Editor's Notebook

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Editor's Notebook

An Industry Veteran Returns

Originally published
Originally published: 2/1/2024

I'm unsure if it's deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra once said, but whatever the emotion is, it feels great.

I'm referring to my position as the new editor of HVACR Business magazine. Taking on the responsibility has brought me back to a similar role in an industry that I've enjoyed being part of  for nearly 25 years and in which I have thrived.

I was the editor of two different national HVACR magazines from 1998 to 2017, specializing in the wholesale side. (I was the original editor of HARDI's official magazine.) I loved working in the industry and covering those who made up the wholesaler sector.

Now, I've joined their cousins, the contractors. Those previous magazines and  HVACR Business have a common thread that is inescapable. They were business publications that swam in HVACR waters. 

One reason I decided to return is HVACR Business' publisher Terry Tanker. I've known him for more than a decade, and we would meet occasionally at HARDI conferences. We were mild competitors, but our conversations were easygoing and friendly, maybe because I actually read what Terry wrote. He seemed a bit surprised when I once told him that he wrote pretty well for a publisher. (I'm not suggesting publishers can't write, but his style had flair and a practical insight that I enjoyed.)

Anyone with an ounce of brains looks at an organization's top before joining. I didn't have to think long or hard with Terry at the helm. When the opportunity arose, I grabbed it.

Unsurprisingly, I reviewed the editorial mission of HVACR Business before I took on this new role. Its founders intended to "Become the best management resource in the HVACR industry for the thing every business leader holds most dear … their business." This idea should be reasonably straightforward to our readers because it's a truism owners and managers demonstrate daily. I can't think of a single business owner or manager who isn't constantly searching for a way to improve the business, whether it's finding a new marketing concept, a painless way to reduce cost, new talent to hire or simply initiating an uncomplicated management policy that improves the work environment. I believe that HVACR Business has succeeded in this quest by providing insights from an array of time-tested experts to fulfill that mission. My job is to ensure, in part, that our editorial content remains timely, topical and relevant.

I have an additional message for readers. Someone I know well and who has written extensively about public relations says no editor of any publication is more open to ideas, creating new contacts, and finding topic experts or potential writers than one who takes on the reins of a magazine for the first time. It is an accurate observation. 

Let us know if you are interested in a current trend or unfolding policy that we should write about. Even better, feel free to write about it. Even if writing isn't your strong suit, we have staff with skills that can assist you and make your idea sparkle in print.  

Here is the simplest way to let me and our staff understand an article you might want to consider penning. Just email me a few sentences explaining your idea and why it matters to our readers. 

Think of yourself not just as readers but as partners. I know many overuse that term these days, but I mean it sincerely. I have an open door for ideas and would-be writers. We have a good sense of our editorial mission. But no one has all of the good ideas. I'd like to hear yours. We will collectively be better for it, as will our HVACR industry. 

It's good to be back.

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