It's now officially 2017, and with it the New Year naturally brings change—including here at Rubber & Plastics News. Just as all of you have to deal with the realities in your business, so do we in the publishing business.
Here at RPN, we begin the year without four people who have helped make our publication a success during much of our 45-plus year history—one a name you're probably familiar with, and the others having played key behind-the-scene roles at our Akron office with RPN and Tire Business, our sister publication. The cuts were part of a number of moves made throughout Crain Communications, our parent company, to help us remain competitive heading into 2017 and beyond.
Effective Jan. 1, Mike McNulty retired as a senior reporter after spending 19 years at RPN. He covered a number of beats during his tenure, focusing in recent years on belting, latex and urethanes. I still remember looking at his resume and story samples, thinking he didn't fit our usual mold of job candidates, but he knew how to tell a story.
Mike came to us in the latter part of his journalism career, was always the early bird of the office and worked a number of years past when most others would have retired. His bread-and-butter was breaking news and, because he still loves to write, you will continue to see his bylines in RPN as a freelance correspondent.
The other names that will disappear from the publication box that appears on this editorial page are Debby Sims, who has been here more than 30 years; Laureen Beresh at nearly 28 years; and Scott Merryweather, nearing 20 years. They comprised the Akron office's production department, and their job functions have been transferred to Crain's corporate site in Detroit.
Debby started at the bottom and worked her way up. She has overseen our IT and production functions here in Akron for many years. Debby also kept everyone's sweet tooth—particularly mine—satisfied with her candy supply.
Laureen served as the liaison between the advertising and editorial departments. She decided which ads appeared on which pages, made sure all the ad materials were in good order and tried to get our editorial staff to meet our issue deadlines (an uphill battle).
You have seen Scott's work over the years in our publications. Among his duties, he created a variety of computer graphics that helped illustrate our stories. He also helped make our photographs look as sharp as possible, and chipped in to help wherever else he could.
We will miss them all, and we wish them our best moving forward.
Let me reassure you, though, that our staff at RPN will continue to work our hardest to bring you the news of the rubber industry as you've come to expect it across all of our print and digital platforms. We have a number of exciting special reports planned over the coming months, so stay tuned.
Meyer is editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.