jen-head-shotThis journey started more than 16 years ago in 1999 when a whirlwind of energy and thought walked into my office at the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce — that whirlwind was John Weiss, owner and co-founder of the Colorado Springs Independent.

Like most people who meet with John, I did not realize who I had just met or what magic was going to happen because of the encounter, but nonetheless, I am so glad that we met — it eventually led to the publisher’s role.

John and I maintained a working relationship and partnership throughout my years at the Chamber. Including, much to the chagrin of many around me, when he became the 2004 Small Business Person of the Year.

About four years ago John was thinking out loud and sharing ideas with me (as he often does) and said he was thinking about adding a business section to the Independent, the Springs’ alternative newspaper.

During the discussion, he asked me if I would be interested in running that section of the paper because I knew the business community so well.

Our mission, vision and intent is to be the best business source and resource in this region.

At that time, my future plans were to stay at the Chamber of Commerce, eventually become the executive director and retire at the age of 60 — after running an awesome company and helping create positive change in our community for businesses of all sizes.

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But one of my favorite sayings is: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Clearly, God and the universe had a different idea. In February 2012, my Chamber world was rocked when it merged with the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp. The new regime did not feel I was a good fit, and I was unceremoniously dismissed in June 2012.

At the same time my professional world was being turned upside down, so was John’s, but in a very positive way. He was in negotiations to buy the Colorado Springs Business Journal from the Dolan Media Company, and in June 2012 he became the proud owner of not only the Independent, but the CSBJ and The Transcript. He also became responsible for the printing and advertising contracts for the Fort Carson Mountaineer, Schriever Sentinel and Peterson Space Observer.

So when John reached out about the possibility of working with him at CSBJ because of my love and passion for the business community, I said yes.

At the very beginning of this journey, I got the opportunity to meet Fran Zankowski, co-owner of the CSBJ, and Ralph Routon, the greatest editor there ever was (and my husband’s favorite reporter — but that’s a story for another day).

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I would like to thank John Weiss, Fran Zankowski and Ralph Routon for their vision and for taking a risk on a “non-newspaper” person, and more importantly for their love of this community. I thank them all for their mentorship and guidance, and look forward to many more years of creating a fantastic newspaper company.

And I appreciate John’s continued faith as I start this week as CSBJ publisher. In that role, I’m looking forward to the future.

Our mission, vision and intent is to be the best business source and resource in this region. We want to help educate, inform and lead the community conversation about local business events and news, as we’ve been doing the past three years.

We believe in “news you can use.” Our goal is to provide solid business information you can read today that will help you make a better business decision tomorrow.

Through our programs, we will celebrate the best this community has to offer, and through our advertising and marketing we will help our business community and partners not only survive, but thrive.

To the community, family and friends who helped make me who I am today (you know who you are), I thank you. I thank you for great conversations; I thank you for holding me accountable; I thank you for helping this crazy stress-filled life be a little bit more fun; and most importantly I thank you for helping me be the best me I can be.

CSBJ’s future and success are up to us as a team. I will give this paper and our community 100 percent as I always have, but I do ask for the community’s help.

I ask that you read the Business Journal each week. I ask that you hold us accountable for our accuracy and our fairness.

But more than anything I ask that we keep moving the needle forward to create the BEST community we can … TOGETHER. 

3 COMMENTS

  1. You have a diverse and enthusiastic cross-section of our fellow citizens rooting for you. More than a “Publisher,” you are a community leader.

  2. So proud of you and all that you have accomplished. Keep up the positive mojo and know that tomorrow is always bright. 🙂

  3. This publication suffers from the sin of omission which is a rampant disease in the journalism profession today. There is a bad tendency to report on a potential event and not provide even basic details like who, what, where, when, why and how. There is also a tendency to report on event after it is over without providing the public an opportunity to consider and participate. This kind of reporting is not professional journalism. It is gossip.

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