Time for Accolades

Hi everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful summer! I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by this year. Actually, every year seems to fly by. Although it was September 2003, it feels like yesterday when I hired a young editor in her mid-20s. Sixteen years later, with the wisdom of age and experience in this industry, Christina Koch still is writing and editing for me. I tell everyone she is the best editor I have ever worked with!

Christina Koch and John Riester pause for a selfie while navigating Philadelphia’s SEPTA system. The pair has worked together since 2003.

It is for this reason I am proud to announce that Christina Koch is now the associate publisher of retrofit. She is so deserving of this promotion, and I am thrilled to have her as my associate publisher. She will continue her duties as editorial director but now also will be learning the ropes of the publisher role while helping us grow our online and digital initiatives. In fact, Christina has made it one of her goals the past couple years to learn more about digital publishing, including initiatives like social media, native advertising, audio content and the expansion of our digital edition. She always says it’s our job to provide retrofit’s content in all the ways our readers want to receive it, and I’m delighted she’s taken digital media under her wing. I am sure many of you will be taking advantage of our new online opportunities. (Watch for our house ad explaining our digital edition’s new features in our upcoming November-December issue. We think you’re going to love the additions!)

Meanwhile, this issue of retrofit is our annual education issue. We received nearly 100 educational facilities submitted to us for the issue and had the difficult job of whittling these down to 14 projects; the others will be showcased online and in our e-newsletters (sign up for the newsletter today). Christina and I choose projects for the magazine we think are innovative and will provide guidance for situations you, our readers, come across in the field. Our education issue has always drawn the most retrofit projects of any issue of the year, and it definitely will not disappoint in content or design.

In addition to these projects, we also have three amazing features, including the renovation of a Brutalist building in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., which is our “Cover Story”. Now known as the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, the building is the first-ever physical hub for students, faculty, staff, visitors and the community at large, to congregate. “Transformation” demonstrates that even a former public works building on a brownfield site in Pittsburgh can be made one of the world’s greenest buildings. I think you’ll be inspired by Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Exhibit Staging Center. Finally, the monumental conversion of an old railroad depot in Lowell, Mass., into the Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center at Middlesex Community College is featured in “Transformation”. We know you’ll love this issue!

But I can’t help but get excited about what’s ahead! In our upcoming November-December issue, we’ll be celebrating the winners of our inaugural Metamorphosis Awards program. We received 98 entries and our judges—Editorial Advisors Nathan M. Gillette, AIA, LEED AP O+M, CEM, director of Natura Architectural Consulting LLC, Grand Rapids, Mich.; John J. Noonan, vice president of Facilities Management, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; and William E. Holloway, AIA, LEED AP, principal, BERNARDON, Wilmington, Del.—are poring over the entries as I write this column. We’ll be notifying winners by early September. I imagine our judges are having fun perusing all the wonderful submissions!

As we complete our 10th year of publishing retrofit, I am so thankful and appreciative of you, our loyal readers and sponsors, who support our magazine in print and online. We always welcome your feedback and will continue to put out the best magazine we can in the next 10 years!

I hope to see you at the upcoming fall trade shows!

About the Author

John Riester
Riester has more than 25 years’ experience in the commercial design and construction industries. He has been the founder and publisher of three nationally circulated magazines in the commercial construction and green-design industries. Riester also has been national sales manager of several trade publications. He brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience in magazine publishing and advertising sales, as well as industry relationships, to retrofit magazine.

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