Our daily business life is marked by innumerable successes and failures.

By Boyce Thompson

Everyone likes to win. And as businesspeople, we compete every day. Sometimes

we compete privately, other times very publicly. At BUILDER, we're often in

the position of sharing in the elation of a builder who opened a community over

the weekend--uncertain whether anyone would show up--and signed two dozen contracts.

And we occasionally hear the letdown in the voice of a reader who argued valiantly

and spent prodigiously to gain approvals for a new development, then lost.

The competitive nature of this industry is most visible, of course, at one of its many award celebrations. People love to win Home of the Year, to be recognized for their sales achievements, or to be crowned for having the best Web site. We all want to know that the fruit of our daily labor transcends the ordinary.

Top of the class

It's no different in magazine publishing. We enter as many awards programs as we can. One award we seek to win every year is the Editorial Excellence Award. This is presented annually by Folio magazine--the business magazine for business magazines--to the best all-around magazine in about a dozen categories. We compete among construction and design magazines, which means we go up against commercial architecture and construction magazines as well as ones with a residential focus.

We recently found out that we won this award for the third consecutive year, a highly unusual accomplishment, according to Folio. The magazines in this competition are judged by other business magazine editors, who look for great stories, creative design, and strong production values.

This brings to a close a great year for BUILDER magazine. We won three Jesse H. Neal Awards, the highest writing honors for business-to-business magazines, from American Business Media, a trade group for B2B magazines. The American Society of Business Press Editors presented us with seven editorial and art awards, including a gold medal for our redesign of BUILDER.

We accomplished nearly all of the goals that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. Much of the credit belongs to people whose bylines you don't see in the magazine.

For starters, I'd like to congratulate BUILDER's editor, Cati O'Keefe, who is probably most responsible for BUILDER's consistently high level of editorial quality. Cati takes the magazine to a higher level of writing and reporting each year.

Our editorial formula relies on a complex mix of headlines, text faces, photos,

and illustrations. Eddie Malstrom, our art director, does an outstanding job

blending these elements into an easy-to-read magazine. BUILDER sports one of

the most complicated graphic formulas around. It looks every bit as good as

the best business and consumer magazines.

But all our creativity would go for naught if we couldn't produce the magazine in a timely manner, with minimum mistakes. Debby Leopold, our managing editor, does an incredible job keeping the editorial machine running smoothly, no small task considering how many pages we produce annually. She is also the person most responsible for our quality control, something we take very seriously.

As the year comes to a close, and you look back upon on your year, and all that you've accomplished, we hope your highs vastly outnumbered your lows.

Happy holidays.

Boyce Thompson

Editor in Chief

E-mail: bthompso@hanley-wood.com

[Photo: Katherine Lambert]