In 1998, Mike Riley was asked to join the team that would launch this magazine. An Auburn University industrial management graduate, he’d spent 20 years in manufacturing and owned a job shop specializing in custom material handling systems. When the magazine’s sales reps called on him, he offered to write articles delving into the nitty-gritty process and machine details that make the difference between profit and loss.
After leading this magazine and its readers for more than 20 years, Mike retired Dec. 31. Now I have the privilege of leading the editorial for Fabricating & Metalworking. You were lucky to have Mike, and I’ve been lucky to learn from him. I seek to maintain his focus on the fourth industrial revolution while sharing your successes with processes, procedures, and equipment.
And now a little about me. I’m an ever-curious journalist, seeking answers to questions that will empower you to beat the competition in this swiftly changing industry. I’ve done the same thing for readers in other industries for more than three decades, overseeing national business-to-business publications in agriculture, law, off-road equipment, and, most recently, state and local government as editor in chief of Public Works magazine.
Before my publishing career began, I had hands-on experience in the manufacturing world. In college, I assembled encoders, rotary switches, keypads, joysticks, and pushbuttons for Grayhill, a company in my hometown of La Grange, Ill. I was thrilled the day I and another student were pulled off the line to test a new punch press.
In my career in business publishing, I worked at Screw Machine World (now Today’s Machining World), published by family-owned rotary transfer, multispindle, CNC lathe, and CNC Swiss machine supplier Graff Pinkert & Co.
And I know this.
Publishing is a production process. While the editorial leadership is changing, our mission remains the same: to provide information you can use to increase profitability by operating more efficiently. Gathering, organizing, editing, writing, and designing a consistently engaging reference tool requires processes and procedures to be developed and shared with everyone on the team so they can optimize their portion of the assembly line. Someone monitors the clock to meet deadline. Sometimes you have to troubleshoot a glitch that will compromise quality if left unchecked.
Mike carried out these goals well, so he’s a tough act to follow. But I hope to develop an equally mutually rewarding relationship with you. I hope you’ll connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/stephaniejjohnston or send me an email at email@example.com. (You can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.)
Happy New Year and New Decade.
Marketers / PR folks: Please replace Mike Riley’s email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with mine: email@example.com.
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