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. 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.

Firsts and Not Firsts

My favorite part of being a magazine editor is interviewing people. I ask questions, and people open up. Sometimes we cry. Usually we laugh. Once a quarter, I host a roundtable for our BusinessQ Magazine. Most of the time, I”m the only woman in the room.

I interviewed five suits today. 

At this quarterly roundtable we talked health care. We talked insurance. And we talked consumerism. It was a deep conversation, and you can read all about it — and by that I mean half of it — in the next issue of BusinessQ. While I was doing my umpteenth roundtable, two of my kids were facing a “first.”

Nathan started junior high. Yep, he’s a sev-y.

Nathan was nervous about opening his locker, whether he should take his PE clothes on the first day and how he would know which bus to get on when the last bell rang. Lindsey, on the other hand, got front-door valet service to her first day of kindergarten.

Lindsey insisted on a lunchbox that barely holds enough food to keep a fly alive. Good thing this head-tilter is tiny.

Today is my 3,650th day as editor of Utah Valley Magazine. So around the dinner table tonight (if we manage to gather), I”ll let the “first days” do the talking. I still have my listening ears on from this morning”s roundtable.

First Person To See Someone They Know

Matt and I like to play a game when we go to the mall, Costco or Disneyland. The first person to see someone they know is the winner. We have to know the person”s name — and be willing to say hello. Last night, I attended the Discovery Gala at Thanksgiving Point, and I won the game in the parking lot (of course, Matt was home being the parent so he wasn”t much competition). Dave Young, financial planner who owns Paragon, pulled up next to me. He has frequently written investment columns for our Utah Valley Magazine and BusinessQ. He”s a smart man who looks even smarter in a Hawaiian shirt. Then Debbie Flynn registered me and gave me my bid number. Debbie is a beautiful and generous community volunteer and entrepreneur — we”re more than Facebook friends! Throughout the night I saw other friendly faces — Mary Crafts (top caterer in the state and our restaurant reviewer for UVMag), Curtis Bennett (big wig at OC Tanner and no relation), Cynthia Gambill (owner of Remedez), Kevin Gallagher (the voice of every auction at Utah County events), Tim Branscomb (owner of Sierra West). I could go on but you might think I”m bragging when I”ve already won the game. Utah Valley”s inner circle of generosity shows up at gala after gala. As a member of the media, we dangle on the outside with a camera hanging around our necks. But it”s a small price to pay to have a back-row seat to the best of Utah County.

The Barn at Thanksgiving Point was transformed to a tropical paradise for the Discovery Gala.

Later today, we”re headed to Lagoon with the fam. We promised to take the kids before school starts, and being the deadline-driven journalists that we are, we waited until the last possible day! (We”re walking out on the Utah Valley Magazine deadline to meet the “Lagoon promise” deadline. Don”t worry, staff! We will be checking e-mail in between rides!) I”m planning to beat Matt at the “First Person to See Someone” match at Lagoon. Game on!

Last year, Lindsey and I giggled our way through Odyssey. Can’t wait to give it a whirl today while I look for people I know!

Big River, Big Thank You!

As we near our 10th anniversary for the birth of Utah Valley Magazine, I”m feeling a bit nostalgic. I even looked through our 2000 and 2001 issues today. Other than being horrified by a few layouts, I”m proud of our early days. And I”m incredibly grateful for our advertising clients. Thirty-seven companies bought ads in our first issue without even seeing a prototype. What were they thinking? Um, I mean … these companies had vision and foresight. Last Thursday, we invited some of our top clients to Sundance to watch “Big River” in the outdoor theater. It was one small way of saying thanks to those companies who see us as their marketing partner and allow us the privilege of writing about Utah Valley!

My daughter, Hailey, (left) and our office manager, Whitney, greeted our clients at the Bennett Communications table at Sundance. Who wouldn’t be excited to see these two friendly faces?

Thanks to all of the businesses and subscribers who make Utah Valley Magazine possible! You”ve given us 10 years of business bliss.

In front of the camera

You look great!” “You”re a natural!” These are the kinds of things I say to people when we”re taking their picture for Utah Valley Magazine, BusinessQ or Celebrating Women Magazine. Easy for me to say from behind the camera. For months I”ve been putting off getting a new editor”s picture taken. I need to lose a few. Color my hair. Go shopping. But with our 10th anniversary issue of UVMag coming out next month, I finally gave in and gave up. After we photographed a For Every Home distributor yesterday (and I told her how great she looked), it was my turn to hop in front of the camera — my turn to awkwardly fuss with my hands and blink at just the wrong time.\r\n\r\nBut if anyone can snap a good photo, it”s Kenneth and MaryLyn Linge. They”ve turned more than 50 everyday people into cover models for our magazines in the past seven years. Together we”ve had a lot of laughs, tears (mine) and a even a ride on a private jet.

Only one black shoe made it to the photo studio, so I’m wearing brown heels with a black and white dress. Kenneth assured me my shoes won’t be in the final picture.
It was 90 degrees outside, but I wore a heavy green jacket for one of the photos. Kenneth was kind enough to have the thermometer set to 70 degrees.

I haven”t seen the photos yet, but at some point I”ll painfully go through the choices and ask Matt to say things to me like, “You look great!” and “You”re a natural!” Then the time will come for the magazine to go to the printer, and I”ll have to be happy with my photo — brown shoes and all. I think I”ll stay behind the camera for awhile and spout compliments and encouragement — I”ll just do it with more empathy.
Only one black shoe made it to the photo studio, so I”m wearing brown heels with a black and white dress. Kenneth assured me my shoes won”t be in the final picture.

Look-alikes

Ten years ago this month, we nervously sent our FIRST issue of Utah Valley Magazine to the printer. We were clueless about what was around the publishing corner. We anticipated writing stories, organizing photo shoots and opening letters to the editor that praised our last issue. All of that has come true. But there”s been oh-so-much-more. We”ve seen our fair share of sticky business issues — collections calls, credit merchant woes and break-ins (two, to be exact — now we have a serious security system so don”t mess with us). We”ve had a few unkind letters (primarily surrounding the “Nedra” issue, but we won”t go there — I don”t feel like sorting through 139 more letters to the editor just yet.) But mostly, we feel lucky to feature the unbelievable people, scenery, events and businesses that call Utah Valley home. We”ve had the time of our lives, and we hope we”ve given our readers plenty of reasons to smile, rethink a topic or sit down and write a letter to the editor (keep it kind, keep it kind). One of the most common comments from our readers is that they love our annual lookalike contest. We deliver a new batch every September, and this year we have nine people who will have you doing a double take. A couple of years ago, I used my own lookalike photo for my editor”s letter.

Jeanette Bennett aka ?????

Can you guess who I look like? The answer is in our Sept/Oct 2008 issue. The new lookalikes are much closer matches to their celebrity doubles than I was. The lookalikes and the rest of the 10th anniversary issue will come to a mailbox (or newsstand) near you the first week of September. Until then, I”ll be checking my mailbox for more fan mail — and setting our security system.

Overbooked

I tend to cut things a little close. I don”t want to waste time being early and waiting, waiting, waiting. (This stems from a childhood with earlybird parents. We once got to a junior high drama production BEFORE the janitor showed up to unlock the building with the keys clipped to his belt. Then we helped him setup chairs in the cafeteria-turned-theater. Needless to say we had the front row to ourselves for an hour, which gave me time to plan out my “cutting it close” philosophies.)\n\nI booked some tight appointments today (of course I did), and the first one was at my “Remedez office.” I seriously believe it saves me time to get my hair professionally styled once in awhile. With my laptop and iPhone, I can process e-mails and organize interview notes during the round-brushing. Bonus! It looks much better than my “I”m-running-late” attempt to straighten the frizz.

Jeanette and laptop working at Remedez.

With my ”do all done, I drove to my interviews at Nu Skin (made it just in the nick of time) and later headed back to the office where I reviewed our plans for the September/October issue of Utah Valley Magazine. The 10th anniversary issue, mind you. Ten years!\n\nAnd then I did it. I cut things too close to pick up photographer MaryLyn Linge and my husband, Matt, for a 5:06 flight to Chicago for an upcoming magazine project. We risked a speeding ticket and took full advantage of the carpool lane. Then Matt dropped us off at the skycap and headed to long-term parking, aka “the time warp.” MaryLyn then headed to the gate and I waited for Matt. And waited. And texted. Me: I”m upstairs by security. Short line. Matt: 23b Me: Getting close? Matt: I”m in the middle of the economy parking lot. Having a fun bus tour. Meeting new friends.\n\nMe: That does sound fun. OK. See you soon. Matt: Made last stop. Heading in now.\n\nMe: I”m starting to worry about time. Matt: No need to worry. Stopped to change bus drivers. Looks like we”ve got a driver in training. Me: Yikes. Matt: OK. Moving again. Me; MaryLyn says she boarded the plane. I don”t think we”re going to make it.\n\nWhat happened after that involved flailing our way down to C11 with heavy bags over all four shoulders (we”re too cheap to pay for checked bags). My recovering stress fracture was screaming as I made my way past business travelers, newsstands and missionary tags. But. It. Was. Too. Late. Thirty seconds ago they gave our seats to some very happy standby-ers. Apparently, being at the gate at 5:01 p.m. isn”t good enough.\n\nAnd so for the first time in my 35 years, I learned what it means to miss your flight. It means frustration. It means waiting on hold with the Delta helpline. It means getting five different answers from five different Delta agents. It means hearing every detail of how another woman needs to be in Chicago for her son”s 6 a.m. graduation.\n\nAnd for me, it meant sincere prayer that there would be two spots on the 7:45 flight to Chicago. Which, ironically, was delayed. We watched several passengers flail themselves toward the gate at 7:45 but then smile when they saw “DELAYED” flashing. We groaned. At 8:30 my prayer got partially answered because one seat became available. Matt and I had talked through this scenario during our 3.5 hours of downtime and decided that I would go. So I handed over my crumpled boarding pass and avoided eye contact with the graduation mom by my side. I eased my guilt by believing she made up that story to get sympathy from people above her on the standby list. A graduation at 6 a.m.? So I waved goodbye to Matt who walked away to face the Delta gods on his own to beg his way to the windy city. Hopefully the graduation mom stays by his side to keep him company. My text to him from the runway: So sorry. Lesson learned. If you go home, squeeze the kids for me. If you end up being routed through Memphis or Portland, have fun meeting new friends like you did on the bus.

Two frustrated passengers.

Overbooked

I tend to cut things a little close. I don”t want to waste time being early and waiting, waiting, waiting. (This stems from a childhood with earlybird parents. We once got to a junior high drama production BEFORE the janitor showed up to unlock the building with the keys clipped to his belt. Then we helped him setup chairs in the cafeteria-turned-theater. Needless to say we had the front row to ourselves for an hour, which gave me time to plan out my “cutting it close” philosophies.)\r\n\r\nI booked some tight appointments today (of course I did), and the first one was at my “Remedez office.” I seriously believe it saves me time to get my hair professionally styled once in awhile. With my laptop and iPhone, I can process e-mails and organize interview notes during the round-brushing. Bonus! It looks much better than my “I”m-running-late” attempt to straighten the frizz.\r\n\r\n

Jeanette and laptop working at Remedez.

\r\n\r\nWith my ”do all done, I drove to my interviews at Nu Skin (made it just in the nick of time) and later headed back to the office where I reviewed our plans for the September/October issue of Utah Valley Magazine. The 10th anniversary issue, mind you. Ten years!\r\n\r\nAnd then I did it. I cut things too close to pick up photographer MaryLyn Linge and my husband, Matt, for a 5:06 flight to Chicago for an upcoming magazine project. We risked a speeding ticket and took full advantage of the carpool lane. Then Matt dropped us off at the skycap and headed to long-term parking, aka “the time warp.” MaryLyn then headed to the gate and I waited for Matt. And waited. And texted.\r\n\r\nMe: I”m upstairs by security. Short line.\r\n\r\nMatt: 23b\r\n\r\nMe: Getting close?\r\n\r\nMatt: I”m in the middle of the economy parking lot. Having a fun bus tour. Meeting new friends.\r\n\r\nMe: That does sound fun. OK. See you soon.\r\n\r\nMatt: Made last stop. Heading in now.\r\n\r\nMe: I”m starting to worry about time.\r\n\r\nMatt: No need to worry. Stopped to change bus drivers. Looks like we”ve got a driver in training.\r\n\r\nMe: Yikes.\r\n\r\nMatt: OK. Moving again.\r\n\r\nMe; MaryLyn says she boarded the plane. I don”t think we”re going to make it.\r\n\r\nWhat happened after that involved flailing our way down to C11 with heavy bags over all four shoulders (we”re too cheap to pay for checked bags). My recovering stress fracture was screaming as I made my way past business travelers, newsstands and missionary tags. But. It. Was. Too. Late. Thirty seconds ago they gave our seats to some very happy standby-ers. Apparently, being at the gate at 5:01 p.m. isn”t good enough.\r\n\r\nAnd so for the first time in my 35 years, I learned what it means to miss your flight. It means frustration. It means waiting on hold with the Delta helpline. It means getting five different answers from five different Delta agents. It means hearing every detail of how another woman needs to be in Chicago for her son”s 6 a.m. graduation.\r\n\r\nAnd for me, it meant sincere prayer that there would be two spots on the 7:45 flight to Chicago. Which, ironically, was delayed. We watched several passengers flail themselves toward the gate at 7:45 but then smile when they saw “DELAYED” flashing. We groaned.\r\n\r\nAt 8:30 my prayer got partially answered because one seat became available. Matt and I had talked through this scenario during our 3.5 hours of downtime and decided that I would go. So I handed over my crumpled boarding pass and avoided eye contact with the graduation mom by my side. I eased my guilt by believing she made up that story to get sympathy from people above her on the standby list. A graduation at 6 a.m.?\r\n\r\nSo I waved goodbye to Matt who walked away to face the Delta gods on his own to beg his way to the windy city. Hopefully the graduation mom stays by his side to keep him company.\r\n\r\nMy text to him from the runway:\r\n\r\nSo sorry. Lesson learned. If you go home, squeeze the kids for me. If you end up being routed through Memphis or Portland, have fun meeting new friends like you did on the bus.\r\n\r\n

Two frustrated passengers.

What the boss does on holidays

You might think — like I used to — that business owners take lots of days off while they soak up the sun and count their money. We are not those business owners.\r\n\r\nOur office was closed for Pioneer Day, but all that meant for me and Matt was that we had to answer our own phones. But I”m not complaining. I plan to soak up some sun and count my money (won”t take long) in October (we booked frequent-flier flights to Hawaii just today!!).\r\n\r\nHaving the office closed gave our kids a chance to take out garbages and clean windows without anyone around. It”s how they earn their allowance (I told you we were cheapskates).

Nathan is a great worker and leader. Carson spent most of the time working on his hairdo — but not his modeling skills. Should they be forced to split the janitor money 50/50? Nathan said no. 
Lindsey was assigned “dusting,” but she was mostly fascinated with how the Lysol wipes stick to the glass. (Matt is hard at work in the background, and if you look closely you’ll see mockups of the next cover of Utah Valley Magazine taped to the glass.)

 

Yes, our Pioneer Day celebration was unique — we did our own trek by getting a 76-page draft ready for Isagenix, one of our custom publishing clients. Do you like the giant tape in the foreground? Nathan took this shot. We pay him for his janitorial skills — not his photography.

 

‘Summer lovin’

Four kids and a business does not a calm summer make. But our work-hard, play-hard mantra is going full-speed. This past weekend we went to Southern Utah to visit two of our advertisers — Tuacahn and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. We saw “Tarzan” and “Price and Prejudice.” I stand behind what we”ve written in Utah Valley Magazine — both events are worth a jaunt down I-15.

The Tuacahn facility is amazing — even when it’s 110 in the shade. (Can you spot the head-tilter? When a camera comes out, her neck gives way.)

After loving St. George and vowing to move there when we retire, we headed to Cedar City for “Pride and Prejudice.” The main characters are Bennetts, but that”s not why I loved the play. It was hilarious and well-costumed! Even my 12-year-old boy — who noticed he was the only one of his kind in the theater — enjoyed the show. Just don”t ask him to put that in writing.

Nathan and Hailey ponder the love triangles in “Pride and Prejudice.” Or are they looking for bats? We saw them at Tuacahn, but I doubt this indoor posh theater has flying critters.

Hopefully Tuacahn and the Utah Shakespearean Festival will be clients of ours for years to come — because I want to keep coming for years! I love it when we combine work and play and the kids don”t notice the work part.\r\n\r\nToday, I was working on a project in my home office while Lindsey created a masterpiece.

Lindsey painted a “purple brain,” a yellow sunshine and several handprints with her fingerpaint. I toggled between two computers as I edited the next issue of MainStreet Magazine and Prosper Magazine. It’s a no make-up day — hence, the backside.

In this case, I was working hard and she was playing hard. Hopefully that still fulfills our summer mantra.