CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — As I sit in my new office, watching the swift spring flow of the frigid Cuyahoga River, I am reminded of one axiom I've always tried to live by:
Change is good.
The view from my office, a few steps from a balcony overlooking the river, is part of a change I had yet to experience in four-plus decades as a journalist — moving from one venue to another while still employed at the same institution.
I have changed jobs and thus locations, previously, going from a small-town newspaper to a bigger newspaper in a bigger town, then to a third newspaper that serves one of Ohio's larger cities.
Each work location was markedly different, with its advantages — all three were in walking distance of some of the finest retail and dining establishments that each city had to offer — and disadvantages — one location was constantly so steamy hot that employees would come to work on nights and weekends in the dead of the Ohio winter dressed in shorts and T-shirts.
On April 1, the staffs of Tire Business and Rubber & Plastics News, both part of Crain Communications Inc., completed a move to a newly renovated location a few miles from our previous home in Akron's Merriman Valley. The new office, part of a bustling retail/commercial area in Cuyahoga Falls, is smaller, brighter and trendier than the previous space, reflecting the new realities of our changing work environment.
The move has not been without its challenges. After spending 30 years at our previous location, many of us had to make some difficult decisions: What essentials shall we take with us to the smaller location? And, most importantly, what should we purge?
As you might expect, some of us took a quick jog — for others it was more of an enjoyable stroll — down memory lane, as we considered what to do with photos, past issues, equipment, office supplies, conference leftovers and other material that had accumulated over the years. Most of the stuff was from another era, tucked away in a drawer, file cabinet or closet, and hadn't been accessed in a decade or more.
Over the last month, we filled and refilled bins with paper products, sending it to be recycled. We packed boxes of essentials to be moved. And we filled two large dumpsters.
Many of the people listed in the column to the right from within our publications, as well as others from our corporate office IT and facilities departments in Detroit, helped to make the transition seamless. A job well done.
Although the move was made over the last week of March, it remains a work in progress. Employees continue to get accustomed to the surroundings, while having to concentrate on the immediate and most crucial task at hand: Providing the latest industry news for our online and print publications.
We made this physical move while we revamped and updated the look of our publication — including a new nameplate that sits atop our cover and new headline fonts.
And as the last piece of Tire Business trilogy, so to speak, we soon will roll out a new look at tirebusiness.com. Look for that before the end of this month.
I share this with you with two purposes in mind.
First, if you are considering a change in venue, or perhaps renovating your current business venue, I strongly encourage you to pursue it if it makes sense from a cost standpoint. A new location, along with a new look, not only serves to reinvigorate your business, but also sparks excitement in your staff and, to some extent, your customers.
Secondly, this is a good opportunity to tell you that we at Tire Business remain committed to providing you, our valued readers, the latest news and information in the tire and auto service industries.
And that reminds me of another axiom:
The more things change, the more they stay the same.