When the time came a few months ago to de-clutter my office, I came to the difficult, though obvious, conclusion that I did not need every single issue of NAILS that I had worked on since my first in February 1991. I was out of bookshelf space, so I sat down with each year’s worth of issues and I tore things out.

I tore out what I wanted for my portfolio, what made me proud, what was beautiful. But what I wanted most to keep were these pages, so I tore out every “As I See It” column (creating its own storage problem as there were over 200).

For the last 17 years, this page has been my soapbox, my diary, my love letter. I’ve used it to praise you, to scold you, to beseech you. And you’ve responded, sometimes in agreement, sometimes in opposition. You’ve often been receptive to my ideas, though at other times, resistant.  I’ve used this page to expound and to boast, to muse and to persuade. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve hurt feelings, and I’ve missed the point. I’ve said many thanks and a few goodbyes.

It hasn’t always been easy to figure out what to say. There was usually something going on in the industry that I wanted to share my take on, but there were also plenty of months where I sat before a blank computer screen trying to summon not only words, but ideas. I may not have always been at my best, but I am proud of what we’ve accomplished here nonetheless.

This month is my goodbye note. While I am not leaving the magazine, I am leaving this space, which will now be filled by Hannah Lee, who has run the magazine as top editor for nearly nine years. I’ve been reluctant to give up this podium, but as NAILS celebrates our 25th anniversary and unveils a completely new look, the time seemed just right, a perfect segue. Although I reserve the right to occasionally borrow this page back when there’s something I want to say “as I see it,” my profile will be lower now as I work more behind the scenes.

I am proud of the work we do at NAILS. I’ve enjoyed — and been honored by — the relationship that this page created between you and me. I feel like we’ve contributed more than just industry chatter. We’ve kept the conversation going.

Thanks for listening. I hope you’ll stay in touch.

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