Columbus CEO's new editor has come back to his first love.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a businessman. When I entered college back in the early 1990s, I planned to get a degree in economics and then strike it rich in finance, consulting or some other abstract field I really didn't understand.
Those plans, however, were altered when I took introduction to microeconomics during my sophomore year. My professor required all of his students to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. He wanted us to understand how his lessons applied to the newsworthy actions of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury and Wall Street investment banks, among other institutions. I did OK, earning a B. But if my professor graded us on our Journal reading habits alone, I'd have been an A+ student.
It turned out I loved business journalism even more than business itself. Whether taking place on Wall Street or Main Street, fascinating entrepreneurs, small business owners and innovative executives are taking chances, chasing dreams and changing how we live. Eventually, I realized I wasn't cut out to join their ranks. But I was eager to tell their stories.
Since then, my love affair with journalism has never faded. In fact, I owe many of the best things in my life to the profession, including my wife, a fellow journalist I met during my first reporting job at my hometown newspaper in Saginaw, Michigan. Carrie and I have been a team ever since. She moved to Ohio with me when I got a job at the Akron Beacon Journal. Then I followed her to Columbus when she found work here.
Through a stroke of luck, I was hired in 2002 by Columbus Monthly, where I was given the rare privilege of covering stories as diverse as OSU's Tattoogate scandal, the collapse of the homegrown discount airline Skybus and the curious (and gluttonous) tradition of Dime-a-Dog Night at Columbus Clippers games. Journalism, of course, is an unpredictable career, and I ended up spending three years as a freelancer after I lost my job with Monthly as a result of an ownership change.
During this period, I practically abandoned journalism, relying on more lucrative corporate writing gigs to pay the bills. Yet I still found myself longing for the Fourth Estate. And when my former editor, Ray Paprocki, returned in 2015 to serve as the publisher of Dispatch Magazines, I jumped at his offer to rejoin him as a senior editor at Monthly.
This second stint with the magazine was the most rewarding of my career, a unique opportunity to explore fun, timely and important stories in depth and to work with an extraordinary group of people, especially Eric Lyttle, Columbus Monthly's editor in chief, a terrific journalist and an even better person. It's difficult to leave a job like that. But when Ray offered me the chance lead this magazine last year, it was too inticing to pass up. Columbus CEO thrived under its previous editor, Mary Yost, who recently grabbed her dream job leading the Dispatch editorial page, and I'm eager to build upon her accomplishments.
It's been nearly three decades since my epiphany in a drab Michigan State University lecture hall, and I'm finally going to cover business full time. It's a thrill to be reunited with my first love, and I can't wait to dig into the best beat in journalism.