President and Publisher

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