It’s been two decades already! In your hands you are holding the product that celebrates those 20 years of effort. Even at its humble beginning, I always believed that The Network Journal could make a difference in helping African-Americans build strong businesses and strong careers. As we compiled resource information and profiles of those who had successfully developed their own enterprise, I knew that The Network Journal was destined to affect the lives, attitudes and personal economies of all who read it.
Looking back, I see how great an achievement it was to be the first Black-focused business publication in New York with a presence on the World Wide Web. When we started, the Internet as we know it today did not even exist.
Another victory for us was the development of our two hallmark business-related programs: the 40 Under Forty Achievement Awards, which began 16 years ago, and the 25 Influential Black Women in Business Awards, which had its start fifteen years ago. Today, both programs enjoy unparalleled success in bringing together and recognizing outstanding Black executives and business owners from all over the country and from different cultural backgrounds.
Now, at the dawn of our third decade, The Network Journal has become a must-read for business leaders, power brokers and deal makes in this great city. We’ve leveraged our pursuit of information and mirrored the growth of our readership. We’ve transitioned from a black-and-white tabloid newspaper to a glossy, full-color magazine, growing our circulation to more than 98,000 readers a month.
Yes, we’ve made strong alliances and partnered with some of the largest organizations in the country, including D&B and the U.S. Small Business Administration. As a result of those partnerships, we’ve produced an annual Entrepreneurs’ Resource Guide that puts startup and business-sustaining information in the hands of all readers. For two consecutive years, we hosted the “Savings Awareness and Financial Investment” conference with former New York State comptroller and gubernatorial candidate H. Carl McCall. In so doing, we sent a strong message to all New Yorkers about just how serious we were about helping people to get more in sync with their finances.
Special recognition is due to those who started this journey of faith with us: editors Tania Padgett and the late Akinsiju Ola; writers Herb Boyd and Kenneth Meeks, whose dedication and many talents contributed to our successful growth. My sincere thanks for the vision and loyalty of our staff — a wonderful professional team that makes it all run smoothly, especially our Executive Editor Rosalind McLymont and Sergie Willoughby, our online editor, who work tirelessly to ensure that The Network Journal magazine and TNJ.com meet the highest editorial standards.
And many, many thanks to our advertisers and readers, for without your support we would not have made it this far. I hope that we have served your interests well. Rest assured that we will continue to strive to do so in our next TWO DECADES.