At the Helm: The passion that fuels us

“The best magazines are made by people who
are free to indulge their curiosity and embrace their passions, who refuse to be bound by convention, who are encouraged, even urged, to hang it out there on the raggedy edge of risk.”

That quote has graced the bulletin board next to my desk for the better part of the past 13 years. I clipped it out of an anniversary issue of Outside magazine (one of my favorites) years ago, and it has served as the crux of my inspiration for creating the best possible publication.

While a journalist writing for Outside magazine and a journalist writing for Boating Industry most likely define words like “risk” differently (what’s more risky: scaling Mount Everest or covering dealer-boat builder relations? Hmmmm…), the point is the same: You must be driven by curiosity and fueled by passion to set yourself apart as the best.

If there is one person who epitomizes the qualities outlined in this quote, it is Boating Industry’s new editor-in-chief, Liz Walz. While I would need many more pages than this one to outline all of the incredible characteristics Liz brings to her perch as the lead editor of this publication, I’ll state simply that Liz’s passion fuels the success of the Boating Industry brand. And curiously enough, it is her curiosity to learn and to share perspectives that fuels her passion.

Many of you know Liz’s smile and her soft, yet sure-footed approach to journalism. Underneath that soft shell, however, is a woman of fierce determination (and a black belt, no less). She sets a goal, and nothing keeps her from attaining it. In fact, I should mention here that there’s another quote I’ve grown quite fond of over the years. It reads: “In 10 years, I want the industry to look back on the growth and improvement of the past decade and be able to honestly say that Boating Industry not only contributed to it, but was a major driver of it.”

Liz authored that quote during a vision planning session we held, and it has served as a cornerstone of the re-branding efforts and new direction Boating Industry took four years ago. Now, you could say that the industry growth she references hasn’t yet come to fruition, but there’s no doubt that Boating Industry’s contributions to the market — through this magazine, e-white papers, the Top 100 Dealers Program, the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo and the myriad best practices we share on a weekly basis — have most certainly made an indelible impact.

As I move on to a role as group publisher and editorial director for our trade group (Boating Industry and Powersports Business), I’m thrilled to pass on the reins of B.I.’s editor-in-chiefdom to a leader who is so passionate about your interests.

Leaders are those who can help others envision a brighter future and then go out and make that vision a reality. They’re the ones, like Liz, who hang it out there on that raggedy edge of risk, and do it with a smile. And I’m excited to watch Liz and the B.I. team bring her vision to fruition.

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