At a recent buying group meeting, I gathered my breakfast and found a familiar face at one of the tables to join a veteran integrator who is an old friend. As I sat down and eyed my bacon and eggs, he asked me, “Haven’t you retired yet?” That question might have been a sign, because while I am not retiring, it is with bittersweetness that I bid you all a fond farewell as editor-in-chief of CE Pro.
After more than three decades covering low-voltage electronics (33 years in all), I am changing careers, which is not easy at my age (don’t ask). I am moving on to an incredible opportunity with the D-Tools Data Solutions Group that I just could not pass up. I’ll be excited to communicate with all of you in my new role — you aren’t rid of me yet!
Looking back on 23 years at CE Pro, I have always aimed to stay focused on the stated mission of the brand: “To help you run your business better.” I have tried to stay true to that mission with integrity and dignity, and I hope I have earned your respect in how I have conducted myself.
Focusing on CE Pro’s mission means over the years I have tackled numerous industry challenges and offered solutions, introduced you to new and future product categories, crunched data to provide benchmarks to help you guide your business, and connected buyers and sellers.
I pounded and pounded you about developing recurring monthly revenue (RMR) streams for your businesses. I offered advice and made predictions — I wasn’t always right, but it was always with the best intentions. Above all, my primary role since 2000 has been to listen to your feedback and interests, and reflect those needs in the pages of CE Pro, on the website and in our newsletters.
This is the greatest industry in the world. There is an entrepreneurial spirit engrained in every integrator, manufacturer, rep and distributor that’s unmatched by any other business I know. The services you provide for your customers brings joy to the world. It was not a coincidence that the federal government determined this industry as essential during the pandemic.
I leave you in the more-than capable hands of my longtime colleagues at CE Pro. Arlen Schweiger has been with CE Pro and myriad sister publications for 17 years, including a stint editor-in-chief of Electronic House. His depth of industry knowledge is immense and he already has plans to continue elevating the brand.
Bob Archer has been by my side as senior editor for 23 years, handling everything tech-related not just for CE Pro but for several of our other brands. He is one of those rare individuals who is very technically adept but makes his product reviews and news simple to understand for readers of all knowledge levels.
Nick Boever has only been with Emerald for about two years, working with me on our DesignWell brand before moving over to be web editor on CE Pro last year. He’s the best web editor we have had.
I could never have imagined 23+ years ago when Ken Moyes and Julie Jacobson invited me to lunch at a tradeshow that this journey would be so incredible and rewarding. CE Pro has been life-changing for me, and I hope during my stewardship of this vaunted brand it has helped you achieve your own goals.
The friendships I have gained over nearly a quarter-century are too numerous to mention. Those will never disappear. So, as I say, “thank you” for what you have done for me, I will leave you with, “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night.” (Now that song is stuck in your head… gotcha!)
– Jason Knott, Editor-in-Chief, CE Pro (for the last time)
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