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Departments: First Word

 

  

A Quality Crew

Proud to be here

by Dirk Dusharme

 

It's mid-December, and the Quality Digest crew is working like crazy to put the January issue, our Sourcebook and largest issue of the year, to bed. This is the time when the strengths of the Quality Digest team are most apparent. Because it's the start of a new year, let me introduce each of our employees to you, and explain why I think they're so great.

A company's front-line people make or break its customers' perceptions. Quality Digest and its readers are fortunate to have Laurel Thoennes and Louise Cragar on its front line. Laurel handles questions from readers, authors and advertisers. She also maintains our ISO 9000 database and buyers guide database, and does the fact checking and corrections on edited stories. Laurel often gets praise from readers for the quality of help she provides. Louise maintains our circulation database and handles all the subscription questions from readers. Day in and day out, Louise keeps our circulation databases clean and tidy. She's a stickler, and she has to be. Quality Digest is audited by the BPA, and the results of that audit help advertisers decide if they want to advertise with us.

Mike Richman, our publisher, manages to work 60 hours a week and still keep smiling and coming up with new and exciting ways for Quality Digest to expand. For instance, we now offer an electronic version of our print magazine, further expanding our reach to the quality community. While the publishing industry struggles to make ends meet, Mike makes sure we make a profit.

To keep that profit and the lights on, our CFO (I call her our "cheap financial officer"), April Johnson, runs a tight set of books… I mean book… One book! April is an accountant with a sense of humor, an important asset when you work with our budget.

Scott Sleeper is our amazing art director. Each month Scott must design a good-looking magazine starting with almost nothing in the way of artwork. I'm not saying he's under a lot of stress, but his hair has grayed considerably since he starting work for us.

Anthony Porter, Laura Smith and Raissa Carey crank out an incredible number of news stories in four different industry sectors each month, written, edited and e-mailed to more than 50,000 of our e-newsletter subscribers. Anthony is in charge of online content, and Raissa produces and sends the newsletters. Laura, our assistant editor, also writes feature stories and the News Digest section of the print version of the magazine. Keeping the editorial content flowing is a daunting job, and there is no team better at it.

Our sales manager, Mike Leonard, and salesperson, Angela Heiden, make sure the magazine stays afloat by helping our advertisers get their message out to our readers. Their No. 1 goal is to make sure that all of our advertisers get the most use out of their advertising dollars. The loyalty of our advertisers is a testament to the great job that Angela and Mike do.

The work of our sales team is smoothed by Sandra Gonzalez, our ad sales coordinator. She keeps track of all the ads that go into the magazine, the Web site and six different e-mail newsletters. Our client's go-to person, Sandra knows every advertiser and their ads by heart.

Of course, our founder and president, Don Dewar, gives us the encouragement and support we need to bring you the best in quality-industry coverage each month.

So that's it, me and my 12 friends, whose goal is to bring our valued readers and advertisers the best magazine possible month in and month out. Now that you know who we are, don't be afraid to contact us.