48 years ago (the Journal was one year old) as our very small staff was looking through a pile of holiday cards, someone came up with the brilliant idea of offering our pages to the members of the commercial real estate industry to wish everyone a seasons greeting. Our newspaper then, as it still is today, was weekly placed (one way or another) on everyones desk who had anything to do with making a living in commercial real estate. We figured that it would save them the effort of stamping and licking a lot of envelopes. If some of you recall, people did send stuff through the mail in those days.
We then added some frosting on the cake, the idea taken from the Boston Globe, and set aside a few pages for head and shoulder pictures of the industry leaders. Does time fly by fast enough as we approach five decades of publishing? Some of the pics you see have run every year since that initial issue. I always wonder why the person doesnt submit an up-to-date pic until I run into him and see either white hair of a lack of it. (P.S. - I have yet to run into a bald woman, but, if you recall, when I launched the Journal in 1963 there were very few women in commercial real estate.)
If someone asked me about the changes over the years I would have to admit that the timing of the Journal bursting onto the scene when it did (12 whole pages weekly), one industrial park in New England, one shopping mall, no condos, no nursing homes, the beginning of Urban Renewal, two mortgage brokerage firms, one new skyscraper (25 stories) and then it all seemed to happen at once. The other major change that happened, and we are experiencing that now, is the Internet and social networking. Our website is over 15 years old so we were aware early of that evolution. And thanks to the youngsters who have joined out staff over the past several years we are on top of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and every other aspect of the new horizons. And, believe it not, our weekly newspaper is still welcomed onto the desks of the active and successful commercial real estate participants. Anyone in the world can also read our gathered information 24/7 on the web at NEREJ.com.
So, for the 48th time, happy holidays, peace and good will to you from me. And hey, take a look at my pic when I started this thing. I admit to being 55 now, and I can prove it by the picture of me sitting at my first desk. P.S. The hair I have left is white and thin. But as Milton Berle used say (those youngsters ask me "who the hell is Milton Berle". He used to say, "Who wants fat hair?"
Roland Hopkins is the founder of the New England Real Estate Journal, Norwell, Mass.