Letter From The Publisher – December 2007

Whos Your Biggest Fan?

Every month when I sit down to write my Letter I have like a million things that have happened or are going to happen that I want to write about. I want to start by sharing an awesome personal experience that I had with my two children, keeping in mind that they are 14 years apart and live hundreds of miles and 4 states away from each other. While my daughter was here with my grandson, and my son was home from college, we had a quaint little gathering of friends for a Thanksgiving\Gator-FSU party. After she arrived on Friday I got my grandson to settle into a comfy sleep. I’ll never forget the scene that took place poolside. It was a beautiful full moonlit night; you could actually see your shadow on the patio and we were all just hanging out listening to some good ole school funk. In our family what normally happens next is dancing, and I’m talking gettin’ down movin’ and groovin’ (and I am very proud to say both my kids can really dance). We laughed and danced together until after midnight and I realized that regardless of whatever else happens in my life I was a very content mother. Now some of you parents out there are probably saying it’s not like they just came up with a cure for a fatal disease, but for me it was pure joy. My daughter has always made me feel like she is my biggest fan.

I think it’s safe to say we are branding ourselves every month as the only regional golf magazine to give charity golf events the amount of exposure for their sponsors, and publicize their contact info so people can donate after the event or get involved in future projects. We average anywhere between 5-10 tournament articles each issue around the state. This month’s Celebrity Corner we are featuring Shelton Quarles, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer who started a foundation known as IMPACT. I attended the fundraising event in Tampa and was driven to tears when he spoke of his mom and how she was 15 when she had him, but gave her all the credit for his success, by her perseverance and leading as a strong example. I believe he is her biggest fan, and for good reason. He, by the way, is known as the “Real Gentleman” and I agree.

I don’t believe that I’m a charter member, but if there is a Fan Club for Sheila Johnson I am definitely one of the newest members. If you aren’t familiar, she is on our cover. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Innisbrook, one of her newest business ventures. If I could describe her in T Purdum style I would say down home cool meets pro sports visionary. She has worked hard and smart, and has culminated teams of excellence for Salamander Hospitality, the company that she founded. We have a few things in common having been in business with our ex husbands (maybe the reason for the ex) and I have similar entrepreneurial views Sheila Johnson’s advice for the Entrepreneur:
1. Have passion (got plenty of that here)
2. Be resilient (The ONLY Monthly Golf Magazine In Florida for 9 years this April)
3. Realize things don’t happen overnight (except unwanted weight gain)
4. Have faith (I do…. in people)
5. Don’t listen to any body else-stay true to your heart (I listen to EVERYONE ALL THE TIME but, at the end of the day feel that I’ve been true to my personal beliefs)
6. Never take NO for an answer (I’ve been called tenacious, pushy, persistent, and I’m sure some choice things after I’ve hung up)
And I agree with Sheila, she appreciates the business climate in Florida. “It’s much easier here,” she said. “Florida embraces entrepreneurialism.”