From the Publisher

If You Are Going to Talk the Talk … Then Walk the Walk

By Brian Rowland, Publisher 

Over the years I have discovered one of my primary duties is to listen much more than I talk and be a keen observer of humans in individual and group dynamics. People will tell you so much about themselves if you will just take the time to listen to them, observe their body language and see if they do what they say they will do when they say it will get done.

I had a very interesting and telling situation one morning with my daily 7 a.m. stop at the post office to pick up the mail. There was a car in front of me and, all of a sudden, the driver flicked a lit cigarette out into the street. This got my attention, as it is one of those things in life that just makes me a bit perturbed. I sat for a few moments in my car so I could eyeball this individual.

The car door opened and out stepped a “public figure”: A prominent individual in the Tallahassee elite, a member of the right clubs and, to top it off, a community columnist who often pontificates about issues of business, politics, local concerns – and the environment – most eloquently.

After a quite cynical internal chuckle, I proceeded into the post office. Lo and behold, in walks the well-dressed driver to get mail, too. “Do I say anything?” I think. Of course I do. I’m from New York. We’re known for our candor.

So, I say: “Aren’t you the local columnist who writes essays on a regular basis?”

The proud response: “Well, yes. I am.”

“May I offer a suggestion for an article that would be most helpful to the entire community?”

“Well, sure!”

“How about a story on people who carelessly flick a cigarette butt out of the car into our community streets?” I say.

Stammering, stuttering and with face now ashen, the writer – unable to articulate a complete sentence – just walks away.

I do hope the ashtray of that car will now begin to be used and that this individual will take time to do some introspective work. After all, we live in one of the best communities and regions in America. Let’s all take some pride in it to keep trash off our streets and reduce the chance of fires.

Now, on to a more positive note, I would like to introduce and welcome two new managers who have joined the Rowland Publishing Inc. team as we prepare and plan for growth in 2008.

After a couple of decades of selling, as well as managing 10 dynamic sales professionals who were located from Destin to Tallahassee, the time has arrived for me to bring in an executive-level sales director.

Since her graduation from Kansas State University in 1975, Deb Phinney has moved around the country – and up the career ladder – in advertising sales, mostly with newspapers. She spent five years at Tallahassee’s local paper as advertising director and vice president of advertising before moving on to positions in Macon, Ga., and Lowell, Mass. But her desire to “live someplace that felt like home” brought her back to Tallahassee. I’m glad she’s decided to settle in here at Rowland.

With our plan to launch a new regional title this fall and the need to have a manager for our three consumer city titles, Maria Mallory White has become our director of editorial services, and she is the editor of our upcoming publication. Her background in journalism includes working for  U.S. News and World Report and Business Week.

I feel fortunate to associate with people who possess this level of professionalism and experience, and I am confident both will be instrumental in guiding and supporting the many talented team members in the sales and editorial departments while helping the company evolve to its next milestone of success.

Hope this time of spring environmental renewal is good for you. Please, make it the same for our environment.