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Springfield, MO

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Stop The Presses

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by Dianne Elizabeth

Right underneath Springfield Business Journal's banner on this week's front page, just to the right of the date, you will see that you are holding Volume XIX, No. 1. That's right, the staff is celebrating the beginning of our 19th year in the business of publishing the business of Springfield and southwest Missouri.

For you newcomers those of you who have been around the Ozarks for less than the majority of your lifetimes this paper started out as TOP's Executive Journal (TOP's is an acronym for "The Ozarks' Pulse," of course) on July 22, 1980.

We changed our name to Springfield Business Journal in 1982, after we figured out that a number of folks just didn't get our cutesy marketing strategy.

Nevertheless, to say that we are proud of our vision and persistence being the first and oldest weekly business publication in the state of Missouri is a huge understatement.

I believe it is a credit to our excellent staff and to all the excellent staff members that this newspaper has had the privilege to employ, as well as the vitality and growth of the Springfield area, that has allowed SBJ to survive and thrive in this marketplace.

In fact, through our contacts with other business journal publishers from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and even Europe, we have not learned of another weekly business paper in existence for any length of time in a smaller metropolitan statistical area.

This is no small compliment to the local business and professional community, SBJ advertisers and subscribers, and, of course, our smart and tough staffers and advisers.

Over the years, some of our anniversary parties have become legendary. We have celebrated heartily and loudly, proud to have survived another year. This year, we are thanking our wonderful advertisers, subscribers and staff members in print, from our hearts and with our most sincere prayers.

You are the people (and people are what this newspaper is all about) that made and continue to make this paper happen week after week after week for more than 18 years. How many weeks is that, anyway? Our gratitude is fully yours, and we love you.

Now, about those anniversary party dollars. This year, we are spending them all on ourselves to prepare for the greatness that is Springfield's and SBJ's as we prepare to reach the 20-year mark in the New Millennium, the year 2000.

On Friday of this week, July 24, our office will be closed all day. The entire staff will be spending the day at Rock Lane Lodge on Table Rock Lake, enhancing our creativity and communication skills, building our teamwork, boosting our morale, plotting our direction and mobilizing our efforts to provide Springfield and southwest Missouri with the very best reader, advertiser and community service. We all deserve it!

It goes almost without saying that we will be having some fun, too, with a sail on the great catamaran "Spirit of America" and a barbecue supper, complete with much patting of ourselves and each other on the backs!

As I look back over the years, it's hard to believe that I was so young when we first started out. I have children who are nearly the age I was way back then and they're just kids! I am glad and grateful for the many business, personal and spiritual blessings we have enjoyed in the process of making this paper every week for 18 years.

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