What a year this has been! Or shall I say the past 25 years…
Twenty-five years ago, December 1996, I was worried and anxious about what 1997 would bring. At that point in my life, my husband and business partner was soon to be entering the University of Iowa hospital for a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia. Life had thrown us a curve ball and thankfully I was ignorant enough to not know what I should fear most: continuing a business with little confidence or experience, or taking care of my young children and very sick husband. In August 1997 I wrote about “Life Transitions” in one of our earlier magazines, The Peoria Woman. Now, I’m writing about another transition.
I announced my retirement last month and stated this issue would be my last as publisher of Peoria Magazine. Ironically, the focus is Women of Influence. As I enter this new transition of life, I cannot believe it has been 25 years that I’ve solely owned Central Illinois Business Publishers. I’ve been too busy to reflect much along the way of the magazines’ impact on our readers, although I’ve been told they have had a tremendous influence. I was humbled and surprised by the response of so many that the magazines and events under our umbrella must continue in the community in some format. I am happy to say that the legacy of Peoria Magazines and its events will continue in the very capable hands of WTVP. It is time to migrate to new platforms, like WTVP’s digital resources, using fresh approaches to audience engagement. Thank you to the WTVP board and other community leaders who facilitated the discussions.
How fitting that WTVP’s President and CEO, Lesley Matuszak, is a Women of Influence. I’ve known Lesley for more than 30 years and have watched her tirelessly volunteer and work in our community, from a marketing executive at Hult Fritz Matuszak and Illinois American Water, to graduate school studies, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs and now successfully leading WTVP. Our community mission and vision aligned, and I know she and her board of directors will expand the magazine and signature events to a higher level.
I’m thankful for the many friends I’ve met through the years. Friends that have been supporters and have also shared their stories with us. I am forever grateful to you, our readers, supporters and staff for helping me along my journey. Now as I enter this new transition of life, I hope you will join me in supporting Peoria Magazine’s new home at WTVP. You can still find the magazine online at peoriamagazines.com and through the WTVP website, wtvp.org. PM