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I think about the 400-some columns that have come before mine in this magazine’s 41-year history. James Selk, Doug Moe, Brian Howell, Neil Heinen, Brennan Nardi and Karen Lincoln Michel — they’ve all shared personal stories, important perspective, previews of the issue in hand and small windows into the storytelling process.
And then there’s me. A student loan-paying, apartment-renting, Instagram-loving millennial providing opening remarks for a magazine that’s older than I am.
It takes me back to one of the most important meetings I sat in on just months after I started working at Madison Magazine. After I was introduced to the group, a high-ranking city official asked, “What are you, 12?”
The comment stuck with me for quite some time, but I now wear it as a badge of honor to be the youngest in the room. With years of experience ahead of me and a fresh, new perspective to share, I look forward to connecting with longtime readers of Madison Magazine while also reaching out to those picking up the magazine for the first time. People like myself, who are just starting to find their place within the Madison community and on the cusp of helping write this city’s next chapter.
I’m humbled to have my first column appear in an issue featuring a cover story by our editorial director Neil Heinen. Neil writes like he thinks, which works because his stream of thought reads like poetry. He shares the story of Madison College President Jack E. Daniels III, who has quietly become one of the city’s most important community leaders.
Also in this issue, Brennan Nardi pens her second to last Startup City column after nearly four years of covering the area’s fast-growing entrepreneurial scene. Having started the monthly column shortly after capping a 10-year tenure as editor of this publication, she ends an incredible era both for herself and the magazine. Luckily her next venture involves launching a freelance writing business, so we hope it’s not goodbye just yet. (Learn more about how she’s getting her business idea off the ground on page 28.) It’s also not the last you’ll see of Startup City — senior contributor Maggie Ginsberg will take over the column starting in October, and we’re all baffled that it took this long to find a monthly spot for Maggie’s voice.
If this is your hundredth time reading this magazine or the first, I look forward to finding you here again next month. There are so many more stories to tell.
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