I speak with many of you on a daily basis. This is the time of year when conversations are concentrated on trade shows and site visits. The travel season is fast upon us! We are all gearing up for The Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan (http://www.glexpo.com), and the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Conference (http://www.newenglandvfc.org) in Manchester, New Hampshire later this year.

From my experiences there, Grand Rapids and Manchester are considerably safe cities. But let’s face it. You never know what could happen. That’s why our team always looks out for each other during our business trips.

Living in Vermont, we learn to place safety at a premium. When I travel, I routinely fly to a destination then hail a cab once I touch down. One thing I always do when I enter a taxi is text my husband the cab company name and taxi car number. If I ever came up missing, he has at least some information to start finding me. I use a phone-finding app that my husband logs into if something goes wrong. I focus more on my surroundings when I’m away. When I was younger, my parents gave me a container of mace; however, I’m not going to lie – I never carried it. With my luck, I would have it turned the wrong way and sprayed myself instead!

In a B2B environment, we connect end users to companies providing good products and services. In addition, we provide helpful information to the end users – our readers who serve the industry. One constant theme I hear from our readers and partners is safety. The conversation is still going since publishing our features on food safety (April; page 16; http://goo.gl/UJkrnz) and worker safety (June; page 16; http://goo.gl/ugEHkG).

The subject is weaved through the fabric of our industry and requires all of our due diligence to find solutions to the many challenges we face. We have heard your thoughts. Safety is one of the many topics we continue to focus on as a magazine, and we strive to keep the conversation going with you.

Being a grandmother of four, I know all too well that September is school season. For those driving to trade shows and elsewhere on business, be aware of the 50 excited kids in the big yellow bus. STOP and leave room for these kids to cross to make it home safely. Watch your speed limit in school zones. Be mindful of the crossings. These children are precious. Our children go about their routine as we do for our line of work. At the end of the day, we all want to make it home safely and enjoy our family, to sit at the dinner table and share moments of our day. Be safe, everyone!

PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE SCHARTNER