Last year while at the Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our editor Michael Freeze and I took in a hockey game after the trade show closed for the day. Hockey is one of my favorite sports (go Bruins), and I never miss an opportunity to see a game when I have a chance.

It was also a great occasion to get to know my staff outside the offices of Growing. It was helpful in building the relationship that we enjoy today. This time of year, especially as a proud grandmother, I place a premium on the value of family. It means the world to me. I love seeing my children and take the most joy in playing with my grandchildren.

Although the Growing staff are not related in blood, we share the same enthusiasm for our work in providing information about the commercial growing industry. Notably this month, we do a lot of travel across the country spending time away from our real families. However, through this year, we’ve become a family of our own. And that’s what makes this year so special.

So, I just wanted to use my space to tell you how lucky I am to have such talented and hard-working people on our team, and only wish for continued success for 2016!

From the Growing Magazine Team: Stephanie Schartner, Yelena Tischenko, Michael Freeze & Jared George