Andy Hanacek

With Thanksgiving on my doorstep (as of my writing this) and the “major holidays” on your doorstep (as of your reading this), I wanted to reflect on the year that has been 2009 and express my gratitude.

Some journalists might call this a “throwaway column” or say that I’m already on the plane for vacation (even though I’m not going anywhere!), but I have much to be thankful for this year — and I think that many of you out there can say the same. This is a time for celebration, but it is also a time for self-reflection, whether you’re happy as a clam, down in the dumps or somewhere in between. Without self-reflection, how can you learn from your successes and mistakes? Businesses do it all the time (or at least, they should) — and people should do the same.

First of all, I want to thank Barbara Young, who is now on our Editorial Board following her retirement, for her support, guidance and acceptance of me over the years. Her knowledge and advice has been invaluable through my “grooming” period — it’s not easy for a hard-working person like Barbara to make a major change like retirement (and she will still be working with us, of course), but I feel as though I’m doing her proud every day leading this magazine to continued success.

Second, I want to thank my fellow editors, our Editorial Board members and our stable of contributing writers: We’ve only scratched the surface of their expertise in 2009, and we’ve got some very exciting plans on the docket for 2010.

Third, I am grateful to all of you, in the industry, who have taken me into the fold, allowed me to tell some of the great stories you have, and — most importantly — given me your trust. I will continue to work hard to retain that trust and further earn the trust of others in the industry. You all have great stories to tell — and yes, the industry has some issues to repair. But together, I think we can make this industry fly even higher than it is.

Finally, I want to thank our readers for your support — and remind you that my phone line and e-mail inbox are open for your suggestions as well as criticisms.

The last 12 months have been challenging for many of us — let’s all thank God (or whomever your creator is) for what we DO have, and hope and pray that 2010 will offer easier mountains to climb. Happy Holidays to you and yours from myself and the rest of the staff at The National Provisioner!