A lot can change in just one year.
That was the thought that came to my mind as I reread the column I wrote in October 2018 shortly after I became editor of the Idaho Business Review. At the time, I was a newcomer to the Gem State following a few whirlwind moves from Albuquerque to Denver and then Denver to Boise. I’d leased a tiny apartment near Ann Morrison Park sight unseen and arrived in town with my 13-year-old orange tabby cat, Astro, a few boxes of stuff and high hopes that this Idaho Business Review gig would work out.
I am happy to say that the job, and Idaho in general, have far exceeded my expectations.
During my roughly 460 days as editor (but who’s counting), I’ve been continually impressed by the Idaho Business Review’s “lean and mean” team of employees for their hard work, innovative thinking and openness to try something new.
And 2019 brought plenty that was new.
- Expanded tech industry coverage: We launched a weekly email newsletter focused on the state’s booming tech industry. Staff writer Sharon Fisher has done an outstanding job connecting with industry heavyweights from stalwarts such as Micron, Truckstop.com, Kount and Cradlepoint to promising startups. Sharon studied computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and worked for publications in Silicon Valley. She brings a wealth of knowledge to her reporting.
- Expanded health care coverage: Similarly, we brought back deep-dive coverage of health care, which is in growth mode with new clinics, hospital expansions, high-tech procedures and educational programs appearing around the state.
- “Most Read” stories email blast: Each week we complile a list of our three most popular stories and email them out in our Saturday morning Top Stories blast. These stories are made free to non-subscribers — that’s right, FREE!
- Revamped podcast: The Idaho Business Out Loud podcast launched this summer and it has already showcased great interviews with leaders from companies like indieDwell, Zions Bank, Hawley Troxell and In Time Tec. Transcripts of these interviews are printed online and in the newspaper as Q and A stories. Web editor Liz Harbauer, the voice of the podcast, already has a slate of great interviews lined up for 2020.
- Improved nomination, application and judging process for awards: Special sections editor Rebecca Palmer has worked hard to modernize these processes through steps like online application forms that make it much easier to apply for any of our dozen awards. The result has been a record-breaking number of applications and fewer errors.
- Redesigned newspaper: If you read the Idaho Business Review in print, you are seeing the fruits of that labor right now. Our new design and logo launched in the Jan. 3 edition of the paper. The front page is now more photo-driven and the overall look is a bit cleaner.
Personally, I am proud to say that a number of our 2019 initiatives were laid out in that first column, which I jokingly titled “A note from the editor: I’m a bit tired but very happy to be here.” It’s always satisfying to look back at a list of goals and check them off.
Throughout these changes, the Idaho Business Review’s staff have given a lot of thought to our purpose in the community, and we came up with this overarching mission: to connect people in meaningful ways. From our awards to our panel discussion to our news stories, the goal is always to bring the state’s business community together, which is critical from a professional and personal standpoint.
I’m excited for all that we have in store for 2020 and thrilled that I took on the challenge of leading the Idaho Business Review’s editorial team.
Here’s to a happy and productive New Year.
Kim Burgess is editor of the Idaho Business Review.