I know 2012 has just begun, but do yourself a favor. Put a star and write "BizTimes" down on your calendar for the late afternoon of Dec. 4.
That will be the date of the first BizTimes Best In Business celebration, and we are inviting all of our readers to attend this inaugural event.
The Best in Business event will be a celebration of our collective achievements from 2012. Think of it as a community Christmas party for Southeastern Wisconsin's business community.
Throughout the year, we will be collecting snippets of wisdom from the pages of BizTimes magazine and BizTimes.com. We will then present them like pearls on a necklace at the Best In Business celebration.
We're off to a great start on the project in January alone with these great quotes from business leaders:
"Waiting for Washington or Madison or the Supreme Court to 'fix' our problems is a fool's errand. We need to take matters into our own hands." -Jon Rauser, The Rauser Agency Inc., Milwaukee
"We're a small business with 15 employees. We do not have a sales department. However, we have 15 salespeople. We do not employ a single account executive, yet we have 15 AEs. We have a simple business philosophy: encourage employee interaction with clients and empower them with your most sacred customers, then get out of their way." -Rich Schmig and Bruce Gibb, Plum Moving Media, Milwaukee
"I think customer bases are like clubs. It's really hard to get new members if the longstanding members are leaving." -Paul Grangaard, Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., Port Washington
We will then invite all of the business leaders whose quotes are selected to be VIPs at the Best In Business party.
Imagine being in the room with so many insightful, bold business leaders. We'll share their great quotes about business growth in a companion Best In Business coffee table book to be unveiled at the December event.
The book will feature business leaders to be honored by BizTimes over the course of the year, including the winners of the Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards, the Innovation Quotient (IQ) Awards, the Waukesha County Business Alliance Top Ten Awards, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce/Council of Small Business Executives Future 50 Awards, the Kenosha County Business Excellence Awards and the BizTimes Fittest Execs Awards.
We'll salute the panelists from the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast, the Humana Wellness Summit, the BizTimes Women in Business Conference at the BizExpo and the BizTimes Commercial Real Estate & Development Conference.
You'll get to meet the award-winning editorial staff of BizTimes Media, as well as the business consultants who serve as columnists and provide such great insights on the pages of BizTimes Milwaukee throughout the year. Go ahead, pick their brains.
Put all of these folks together, and you've got the Best In Business in Southeastern Wisconsin. We plan to partner with local chambers of commerce to invite their members to be there for an unparalleled networking opportunity and a well-deserved celebration of the people and the companies that are driving this region forward.
In sum, if you're playing in our sandbox, we want you there. See you on Dec. 4. More details to follow. In the meantime, if you have some ideas to help us build this celebration or your organization would like to get involved, let us know. It's your party.
Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes in Milwaukee and is past president of the Milwaukee Press Club. BizTimes provides news and operational insight for the owners and managers of privately held companies throughout southeastern Wisconsin.
Steve has won several journalism awards as a reporter, a columnist and an editor. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
When he is not pursuing the news, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristi, and their two sons, Justin and James. Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.