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).