What makes a relationship truly valuable is its ability to make each person better. This is what adding “value” really means. At a business where people are engaged — whether it is a tech company, a law firm or even, as in the case of the book Fish, a seafood market — everyone’s creativity, commitment and business acumen goes up simply by being part of that type of organization. 

Since all of us view education as a lifelong pursuit, this value exchange is what education, at every level, is about. As John Dewey said, “Education is not preparation for life, it is life itself.” 

In a company, one of the signs this goal is being achieved is that everyone remains motivated and inspired to reach for more. Which may mean they will not stay at that company for their entire business career. Although this desire to grow can and should happen within the company, it may result in some people moving into the nonprofit sector or stepping out on their own to start a business. 

As an organization that focuses on nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in everyone, when one of our employees moves from our employ to chase an entrepreneurial dream, that is like a graduation. Hats are tossed in the air and streamers are unfurled. 

Five years ago, we began i4 Business magazine to cover the dynamic and diverse business environment across Central Florida. I was a contributing columnist when our company started SpaceCoast Business over a decade ago, but i4 Business was a publication and communication platform that I actually helped launch. I still remember the first issue, with a cover story on the automobile dynasty of the Holler family. Since then, both journals have endeavored to share many of the region’s key stories, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, social entrepreneurs and emerging trends. 

Opportunity Knocks

One of our key players in i4 Business magazine’s acceptance and success has been Cherise Czaban, our vice president of business development. Her friendly and gracious demeanor, which seems to make everyone she meets feel like her best friend, along with her very sharp and perceptive business mind, have afforded her broad acceptance and helped us in innumerable ways. 

When the vision set by Jeff Piersall, Joseph Duda and I began to expand, Cherise approached us about leading i4 Business. Her two highly regarded business partners, Diane Sears, a local media leader and a regional advocate of women-owned business, and Donna Duda, the communications director at A. Duda & Sons, a diversified land company, seem like a perfect team to take the brand to new levels.

We could not be more excited about this move and look forward to working with the new i4 Business team. Our involvement and engagement in the region will continue, along with editorial contributions to i4 Business. We are certain the vision Cherise and her partners have outlined will play a significant role in shaping the future of the region.

Our initial business plan was to build a platform that enabled us to encourage, educate and inspire entrepreneurs and business leaders. That purpose hasn’t changed or wavered from our vision of “Creating freedom through ethical capitalism.” We are now expanding to publishing books, developing an educational platform that has the potential for a global reach, along with developing seminars and curriculum for people hungering to turn their ideas into profitable, scalable businesses.

Congratulations Cherise, Diane and Donna for taking the risk. We know you will be fabulously successful. Carpe Diem!