If you read Scott Paton’s “Last Word” in our June issue, you’ll recall that the headline was “Always People. Always.” Scott’s main point was that no matter what business you’re in, the quality of your product or service boils down to people. That made me think. Is Quality Digest “Always people. Always”? Do we have a culture that allows our employees to care for customers and address their issues?
We aren’t perfect, that’s for sure, but I think we’re very fortunate to have a great crew, all of whom genuinely care about our customers. Our editorial staff does its best to listen to reader comments and put out a monthly magazine that meets their needs. The sales staff bends over backward to give advertisers what they need to maximize their advertising budgets and reach the right audience. Often these two forces butt heads and a compromise is required to keep both sets of customers happy. But the focus is always about giving all customers the most useful magazine possible.
Over the past 10 years, one of the key players from the sales and marketing team has been Tia Cronin. Tia began as an advertising rep and later became the advertising director. Last year, she became our marketing manager. Tia has occupied every corner of the building… and rearranged each corner on a monthly basis. Sadly (for us), Tia is leaving Quality Digest to combine her sales skills with her love of art. An excellent painter in her own right, Tia will be a sales rep for Plein Air, a magazine focusing on fine-art representational painting. We’ll miss Tia, but we wish her success.
Also leaving us is Ashley Mack, our circulation coordinator. For three years, Ashley has been Quality Digest’s front-line person dealing with subscription questions from our readers. Ashley recently graduated from California State University, Chico, with her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She’s moving to Texas with her husband. I’m going to miss laughing hysterically at Ashley’s dead-on Daffy Duck impressions, but we all wish her luck in Texas.
Fortunately, Quality Digest is left with plenty of outstanding people. Publisher Scott Paton keeps us all on track with 20 years of experience publishing Quality Digest. He’s largely responsible for growing the magazine into the biggest audited quality magazine in the United States. CFO April Johnson keeps the lights on and the creditors at bay. Mike Richman, our managing editor, does a great job producing a magazine each month, and Taran March, our copy editor, makes sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Robert Green, our director of online media, and Raissa Carey, our online editor, have done a phenomenal job with enhancing and growing our online content. Our advertising account executives, Angela Heiden, Mike Leonard and Anne Ricci, along with our ad sales coordinator, Sandra Gonzalez, work very hard to keep our advertisers happy. Caylen Balmain, our art director, and Michael Bernal, our graphic designer, produce a fine-looking magazine on an often outrageously short schedule. Laura Smith, our news reporter/assistant editor, creates interesting stories from the hundreds of press releases we receive. Laurel Thoennes deals with, well, pretty much everything else (e.g., grumpy people who don’t make it into a buyers guide). Our newest employee is Louise Cragar, who's taking over the position of circulation coordinator for Ashley.
That’s our team. That’s what it’s all about. Always.