A few years ago we formed a board for BusinessQ Magazine, which means we have 6-8 community leaders who give us feedback and focus at a quarterly lunch at Chef’s Table. And “quarterly” came today. So Briana Stewart (managing editor) and I shuffled off to Chef’s Table, where I ordered the Nut-Crusted Halibut and she ordered the Beef Tenderloin Medallions. (I’m not even sure why we open the menu.) The meeting goes something like this. Michael Krieger (a top-notch attorney with Kirton & McConkie pictured above) updates us on his race schedule. This weekend he’ll be running the St. George Marathon. He’s such a die-hard that he once ran a marathon on a stress fracture — boot and all. (As a fellow stress fracturee, I salute him.) He gives me fitness advice and motivation. BusinessQ Ad Manager Roxanne Bennett (right) is the life of the meeting. She uses the silverware to demonstrate some of her latest collisions and run-ins with the law (they’re minor, don’t worry). She’s going to Orem’s traffic school tonight and Salem’s next month. I am certain (well, not CERTAIN) these classes will change her driving habits if she will refrain from trying to sell ads to other people in the class or calling/texting/e-mailing clients while the officer is droning on. Then Kara Schneck (Nu Skin) entertains us with stories of being a working woman. Her daughter recently asked her why she has to be a working mom. Then in a crowded Nordstrom dressing room, this same daughter asked her why she can’t be a workout mom. Kara replied with, “Right now I’m working on getting this zipper up!!” Jarrod Hunt (right) is a commercial real estate genius with Commerce. Today he taunted us with an “activity” he wanted to share, but it had to wait till the end of the meeting. This was just too much excitement, so we cut off our BusinessQ discussions early. He brought out his friend’s delicious toffee in prototype packaging, along with a quiz he wanted us to fill out about the toffee’s taste, texture and packaging. Look for Canterbury Toffee in a specialty shop near you. (I gave it top scores for taste!) Chris Finken (Orange Soda) is the “board clown” with his straight-faced wit and latest burger escapades, which he chronicles in burgervoice.com. Apparently, Chubby’s in Pleasant Grove makes a serious burger — and has a Chubby Challenge to prove it. If I wasn’t already full of halibut, I would have stopped by on my way home.At today’s table, we were missing Jeff Rust, who is the co-owner of Corporate Alliance and the nicest guy in town. We also had an empty spot for Christopher Liechty, who is the marketing whiz at Bank of American Fork. He was at a banking conference today, which I’m SURE wasn’t as entertaining as this board meeting. Did I mention that Chris also gave us Orange Soda hacky sacks and an orange lid to put on unfinished cans of soda? (You can see the orange lid in the picture.) The pop drinkers at the table said they had never met a can of pop they couldn’t finish, but this lid might come in handy as a mini-frisbee or as a pop saver on the second or third can of soda in one sitting.With board meetings like this, you know why BusinessQ is the No. 1 magazine in the state. (It really is! Just ask the Society of Professional Journalists Utah Chapter). Our BusinessQ board is fantastically fun, tasty and interactive. And we DID manage to brainstorm women in the business community to feature in our winter issue. I can’t wait for the next board meeting. I’m going to have some sweet hacky sack moves by then.NOT PICTURED: The MOST important person of all — Briana Hallstrom Stewart. She is the managing editor of BusinessQ and the most fantastic writer this side of anywhere. That woman makes words dance. She’s also one of my best friends. Which is why I didn’t post the only picture I took of her today. Sometimes iPhone pictures from one foot away aren’t meant to be shared — even among board friends.
When I got dressed today I reached for my orange Undertease shirt. There’s something about the fall equinox that makes me want to look like a pumpkin. I headed to the office early in my orange-inspired outfit. (Today was Matt’s day to get the kids off to school — and of course this was the first time this month they wanted school lunch. He didn’t get to start the day with peanut butter on his cuffs.)After a busy morning of magazines, I headed to Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem where I’ve been on the board for four years. When I walked in, they said, “It’s our annual flu shot day for board members!” I immediately had flashbacks of last year’s poke — possibly because I was wearing the same orange shirt. I know this because the first thing I saw when I “came to” after fainting from last year’s shot was my orange shirt. The second thing I saw was the huddle of 12 medical professionals gathered around me. And the third thing I saw was the oxygen mask on my face.Yes, I fainted while trying to avoid H1N1 last fall. Lucky for me, I was AT THE HOSPITAL. They called a “code something-or-ther” and spent the next few minutes making sure I was alive. I didn’t open my eyes until our meeting was under way, and the only reason I knew my whereabouts was because one of the doctors in the huddle was on the board with me. I gradually started putting “two and three” together (I was still out of it). And then my mind went back to my orange shirt, which I had been wearing under a jacket. It’s the snug kind of undershirt that you don’t wear alone, if you know what I mean. I had removed the jacket to give the nurse some skin for the shot, and when I fell to the earth I was jacketless. When my eyes slivered open, the modesty lessons I had given at church flashed before them. Then I realized my legs were propped up in the air, and I was wearing a skirt! Modesty strike #2! And this mortifying episode was in front of fellow board members and colleagues!Today everyone on the board was relieved that I declined the flu shot. No need for a second round of awkwardness.If I DO get the flu this season, it will probably be worth it.
In between wedding festivities, I made my way to Mount Vernon and took this self-portrait.I also wrote several articles. I slept soundly. And I missed my family. Being alone gave me time to think, think, think. And I think I won’t travel alone again anytime soon. It’s difficult being the driver, navigator, conversationalist, decision-maker, entertainer and disciplinarian all at once. Need proof? Exhibit A: When I picked up the rental car at midnight just outside Dulles, the Avis representative told me to take a left, another left and then get on 267 heading east. I nodded my head in appreciation. Then when I got on 267, it dawned on me that he didn’t ask where I was going. And I wasn’t going east. If my husband had been there, I doubt Mr. Avis would have pulled this shenanigan. Exhibit B: I’ll admit it. I talked to myself a little bit here and there. “You need to anticipate those exits quicker.” “Don’t you think I know that?” “You are a magnet for toll roads, woman!” “You try following the blue dot on this iPhone and driving at the same time!” Exhibit C: When I got back to Dulles for the return flight on Sunday, I may have tried to check-in at the American Airline kiosk. I may be flying Delta. Exhibit D: I figured the big perk to traveling alone was being able to pick where to eat. No Wendy’s this trip, I declared! But then I ended up going through the Taco Bell drive-in for one dinner and snatching a banana from a gas station for another meal (and by snatching, I mean paying for the overpriced, over-ripe fruit with a credit card). Other than the wedding food (which was DELICIOUS), I survived on very little. I may have lost enough weight to save American (I mean Delta) a little jet fuel on the way back. Exhibit E: I didn’t turn on a TV or radio the entire time I was gone. Now that WAS a perk of flying solo. I have no idea what Lady Gaga or Lindsay Lohan did this weekend, and I don’t feel the teensiest bit left out. (I did text Matt to find out if BYU won. They didn’t. And I only spent about 5 seconds worrying about that four-hour game. Talk about efficient use of media.) So this brings to a close this blog post and my cross-country think-a-thon. I’m so glad I was able to be part of Ashley’s wedding and visit the East Coast. And now I can’t wait to be Matt’s navigator as he drives (he LOVES that) and go eat at Wendy’s with my family!
Being the editor of Utah Valley Magazine usually doesn’t mean a lot of traveling. Sure, I’ve been to the Red Barn in Santaquin and I interviewed Kurt Bestor at the Salt Lake Library. But there haven’t been many reasons to pack my carry-on and charge dinner to my expense account. But in 2010, I have actually accumulated SkyMiles by flying and not just by charging laser ink cartridges to my Delta American Express card (those are precious drops of color, apparently). I’m writing this from Seat 12A on Delta flight such-and-such while I’m headed to Washington, D.C. — my fifth round-trip extravaganza this year. The first four were for magazine projects for direct sales companies including XOWii (Newport Beach), Isagenix (Phoenix), For Every Home (Chicago) and Heritage Makers (Phoenix). Today’s cross-country trip is not technically for business, but please don’t tell my accountant. Or the IRS. Or my employees. If they ask, I am going to D.C. to meet with a publishing partner. And that’s the stack-of-Bibles truth.Ashley Dickson IS a publishing partner. And a friend. And she happens to be getting married this weekend. Which makes now a perfect time for me to go meet with her about publishing. Wink. Wink.Ashley began working for us in 2005 as an office manager, which means she answered the phone, made collections calls, prepared bank deposits and occasionally went for a Sonic run. (Happy hour!) She was a hard worker — and sometimes a hard read. But it didn’t take long for me to depend on her and count her as a friend. After several months, Ashley became an editor for us — which is where her broadcasting degree should have been hung all along. She is a fantastic writer and project manager, and our magazines improved with her creative brain on the team.When 2008 ended, so did Ashley’s full-time job with us. Her ambitious and hard-working self was headed to Boston for a graduate degree. Happy for her. Sad for us. But happy for us, Al Gore invented e-mail. Or was it the Internet? Or was he the creator of sad marital news? Regardless, technology has kept the working/personal relationship alive between Ashley and BC (that’s what we call Bennett Communications when we’re feeling edgy). Her writing and project management skills have come in handy as she runs our East Coast headquarters. Yep, we’re bi-coastal — thanks to Ashley’s laptop.This weekend, I’m going to take Ashley copies of the latest magazines to which she has contributed AND I’m going to meet her groom. I hope he knows what a great woman he’s got on his arm. That’s the thing about co-workers. You grow to love ’em. And miss ’em. And want the best for ’em. And be willing to fly across the country on a horribly inconvenient week for ’em.Congratulations, Ashley! We love you!
P.S. I came THIS CLOSE to missing my flight again! This close! (Picture me with my thumb and finger pinched together tightly).
Life hasn’t gone perfectly for me lately. Or ever, now that I think about it. Perfectionists like me tend to notice if we’ve made a mistake in a magazine, broken a bone or had an emotional “moment” over something large or small. When Matt and I were in the doctor’s office for the umpteenth time lately, we snapped a photo of this wall hanging:
Marla Snow was featured in our July/August issue for the great work she does as an attorney at Heideman, McKay, Heugly & Olsen (try saying that with your mouth full of halibut). We took turns introducing ourselves at this Women in Business lunch. I’m the one in orange. Apparently I’ve worn this shirt a lot lately, and it’s the kind of shirt you notice with all its ruffles and neon-ness. Note to self: Broaden out the wardrobe a bit more. . . We recently hosted a luncheon for the women featured in our July/August issue of Utah Valley Magazine. We invited them to Chef’s Table — mostly because I love the macadamia nut crusted halibut. Yes, the atmosphere is nice. The service is impeccable. But when it comes down to it, the halibut is reason enough to get out of bed in the morning.
In addition to the great food (I wanted to lick my plate), I always enjoy sharing a room with ambitious women. We talk family. We talk labor. We talk marketing. We talk economy. And then we sip our waters and Diet Cokes while we check for texts from our kids and colleagues. The business world is much more personal than I pictured it when I was taking business classes in the Tanner Building at BYU 15 years ago.
Congrats to the women featured in our “Ladies First” section in our Women’s issue (July/August UVMag).
Our 10th anniversary issue is here! People often say, “Can you believe it’s been 10 years since you started Utah Valley Magazine?” And I say, “Yes. Yes, I can.” Our new issue has some “behind the scenes” stories of our first 60 issues. I also was brave enough to share the evolution of my editor’s picture. You may say to yourself, “She needed a serious flat iron the first couple years.” And you would be right. You can read our new issue here. Happy birthday to Utah Valley Magazine! Our 10th anniversary issue is here! People often say, “Can you believe it’s been 10 years since you started Utah Valley Magazine?” And I say, “Yes. Yes, I can.” Our new issue has some “behind the scenes” stories of our first 60 issues. I also was brave enough to share the evolution of my editor’s picture. You may say to yourself, “She needed a serious flat iron the first couple years.” And you would be right.