Publisher – December 2022

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DEAREST EXPLORE READER,

This will be the last Publisher’s letter I ever write.

Man, what a weird sentence to type out, but it’s true. After exactly 15 years and 2 months of publishing EXPLORE, I am moving on to new challenges. 

The good news is that EXPLORE isn’t going away. It has a new owner, and you’ll have some information on that in the coming days. But for today, this is my fond farewell to you, dear reader. 

What a ride we have had.

I’ve started and re-started this letter more than a few times because I really don’t know what I want to say. How do I sum up 15 years of memories in but a few words? Ah, I don’t think I can.

But I’ll say this: THANKS.

Maybe 15 years isn’t that long to many of you, but for me, it’s literally a lifetime. My goodness the life I have experienced in those 15 years. The laughs with staff. The stressed evenings trying to figure out how to keep things going. The hugs. The encouraging words from friends at Dobbs. Just LIFE. 

But as you close out reading this Publisher’s Letter, I’ll be bidding you farewell. But thank YOU, dear reader. Your loyalty, and support you’ve given to me have enabled me to do things I never would have been able to do otherwise.

My foray into publishing began out of simple necessity. I was a newly single dad to 2 kids, 6 months and 2 1/2 years old. Requiring a crazy amount of attention, I realized immediately there was no way I could possibly work a 9-5 job and be there for them appropriately. 

I had written essays as a hobby my entire life, so I have always appreciated the written word. Beyond that, I had no idea about publishing, much less magazines. But I also realized that having grown up here in Boerne, I had a lot of relationships with business owners. So armed with 1. necessity, 2. a love of words, and 3. relationships…off I went banging on doors and begging folks to support me to get things off the ground.

To fast forward through the following 15 years, I ultimately started a total of 9 publications over the years. Some still exist, some were sold off. But I forever enjoyed the process of identifying a readership and targeting them with some intelligent content.

In the past couple of years, as my children near graduation, my heart began to whisper to me that perhaps it is time for me to turn some pages and enjoy some new adventures and challenges. Then, as God typically does, a conversation was had to ultimately transition my “baby”, EXPLORE to a new publisher. (You can read about her on the facing page)

I’m excited about it all. Lauren is a lifelong resident and forever will be, so I trust EXPLORE will carry on for years to come. I will stay involved in some limited capacities, but the day-to-day will be all hers. 

From there, I am not entirely sure on my next steps. As my son graduates next year, I suppose life will just unfold for me. I’ve got some ideas, but who the heck knows.

But again, THANK YOU. 

I have been so lucky to enjoy the life that EXPLORE has provided me, and I don’t mean financially. The people I have met, the stories I have been able to tell, and the friendships I have enjoyed have made me so unbelievably wealthy and I’m rich beyond measure. 

And I couldn’t do any of that without the advertisers. And you, dear reader. So THANK YOU all for going on this silly adventure with me, as it’s been one for the ages.

I’ll still be around for a good while in town, so I trust I’ll still run into most of you somewhere. I pray that you continue to support EXPLORE and its advertisers so that Lauren can continue the publication for many years to come. 

I’ve written about every topic on Earth in this particular column, but I don’t really know what else to say other than THANK YOU.

So here’s to you, dear reader.

And here’s to you, my fantastic and supportive clients.

And to all of you that have stopped me on the street or sent me an email telling me that something in EXPLORE touched you in some way.

All of you took a very scared and poor single dad and helped me enjoy perhaps the most enjoyable chapter of my life, and I’ll forever be grateful. 

And I hope my next chapter can be half as memorable as this one has been.

Welcome to December. We’re closing out the year, and I’m closing out my career as a Publisher. Change is scary, but as I have concluded every single Publisher’s Letter, I’ll assure you of this: I will NEVER stop my journey to EXPLORE.

God bless you all.

Still smiling,

Benjamin D.