Editor’s Column - ACC: 10 Years and Counting
By Douglas Towne
There was a running joke between my wife and me before Arizona Contractor & Community debuted in Spring 2012. “I’m going over to Billy’s to work on the magazine, so I'll be home late,” was my regular message. She’d tease me about the name being "Billie," and eventually became concerned about my frequent absences. Billy Horner and I solved that problem by hosting the next meeting at my house.
But the challenges Billy and I encountered starting this magazine weren't as easily solved. And many challenges there were, trying to launch a print publication in the internet age, when iconic magazines had shrunk to a fraction of their previous size or halted production altogether.
ASU Cheerleaders help ACC Celebrate Our 10th Anniversary
Fortunately, we got lucky and had a few things going for us. One is the synergistic relationship Billy and I have, which helps create a publication that appeals to a wide variety of readers. Billy’s strong suit is Arizona construction, while mine is the state’s history and natural resources. There’s overlap between us, but the magazine wouldn’t work without our yin-yang dualism.
As we release our 43rd issue and celebrate the magazine’s 10th anniversary, I'm thankful for the eclectic and talented group who helped make this journey possible.
Foremost are Billy’s wife, Laura Horner, and the late Charles “Chuck” Runbeck. Laura is our techie and design guru who puts together the magazine and runs our website. She’s also responsible for behind-the-scenes office management, the details of which I remain blissfully unaware. Chuck, who died last March at age 91, was the cornerstone of the publication. Without his sterling reputation in the industry and enthusiasm to create yet another business success, we’d still be idling on the launch pad.
A handful of others have been indispensable to our success. Steph Carrico, who fatefully introduced Billy and me at her Trunk Space art gallery and performance venue in Downtown Phoenix. Christia Gibbons, who created valuable connections with her students at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. The late Tom Hogarty, who enthusiastically marketed the magazine until his death last August. Douglas Sydnor, who writes eloquently about buildings and those who design them in his architecture column.
Many other individuals have contributed to the magazine. They include a mix of talented reporters, historians writing about their research passions, ASU journalism students, construction professionals, and PR specialists, who pitch their ideas to us at the Valley Publicity Summit at ASU's Barrett Honors College. And, of course, there’s the Arizona construction industry. We appreciate your good nature when we ask you to search tattered shoe boxes for faded work Polaroids and respond to questions about people, equipment, and projects from decades ago.
Your advertising in the magazine is a constant reminder of the great value you place on documenting the incredible legacy of Arizona’s roads, buildings, and infrastructure—and the people and companies that built them. With your continued support, we’ll persist in our mission to create an irreplaceable, entertaining archive about your important efforts for future generations—and hopefully bring a smile to your face when you open every freshly printed issue.
To read the rest of this article, you are invited to purchase the digital issue here.
This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Mar/Apr 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 2.