Today is special for two reasons. One, this is my fifth anniversary at Club Industry. Two, this is the eighth anniversary of the day I proposed to my wife. I'm thankful both have stuck with me this long.
Where has the time gone? It certainly has been a whirlwind tour here. I've attended 16 trade shows�17 including my one-day visit to Las Vegas in 2007. Cities include Chicago (five times), San Francisco (three times), San Diego (twice), Orlando, FL (twice) and New York. I've sprinkled in Minneapolis, San Antonio and Austin, TX, too. I'm also looking forward to Los Angeles for next month's IHRSA show and Las Vegas again for our show in October.
Looking back on some of the blogs I've written, one thing is abundantly clear: I've written way too much about football. So to keep that streak alive, one of my favorite non-trade show trips came last year in New York for the Neal Awards. The day before the ceremony, I visited Broadway to see �Lombardi� about the great Green Bay Packers coach and �That Championship Season� about a reunion of a high school basketball team. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
(Last football note for this post: If you haven't done so already, go catch �Namath� on HBO for a spectacular documentary and read Dan Wetzel's column on Tom Brady from last Sunday's Super Bowl for a lesson in spectacular writing and reporting. OK, I'm done.)
The more things change, the more they stay the same. My first big feature in March 2007 focused on women-only clubs. My next big feature for March 2012 will focus on�women-only clubs. (You'd think we'd come up with different ideas from time to time, wouldn't you?) We've also shipped 60 issues of the magazine since I've been here, and I've been here on all 60 ship days, a mark I'm very proud of.
The last five years have been amazing, and as I enter my sixth year, we have new faces at Club Industry to introduce you to. Our new associate editor is Brittany Keithley, who has already posted several articles, including her first bylined story. (That's her to the right of Pam Kufahl, our editor-in-chief, in the photo above. I'm on the left.) Brittany will cover nonprofits, universities and the military for us. Brittany holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO. When she isn't working, Brittany enjoys rock wall climbing and reading, plus she's a certified scuba diver, which comes in handy here in the Midwest.
We also have a new intern this spring, Sasha Lund, who is currently a junior at the University of Kansas majoring in news and information in the William Allen White School of Journalism. I've worked at William Allen White's newspaper, The Emporia Gazette, where I made several trips to Northwest Missouri State covering Emporia State.
Kinda makes me feel right at home.