Fran Gallagher likes to tease me about my penchant for telling the story of how and where we planned the first issue of Global Traveler. Truth be told, the owner and publisher of this great magazine enjoys reminiscing as much as I do.
I was then, and am now, based in the Boston area. Fran is at World Headquarters in Yardley, Pa., so we decided to meet halfway between the two points at a waterfront restaurant in New Haven, Conn. Starting at lunch and ending with our hundredth cups of coffee as the dinner crowd began to arrive, we made lists, brainstormed ideas, developed a timeline and, all in all, put together an issue from scratch.
Call it naïve enthusiasm (although at the time Fran had almost two decades of publishing experience under his belt and I was a long-time travel writer) or gutsy chutzpa, but we had no doubt we would succeed.
“It really is a testament to the long-term members of Global Traveler,” says Gallagher. “They have taken the magazine from a fledgling force to the most stable and reliable magazine in this niche. From day one, we knew that we had ‘burned the ships in the harbor’ and there was no turning back; failure was never an option. Today, we look forward to our future with a growing team that will take us on the next leg of our adventure.”
Alexandra Young, Global Traveler’s vice president and associate publisher, recalls the early days.
“I couldn’t wait to receive the first issues of Global Traveler hot off the press in 2004,” says Young. “I have the same excitement about receiving the 100th issue. I am humbled to be part of a team that works so hard to better serve our readers and our partners. To be the best in the business you need to have the best in the business. GT has the best. I look forward to the next 100.”
While we are all proud of those early issues, we needed to introduce ourselves to the public. That’s where John Wroblewski, GT’s distribution specialist, and his top-notch team came into play, leading the way to establishing our highly valued, ABC-audited readership of executive travelers.
“It has been wonderful being a part of Global Traveler as it has grown from a kernel of an idea in Fran’s mind to a thriving company, filled with people whom I truly consider to be my friends,” says Wroblewski. “The entire GT experience has surpassed my expectations on every level.”
Global Traveler ’s art director, Tracey Cullen, signed on about four years ago. While previous art directors each put their own spin on the magazine as we evolved through the years, Tracey is responsible for the sophisticated publication you hold in your hands today.
“The thing that drew me to work at Global Traveler was the fact that everyone takes great pride in this magazine,” says Cullen. “We strive to fill every issue with interesting, informative articles that cater to our target audience.”
I mentioned naïve enthusiasm earlier in this article. One thing I know for sure is that I was completely unprepared as editor in chief for the volume of work involved in producing a monthly magazine. Early on, the editorial side consisted of me, an art director and a part-time copy editor. I don’t think I saw daylight for months at a time, so you can imagine my delight when Jan Hecht, senior editor, and Patty Vanikiotis, associate editor/copy editor, joined the crew. It didn’t take long for me to realize that with Tracey, Jan and Patty in my corner I had the makings of an editorial Dream Team.
“In early 2008, Lisa called, asking if I could serve as an interim assistant editor for Global Traveler,” recalls Vanikiotis. “I gulped, said ‘Sure!’ and began a steep learning curve with a very supportive group of people who obviously loved what they were doing.
“I was asked to continue working for GT as copy editor (and weekend blogger) after Jan Hecht came on board as senior editor a few months later. Three years down the road, I’m still enthused about working with the lively, professional, bright individuals associated with Global Traveler.”
Noting the forward-thinking philosophy of the magazine, Hecht observes, “Will Rogers once said, ‘Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.’ That could serve as a motto for Global Traveler — always on the right track for its audience, but not content to just keep the status quo. That’s part of what makes it exciting to work at GT.”
Kimberly Krol joined the Global Traveler team five years ago, fresh out of Syracuse University. While Kim wears many hats — if you’ve been to a Global Traveler event, you know she’s a party planner extraordinaire — those of us on the editorial side were thrilled when Kim declared last year that her first love is writing. Editor of eFlyer USA for the past couple of years, Kim recently added special issues editor to her roster of responsibilities.
“It’s been exciting and rewarding to be a part of the magazine and witness its astounding growth,” says Krol. “I cannot wait to see what the next years and next 100 issues bring because with Global Traveler, the possibilities are endless.”
Our sales and sales support team has expanded, too, with Olivia Falcione and Carly Allen joining the ranks with Fran, Alex and Dick, and Danielle Hudena signing on as director of sales and marketing. Katie Skrzek, advertising and editorial coordinator, keeps everyone organized.
“I feel proud to be a part of such a special moment,” says Olivia Falcione, account executive. “It is an honor to celebrate this accomplishment.”
“I am continually impressed each and every day,” chimes in Carly Allen, account executive for the Western region. “I am even more excited about our plans and direction for 2012.”
“I am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of my team members who contributed to the creation of Global Traveler eight years ago,” adds Hudena. “The 100th issue is a significant milestone which provides an opportunity to recognize the tireless effort and commitment that it takes to deliver a top-notch and relevant publication.”
“I admire the consistency of our magazine and the dedicated work of our staff,” says Skrzek. “I am excited to be a part of the team, especially during our milestone 100th issue.”
Sometimes change and improvement slip by us unnoticed day by day until we look back and realize how far we’ve come. Patty Mahlon, Global Traveler’s director of digital media, compares the magazine’s timeline with the ever-changing digital world in which we live and work.
“It’s strange to think that when Global Traveler debuted, advances in media technology had not yet brought us iPhones and iPads. Who knows? By the time the 200th issue comes out, maybe we’ll beam to destinations.”
But it’s Global Traveler’s vice president, Dick Evans, who offers the observation I think best describes our metamorphosis: “I feel like we were in a Mickey Rooney movie, ‘Hey kids! Let’s put on a show in the backyard,’ but the show in the backyard morphed into a big-time Broadway production. Seriously, it is amazing how this magazine has evolved over the years to stand head and shoulders with the longer-established travel magazines. And it continues to evolve with each passing year. Here’s to the next 100 issues!”
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