This issue marks ra's 10th anniversary. Apparently that's long enough for us to have permeated the consciousness of a few people in the architecture profession. We now frequently hear comments like this: “Your magazine has gotten so much better!” We like to take that as a compliment—without thinking about it too long.
But at times like these, you're supposed to do some reflecting on the past. I do think, perhaps immodestly, that our magazine has gotten better. And that's due in large part to the grace, talent, and long tenure of our staff. Our design director, Judy Neighbor, devised the original and still admirable design for ra—right down to those controversial lower-case letters. She's won many awards for her work with us and the other magazines she's designed and redesigned for our company, Hanley Wood. I suspect she derives her bottomless energy from the muses in her home office—two feisty, fetch-obsessed terriers. She's also built a first-rate team of spirited Homo sapiens with associate art director Maria Bishirjian and assistant art director Kay Engman.
Senior editor Meghan Drueding came to us fresh out of college in June 1997. Her name turns up on the masthead of our second issue in October '97 and is familiar to you now through her excellent cover stories and feature work. She grew up in the home construction business, catching her custom builder father's enthusiasm for good design. I owe a great deal to her sound judgment, sophisticated sensibility, good-humored hard work, and strong, clearheaded prose. She's won so many young journalist awards, we've lost count.
Maybe you've seen our other senior editor, Nigel Maynard, on HGTV recently. He doesn't just cover the design world—he immerses himself in it. He buys and upgrades dwellings with his high-design, low-budget flair. He's not a mere flipper; his standards are far too high for that. After all, he is Doctor Spec: champion of the well-placed product.
Associate editor Shelley Hutchins was the first of us to actually hire an architect. She found a budding star to hip up her nondescript suburban house. Let's just say she has the only “Un-Private House” in her neighborhood now. Shelley has a keen eye for talent (that budding star won an AIA Young Architects Award a couple of years back) and she snags many of our best-looking projects for the magazine. If you've entered our design awards program, you also know her as its managing guru.
Our senior contributing editor, Cheryl Weber, is one of the best writers I've worked with in my 20-plus years in journalism. She brings poetry to her prose, finding just the right lyrical word to convey the visual alchemy of architecture. A former senior editor for our sister publication, REMODELING, Cheryl is searching for the perfect split-level house to mid-century-modernize.
Our enterprising managing editor, Marla Misek, and all the other names you see on the masthead are also instrumental in our success. Once you know them, it's easy to see why they're so good at what they do: Their profession is their passion. Happy birthday to all of us. And we vow to keep getting “so much better” just for you.
Comments? Call: 202.736. 3312; write: S. Claire Conroy, residential architect, One Thomas Circle, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20005; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.