I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that question. The honest answer is that I don’t have anything else to compare it to.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife Jolene is the advertising director for our company and the person I lean on the most. As such, Big Green Umbrella Media is a family-owned and operated company. That is unique in most industries today, and it is especially rare in the world of publishing or media.

Jolene and I met in 1990 when I was employed at The Des Moines Register and she was at the Shopper News Network. Within a few months, Jolene began to work at the Register as well, and that’s when we began dating. I was hoping for a promotion as a supervisor, and I knew that dating someone in the department would not help my chances. So we kept it quiet until I left the Register to pursue other jobs in the industry — and then Jolene was promoted. Go figure.

We married a couple years later and decided to start a family. Jolene opted to quit her job at the Register and stay home to raise our first daughter. In addition, she worked part-time in the businesses I managed, serving as our circulation manager for one of the papers. She also remained involved in the industry, doing contract sales for the Iowa Newspaper Association, the Association of Free Community Papers, and Meredith Publishing. 

Jolene was patient when my career choices moved us to Nebraska and then back here. She focused the bulk of her energy on raising our three daughters. When we started our first lifestyle magazine in Johnston in 2007, she attended the launch party and then better understood my vision of what this company could be. It was then when she decided to get back into the business. That was the beginning of numerous roles Jolene has served here including advertising sales rep, sales manager, sales recruiter/trainer and now as the advertising director. I had to nudge her a bit with each role change, but she has grown more confident each time. We have had a number of employees who have made incredible contributions to this company, both past and present, but none have been as committed and loyal to our efforts as Jolene. 

She is my partner in life, and she is my business partner, too. That’s how I work with my spouse every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital editions