People to meet
Years ago, a newspaper publisher friend of mine shared a pretty simple strategy: “We try to put 1,000 names of local people and companies in the paper every week.” This is a seemingly simple, but profoundly effective idea that intentionally engages readers with content about their friends, neighbors and co-workers. It is a lesson that I’ve never forgotten.
At Virginia Business, we do meet a lot of people. One of our goals has always been to bring you more than just words on paper. We are involved with business events across the state, serve on nonprofit boards and are active in the arts community. It is a big commitment by the magazine to establish and maintain relationships with so many business leaders, companies and other organizations. But, of course, business is about relationships.
This month’s Virginia Business marks the launch of a new feature: 100 People to Meet in 2020. Our intention is to make this an annual introduction to some of the people we’ve met over that past year: interesting folks, movers and shakers, up-and-comers. Some are new to important positions. In general, they are all impact makers.
Also included in this issue is our 20th annual listing of the Virginia Business Legal Elite. Unlike our 100 People to Meet list, which are editors’ choices, the Legal Elite are selected through ballots submitted by lawyers licensed to practice in Virginia. Recognition by one’s peers is always a hallmark of professional excellence. To keep the playing field level, lawyers can’t just vote for attorneys from their own firm. Each vote cast inside the firm must be matched by at least as many votes for attorneys from a different firm. This adds significant credibility to the process. Congratulations to everyone who made this year’s Legal Elite!
Next month, as usual, our January cover story will focus on the upcoming session of the General Assembly. Given last month’s election results, which led to the selection of Virginia’s first female speaker of the House, it seems only natural to prominently feature women of the General Assembly in January. A record number of female candidates in this year’s election helped bring unprecedented change to the makeup of Virginia’s political class. Is Virginia really a bellwether of things yet to come in the 2020 national election? Time will tell.
February’s magazine will present our 10th annual listing of Best Places to Work in Virginia, and March’s issue, The Big Book, will include our eighth annual list of the 50 most influential Virginians.
In 2020, we are going to take the latter list to a whole new level. Coming in September, we will debut a new annual publication, The Virginia 500. This will be a listing of Virginia’s 500 most influential business leaders, from a variety of sectors ranging from real estate, energy and technology to higher education and nonprofits. The 500 will be a veritable social register of leadership in Virginia.
If you are beginning to notice a common theme here, that’s intentional — business really is all about people. Virginia Business sits at an interesting intersection of people, companies and places. In our pages, you can read about people you know or feel you could get to know, who work at companies or in places that you have visited or could easily visit. High among the reasons that Virginia is consistently rated as a top state for business should be its people. That’s not easily measured in such rankings, but undoubtedly it is one of the greatest reasons for our success.
Virginia Business strives to bring you stories about the people who make business happen in Virginia. We hope that you enjoy this issue, which starts you off with a fresh list of 100 people to meet in 2020. Here’s to the best of business success to you over the coming new year!