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At special times, someone crosses your path and leaves a lasting effect. That is the case with Mike Kornemann, who worked for this magazine for 18 years, five and a half of them as publisher. He left at the end of April to pursue another opportunity, but it’s important for our readers to know that the editorial standards he held will continue at the magazine.
During his tenure here, the magazine won numerous awards for its editorial content. He was the face of Madison Magazine to the local business community and led the publication during a significant economic downturn, a time in which he elevated the brand through special events.
But among the accomplishments most noted by his former staffers is the workplace culture he established. Morgan Murphy Media, this magazine’s parent company, is a family-owned business, and Mike was a father figure to some and a big brother to others. No matter if we disagreed, I understood that his decisions were based on fairness and what he thought was the best for the magazine. At a farewell lunch on his last day, staff members one-by-one shared personal stories of his kindness, thoughtfulness and compassion. He set the tone for a caring and inclusive workplace, an atmosphere worth striving for and maintaining.
As publisher, Mike allowed me the space to execute my editorial vision for the magazine, but also offered constructive criticism when necessary. But mostly, he was supportive, encouraging and gave credit when it was earned. He was that way with all of his staffers.
He once told me he liked it when magazine editors used their columns to share their thoughts, not simply promote what was in the magazine that month. And while I’m ecstatic that camping is our cover story in this issue — and pumped that my husband and I will be camping in Door County in mid-June — I take this opportunity to acknowledge Mike Kornemann, who left a mark on this magazine and the people who worked for him.
And now it’s on to new journeys. I’m excited to turn the next page.
Karen Lincoln Michel is interim publisher and editor-in-chief at Madison Magazine.
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