For most people an 11th anniversary isn’t a big deal, and I don’t think there’s anything particularly special about today being the anniversary of my last day of working for someone else.
But it is a good opportunity to reflect on what I have been able to accomplish while out on my own. I have managed to combine my first love, journalism, with my second calling, public relations, to create a new hybrid career that allows me to work with — and for — people who value the services I provide them. As a journalist, I have been able to return to writing about issues in education, the topic I focused on at the start of my career. Covering education is both challenging and rewarding today, when Delaware’s public school system is embroiled in controversies that rival, and might even surpass, the significance of the battles over desegregation in the 1970s. I have also had the opportunity to write one book and edit a couple more. Wearing my public relations hat, I’ve had the opportunity to help small businesses enhance their profile and to assist in promoting some of Delaware’s most interesting leisure activities.
Being in business for yourself for 11 years might be considered cause for celebration — after all, many businesses don’t survive even half as long — but I prefer to think of the anniversary as an appropriate time to thank those who have put their trust in me.
I’m grateful to all of you, but I’d like to give a special mention to those with whom I’ve had the most enduring and most consistent relationships: Tom Byrne and crew at Delaware First Media; author Nancy E. Lynch, for asking me to edit her remarkable book, Vietnam Mailbag; Lee Mikles and Patrick Callahan, founders of the Archer Group, for bringing me on to publicize their business at the start of its remarkable growth; Tom Beane at Beane Associates, for introducing me to the world of rescuing troubled businesses and the competitive challenges faced by the young athletes at the Newport Rowing Club; Doug Phillips, Dawn Norris and the CPAs at Horty & Horty, for asking me to help make the complexities of accounting easier for their current and prospective clients to understand; Terry Plowman, for letting me sharpen my editing and writing skills for Delaware Beach Life magazine; Jerry du Phily, publisher of Out & About magazine, where I’ve been able to write not only about downtown revitalization, but also salsa, pickles and guitar picks; the editors of Delaware Business magazine at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, and finally Barry Schlecker, festival fixer extraordinaire and maestro of Barry’s Events, who has consistently provided guidance and encouragement as I’ve kept chugging along with this fascinating little enterprise.