I hope the year 2015 is off to a great beginning for you. Again this year we bring you the Best of Evansville. This is the 16th year of publication (Volume 16, Issue 1 is printed on the spine); with the March/April issue we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the magazine; and we’ve had 14 Best of Evansville issues. It’s no wonder we say magazine employees operate in a time warp — always working ahead and looking back.
I typed in “2015” on my family’s holiday cards — they were late, but not quite that late.
Today, most of the Best of Evansville ballots are completed online. That’s dramatically different from 14 years ago when we mandated original paper ballots be completed and mailed in. This year, more than 9,700 votes were cast across 31 categories. Although every year I hear from a handful of folks with their complaints on how the contest is run, I sleep well knowing the vote is in the hands of Evansville Living readers. Our advertisers, as much as we love them, of course get no special treatment.
Once the tally is complete, our staff dives into the research. Readers name the Best of Evansville, but we share the experiences to write about them.
Here is some of our anecdotal research:
• Three staff members dined at Azzip Pizza and brought back “The Westsider” to share. The pizza is as described — liberally coated with Grippo’s BBQ Chips.
• We didn’t need a special trip to Lic’s Deli & Ice Cream — familiar we are!
• Graphic Designer Julie Hope had the fish and chips at Tin Fish in Newburgh, Indiana, (Julie suggested this worthy editors’ pick) and visited Thyme in the Kitchen during a cooking class.
• Creative Director Heather Gray needed new tires recently and can attest to Raben Tire’s service-minded attributes.
• Nearly all Evansville Living staff members are followers of @EvansvilleWatch. I witnessed its timeliness last fall when my address was tweeted out in the news feed. Wet logs caused the bonfire lit for my son’s birthday party to get quite smoky. The highlight of the party was the fire department coming — and making @EvansvilleWatch.
• We learned that Ron Rhodes, whose cooperation to be on this cover we gained with a few winks and the promise of fun, wrote children’s books! (The Best of Evansville isn’t announced until it’s released in print, so we couldn’t tell Ron exactly what we were up to.)
• Photographer Zach Straw, who took the portrait of Editors’ Pick Anna Hargis, reported back: “She was a great person to work with and incredibly vibrant. It’s easy to see why she has excelled at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Ohio Valley.”
• Abigail Adler, marketing director at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, shared with Staff Writer Emily Patton, who edited the Best of Evansville feature story (page 40), the transfer documents containing vital information on the zoo’s red pandas. “I felt like a zookeeper for a minute!” says Emily.
I hope you enjoy the Best of Evansville as much as we have enjoyed preparing it for you.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor