A time for thanks
I want to thank all our Beacon readers and their guests who attended our two 50+Expo events in late October.
After two years in which we could host only virtual events, we were finally able to return to in-person Expos. I think all who came will agree that it was wonderful to see each other face-to-face and simply to be out and about on a beautiful day in a bustling building, visiting informative exhibits and hearing the hum of the crowd.
I was especially happy to see so many familiar faces and get a chance to speak with you, catch up on your lives, and hear your views on the issues of the day.
Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that one of the best parts was hearing all the glowing compliments people shared with me about the Beacon, our writers, our sales staff and the events themselves. I was floating out the door at the end of both Expos.
Our exhibitors were equally happy with the event after meeting so many active older adults who were sincerely interested in the housing communities, health providers, financial and legal advisors, recreation and travel opportunities and government and nonprofit agencies that participated.
I want to thank our hardworking staff for putting together these fantastic events, and also want to thank our gold sponsors: AARP Maryland, AARP Virginia and Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Many thanks, too, to Giant Pharmacy for providing a variety of important vaccines, and the Prevention of Blindness Society for offering glaucoma tests.
If you were unable to hear our keynote speaker, John Kelly of the Washington Post, we have posted a video of his remarks on our website at thebeaconnewspapers.com/50expos.
We are already making plans for next fall’s Expos, and we intend for them to be even bigger and better than this year’s. I hope to see all of this year’s attendees again next year, and many more of you who were not able to attend in October.
I also want to share with you the kudos the Beacon received at the annual conference of the North American Mature Publishers Association, whose journalism competition we enter every year.
This year, we won 13 awards for writing, as well as first place for General Excellence and the Best of Show in our category (publications with circulation of 100,000 or more).
Our managing editor, Margaret Foster, won awards for five of her stories: two cover stories in the Baltimore Beacon, “H&S Bakery rises to the occasion” and “Ballplayer now autism activist;” for her Howard County Beacon cover, “Let them eat steak;” for her Greater Washington Beacon cover story, “Write your memoir — with help,” and for her guest column, where she filled in for me in lieu of my “From the Publisher” column one month.
I have to add the lovely comment the judges offered on Margaret’s H&S Bakery story: “Launching a compelling company profile off a breaking news story is classic reporting at its best. When a local baker ended up supplying hundreds of stranded motorists with food, an uplifting story in the right hands became a history lesson and a comprehensive business report, as well as a very satisfying read.”
Our longtime freelance contributor, Glenda C. Booth, won recognition for her Baltimore cover story, “Designing jewelry for 70 years,” as well as for her Greater Washington cover, “Welcoming today’s refugees.”
Two other freelance writers won prizes as well: Ashley Stimpson, for her Howard County arts story “Lifelong carver prefers using chainsaws,” and Katherine Mahoney for her Washington profile, “He advocates for wronged WWII vets.”
One of our beloved travel writers, Victor Block, won for his travel column, which the judges said “make readers feel as if they’re enjoying the destinations he visits right alongside him.”
Our quarterly Housing and Homecare Options pull-out section won top prize for special section. The judges said it “hits all the right buttons…the broad range of topics is impressive…the articles are brisk and easy to understand.”
As we are entering the holiday season and the year draws to a close, I want to add here my thanks to, and admiration for, all of our staff, who work so diligently to produce multiple editions of the Beacon every month.
I’d like to thank them by name: Executive Vice President Gordon Hasenei; Art Director Kyle Gregory; Managing Editor Margaret Foster; Assistant Editor Ana Preger Hart; Advertising Representatives Dan Kelly, Steve Levin, M.K. Phillips and Alan Spiegel; Marketing & Operations Manager Ashley Griffin, and of course my wife, Judy Rosenthal, the Beacon’s President and Associate Publisher. We also wish the best to our former Director of Operations, Roger King, who has moved on after 17 years with the Beacon, and want to welcome our new Client Liaison, Jaclyn Thompson.
The Beacon would not exist without all of their efforts, nor without you who read our publications each month. I offer my sincere appreciation to each of you.
Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season and new year!