For the second consecutive year and the fifth time since 2000, Twin Cities Business received the first-place award in the Best Magazine category during the annual summer conference of the Alliance of Area Business Publications (AABP). Receiving the award is tantamount to being named the best regional business magazine in the country.
The AABP represents 75 regional business magazines and newspapers throughout North America, including a large majority of the approximately 26 regional business magazines in the United States. Judging for the association’s annual editorial awards is conducted by 30 faculty members from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and coordinated by a professor at the school, Daryl Moen.
“The best of the best,” said Moen of the entrants, “are marvelous examples of professional work from staffs serving their market niche. The writing and design, and increasingly the work on the Web, is exemplary.”
Here is what the judges said of Twin Cities Business: “This magazine takes hard-hitting business stories and gets readers to react with both their hearts and their minds. The strength of the writing and editing as well as the visual storytelling techniques used in illustrations and photographs made this the gold medal winner. This magazine is substantive: with numerous short profiles, large features, and special focus sections, readers must feel they understand Minnesota business.”
Now, my colleagues and I believe that it is a smaller accomplishment to win an AABP award than to receive an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, of which this year’s recipients are featured beginning on page 57. We also believe that your opinion of the magazine—yours and those of other readers—is more important than the opinion of any panel of judges.
Even so, it seldom happens in any business that one’s efforts are recognized as the best in their field, and it is undeniably gratifying to measure up well among one’s peers.
And now, I would like to ask for some guidance: I would like you to help identify a small company of notable achievement for an annual project that we conduct in conjunction with Associated Bank.
In the December issue, we’ll feature our sixth annual package of Small-Business Success Stories, highlighting 8 to 10 small companies with achievements worthy of celebration. If you know a compelling story about any Minnesota company with fewer than 500 employees, we would like to learn about it. It can be a client of yours, a company run by a friend, or even your own company.
What makes a compelling story? It could involve a turnaround, rapid early growth, an unusual product innovation, notable longevity, or the overcoming of an unusual challenge. It could involve growth in a declining industry or a dilemma admirably addressed—or any other attribute engendering admiration. An indication of company size is important; please include approximate revenues and the number of employees for any company you nominate.
Do put your suggestion in writing—a single-spaced page or two would be about right—and send it to me by August 8. We will feature the honorees in the December issue, and honor them in person at a January 15 awards dinner. E-mail is fine (firstname.lastname@example.org); so is the U.S. mail:
Jay Novak Twin Cities Business 220 South Sixth Street, Suite 500 Minneapolis, MN 55402
You’ll notice a change this year in the Entrepreneur of the Year awards. The Minnesota-Dakotas territory—one of 26 throughout the United States—has been expanded to include Wisconsin, where five of this year’s 10 regional honorees operate.
The Entrepreneur of the Year awards were initiated in Milwaukee—in 1986, by John Luellwitz, now director of business development for Ernst & Young’s Wisconsin practice. At the time, Wisconsin’s economy was undergoing a transition; having long been dominated by large manufacturers, it was seeing an insurgence of smaller, nimble, high-tech companies. “We thought, ‘Let’s not miss these guys,’” Luellwitz says.
So don’t miss the stories about this year’s Midwestern honorees.