Our first year of publishing the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal (QCBJ) has been quite a rewarding experience. Every day we are hearing from new readers on how refreshing and informative it is to have a bona fide business journal in the Quad Cities.
This didn’t just happen, however.
It took years of encouragement and months of planning. But what made it happen, more than anything else, is excellent journalists and media professionals. We have assembled some of the best.
Patrick Eikenberry, the executive vice president of civil engineering with IMEG and well-known QC business leader, was an early supporter of us launching this business journal in the Quad Cities. The one piece of advice that stood out more than anything else was: “Hire Jennifer DeWitt!”
Ms. DeWitt was a long-time business reporter and business editor with the Quad-City Times, who was laid off months prior to me exploring the creation of a business journal in the Quad Cities. Fortunately, I was quickly able to connect and convince her to join me in this endeavor.
I’m not sure we would be anywhere near where we are today without her professionalism, passion and connections.
She helped us assemble one of the most experienced newsrooms in the entire Quad Cities. We were fortunate to hire Kenda Burrows and Dave Thompson, both long-time journalists and editors in the Quad Cities, to round out our news team; not to mention a stable of some of the region’s best freelancers including Jan Touney, Steve Tappa, Steve Trainor, Ed Tibbetts and photographer John Schultz.
After only a few short months of publishing, our news team has already been recognized by our peers across Illinois — with the QCBJ capturing awards in five categories including: best design, best website, overall excellence and reporting — in the 2022 Northern Illinois Newspaper Association contest.
Importantly, Ms. DeWitt also helped draw veteran media sales professional Dayle Hall out of retirement to help spearhead our sales efforts, and she has been doing an excellent job.
Most recently, we hired Beth Clark as our new associate publisher. Ms. Clark is the former co-publisher of the Quad-City Times and most recently was business development/marketing director with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley. Her deep experience in the for-profit and nonprofit business sectors as well as her entrepreneurial and media background will help solidify the QCBJ’s permanence in the market.
Someone commented to me recently that they were impressed with the caliber of employees we were able to attract. It all originates from the meeting I had with Mr. Eikenberry.
In addition to the strong business news that we have covered, we also hosted a number of events in the market including 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes, Commercial Real Estate Symposium and a Mid-Year Economic Review event. These are very much part of the business journal business model.
There will be more events in the coming year, including a Coolest Places to Work event.
All of the efforts of our team over the past year culminated on Nov. 10 with more than 500 people attending the QCBJ’s Forty Under 40 awards banquet at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. It was great to be able to publicly recognize an amazing group of young professionals who are so committed to their companies and organizations and to the Quad Cities region.
As we start publishing into our second year we hope that you will support our efforts by subscribing to the QCBJ and sharing with us the business news that makes the Quad Cities such a special place. Thank you for reading.
John Lohman is chief executive officer & president of the Corridor Media Group, publisher of the QCBJ. You can reach Mr. Lohman at email@example.com.