A friend told me about his trip to the U.S. this week. He was surprised by the change of attitude in people. From his hotel clerk to the local bartender, they seem to have lost the confidence so characteristic of Americans. The uncertainty in the markets has done more to undermine the strength of America than any terrorist threat to date. With a terrorist threat there is a foe to rally against. With an economic meltdown, there is nothing to fight but ineptitude.

If you describe countries as people, then America is a boy nearing the end of his teenage years. He has just learned that the brazenness of adolescence has consequences. He has enough intelligence to pull back and analyze what has happened, but he also needs encouragement to keep moving forward. I hope this lesson doesn’t undermine his belief in himself. Now is the time when he will need to rise up to the challenge. The grit and guts that made America strong is still in the people, they just need to remember that it is there.

The first issue of our magazine came into our office and everyone stood around looking at it, turning the pages carefully. We have gone from a newspaper six years ago, printing 50,000 copies, to a magazine with over half a million readers today. We did it. Someone started clapping and then everyone was and I looked around, trying to hold back the tears. Thing is, it wasn’t so much the fact that we now have a magazine, but that I work with such a great group of smart and talented people dedicated to making us the best we can be.

I attended a dinner the other night hosted by the Business for the Arts association. I sat next to Phillip Crawley, the publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail. He pulled his Blackberry from his inner pocket and placed it on the table beside my water glass, then headed up to the stage to spend most of the dinner giving out the awards. A devilish voice in my head wondered what I might do with that gem just above my right hand. It would be easy to slip it into my purse, excuse myself to the ladies room, and send lecherous emails to all his columnists. Oh, the things a few well-thought-out words might do.

I look around the table. Jim Fleck, chairman of Business for the Arts, sits across from me, carefully listening to the awards ceremony. I admire his desire to inspire and recognize businesses that support the arts.

We have decided to do special editions of the Women’s Post focusing on companies that are exemplary corporate citizens, companies that are innovative in leading their industry, and companies that give back to the world around them. Our goal is to inspire industry leaders to think outside the box and make decisions that are not only good for their company, but for the communities they serve.

We are planning a charity art show and wine sampling for our Courage to Lead event on November 25, to raise funds for Nellie’s, a shelter for women and children. If you would like to join us to support a great cause, and connect with our writers, editors, and other dynamic people, please call Mikhail at 416-964-5850 for tickets.

Sarah Thomson can be reached at publisher@womenspost.ca.


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