Editor's Notes: Ringing in what comes next

Katy Smith
Columbus CEO associate editor, Jess Deyo

We did it. Welcome to 2021. Right now, it’s pretty much the same as 2020. But not for long—especially at Columbus CEO.

In the weeks ahead, we will begin the transition to an unprecedented collaboration with our sister publication, The Columbus Dispatch. The business staff at the newspaper and the magazine will begin working together to create a streamlined reader experience across our print publications and our websites. As part of this transformation, I will become the newspaper’s business editor, while remaining editor of CEO.

Combining forces makes sense to us because we complement one another so well. The Dispatch brings the breaking business news and authoritative coverage of record, while CEO offers a more in-depth look at the personalities behind the news and the chance to tell longer, richer stories with elevated design. Simply put, we are stronger together.

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Key in this transition is the addition of a new associate editor at CEO, Jess Deyo, who has her first byline with us in this issue is a piece about Moody Nolan being the recipient of the nation’s highest architectural award. I’m thrilled to have her as my partner in producing the magazine each month. Jess is a pandemic grad, through and through. She’s already shown us her toughness and ability to thrive in a bit of chaos.

A native of Johnstown, Deyo graduated summa cum laude from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University this past May, where she focused on the art and science of making magazines. She previously held positions as a writer and intern for Ohio Magazine, as the sports and entertainment editor for the school’s Backdrop magazine, and as a department editor for Southeast Ohio magazine.

Please join me in welcoming Jess Deyo to Columbus.

In this month’s issue, writer Tim Feran brings us solid analysis of the region’s publicly traded retail behemoths and the woes and triumphs of 2020. With online shopping dominating the scene while people stay home to stay safe, some companies have not been able to keep up, while others have done better. A standout performance comes from outlet discounter Big Lots, whose vibrant stores full of bargains have proven irresistible to shoppers during the pandemic.

And don’t miss this month’s profile. Freelance writer Laura Newpoff spins a delightful story about another person who’s demonstrated she can hold her own in crazy times.

Jennifer Williams, who owns Weiland’s Market in Clintonville with her husband Scott Bowman, is a grocer’s daughter who took her father’s legacy to the next level. Weiland’s is a neighborhood favorite—and some even travel from farther afield to visit. Stocked with local cheeses, desserts, produce, coffee and old-fashioned, full-service meat and seafood counters, it’s the kind of place where you get a little plastic slip in between every slice of deli cheese. There’s a healthy wine selection and a state liquor store, too.

Williams and her staff made the most of a challenging 2020 with COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus, even as demand for groceries soared. She and her husband worked untold hours of overtime keeping the store stocked and clean. She was an early adopter of mask requirements. She limited the number of people who could be inside Weiland’s at any given time. And she absolutely will ask you to leave her store if you walk in without a proper face covering.

Enjoy the story. And here’s to hoping by the end of 2021, we won’t need masks to go grocery shopping.