Marchand--Hail and Farewell, My Friends . . .
In your service, I learned greater respect for market-driven business. But, I also learned something that may come as a surprise: If everything we hold dear is not to be made into a commodity, limits must be placed on the very means of our economic success. Just as unfettered competition tends toward monopoly, the application of marketing principles to every aspect of our existence eventually drives out equities that can't and shouldn't be subject to strictly defined commercial criteria.
So, I see the need for limits to marketing and, yet, I intend to use my marketing skills in support of social change and, I hope, for at least one arts organization. I don't know how to resolve the apparent contradiction, but I intend to find out.
What else will I do with my new-found time? I'll consult for selected companies, albeit not in the printing industry for several years (non-compete clause). I've been invited to join the regional board of the American Jewish Congress. I'll also travel a lot and do some gardening.
Best of all, I've got four grandchildren (and expectations of more). They don't require much of me, but I sure need them. And, oh yes, I want to do some writing, different than the brochures, features and columns I've done in the past. I want to see whether I can write something other than business prose.
It would be ungracious of me to leave without a note of gratitude to Mark Michelson, the steady and well-informed editor of this very good trade publication, who has always been supportive of my efforts.
But above all, it is to all of you, dear readers, that I owe thanks. You have kept me on my toes. Your inquiries forced me to think critically, and I am grateful for the welcome business you often sent my way. I thank and wish each and every one of you good fortune.