40 Days And Nights

December 9, 2002
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Putting together a 40 Under 40 supplement is a daunting task for all departments at the Business Journal.

Editorial surveys the candidates, writes the bios, finds the pictures and edits the copy. Production pulls it all together and produces the nice-looking piece that goes out to the public. Sales finds advertisers that will support the project and make it viable for the company. Marketing plans and executes the spiffy reception for the honorees (tonight at the Pen Club).

So what does Circulation do?

Well, if you’re a circulation manager extraordinaire like ScottMiller, you head to your trusty computer. Of the 40 people in today’s supplement, Miller found that 17 subscribe to the Journal in their name, 20 do not subscribe (but most have subscriptions in their companies’ names with no specific person’s name attached) and 3 are former subscribers whose subscriptions have lapsed.

“Three of the ‘non-subscribers’ subscribed in the past, but never paid and were therefore ‘cancelled for nonpayment.’ I hope that doesn’t say something about the future of this community.

“Anyway, the 23 non-subscribers/expires will receive a subscription from me in the mail after the event.”

That’s what Circulation does.

  • The mail often brings interesting tidbits of information to the Journal. Most of these end up in Changeups or other places in the paper.

But here’s one that’s built for Street Talk.

The letter starts,

“Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.” — Mayor MarionBarry, Washington, D.C.

“Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I’d love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.” — MariahCarey

“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” — BrookeShields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal antismoking campaign.”

The next paragraph states, “Do you ever wonder if people like this think of seeking the advice of public relations counsel? If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need assistance, I’m here to help. Because, remember ... “If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.” — President BillClinton

The letter ends simply with this: “Here’s my card.”

It’s nice to see that CraigClark, who recently signed on with davison dietsch mccarthy, has kept his sense of humor after slogging through PR work in the health care and financial services industries.

  • A new word has come up in discussions concerning a use for the now-vacant downtown Muskegon Mall.

That word is “casino.”

A local developer, Archimedes Group, reports partnering with Group One Productions, of Winter Park, Fla., in a bid for the go-ahead from the Downtown Muskegon Development Corp.

Downtown Muskegon is the nonprofit community group that owns the mall and has been talking about redeveloping it as an “urban village” with a mix of housing, retail and office space.

Archimedes and the Florida company suggest, instead, that the mall become a commercial-based entertainment district with, perhaps, a casino.

Talk of glitter, glitz and gambling as components of Muskegon’s future is déjà vu all over again.

Let’s not forget that Great Lakes Downs started life as a county-financed pari-mutuel harness-racing track that was going “to put Muskegon on the map.”

Maybe it did.

But it’s safe to say I-96 is not jammed with bettors eager to play the ponies. The track has changed ownership once (twice, actually, if you count the county’s original “investment” of the citizens’ earnings in it) and management at least twice, and at last word the track still is not profitable.

So, is it reasonable to expect that casino gambling is going to bring a flood of outside dollars into Muskegon? If cross-lack ferry service is ever re-established, is it likely that the “beautiful people (read: rich)” of Milwaukee will venture across the big lake to risk their money at Second and Western? And, for that matter, will Muskegon County’s snowbirds cancel their annual trips to Vegas to play roulette or shoot craps at the mall?

These and other interesting questions will, we predict, be answered in the negative.

  • And speaking of negative, how about the visitors bureaus in Saugatuck, HollandandGrandHaven pulling out of “Michigan’s West Coast” promotion (see story, page 3)?

Their complaint seems to be that they established the tourism market and now and the GrandRapidsKentCountyConventionVisitorsBureau is going to dip its beak into their birdbath.

In other words, they contend SteveWilson is using Grand Rapids’ new convention center to try to skim the cream from all that the lakeshore bureaus have done to attract all that business from north, east, south and all the ships at sea.

And that has territorial feathers ruffled for Saugatuck’s FeliciaFairchild, Holland’s SallyLaukitis and Grand Haven/Spring Lake’s MarciCisneros

Oh-oh, it sounds like that same record from the ’60s again. We — the emerging Holland-Grand Haven-Muskegon-Grand Rapids megalopolis — constitute The Market, the fastest growing region in Michigan. What’s good for one is good for all, and if Grand Rapids’ convention complex is a huge draw, that’s something in which local business leaders and taxpayers have invested liberally, and it’s going to help rather than hurt shoreline businesses.

  • Finally, let’s end with a little Internet humor. Thanks to whoever forwarded along these Employee Performance Review No-Nos

    “This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won’t be.”

    “Works well under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”

    “He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.”

    “When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.”

    “He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”

    “I would not allow this employee to breed.”BJX

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