Local initiatives create new opportunities for international investors
A Letter from the Publisher.
Autumnal Equinox, 2021
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
As we launch Impact Entrepreneur Magazine and its collaborative platform, I am moved to remember my father.
My father, Jack Zucker, the fifth child of Russian refugees who escaped the pogroms of the early 20th Century to settle in the Bronx, grew up in poverty. His father died soon after they arrived in the U.S., leaving behind Jack’s mother, who didn’t speak a word of English, his two brothers, and two sisters. With my grandmother unable to care for all of them, the eldest two boys were placed in a city orphanage. One sister died early. The other sister, for reasons unexplained, spent much of her life in an asylum. My father, the baby, stayed with his mother.
My father graduated from high school, got a degree in chiropractic, and started a practice. He later started one company — natural health remedies — and then another. The second company was founded with his best friend. It was a magazine distribution company called Eastern News Distributors. Eastern News grew into a successful business, one of the largest magazine distributors in the U.S. Upon my father’s death in 1979, the company was sold to Hearst Corporation, which kept its name for many years until absorbing its operations under the Hearst brand.
The company was successful in terms of pure business metrics. But financial success was not what made the company memorable and meaningful. The most significant parts of the business were laid out at its founding — in the bricks and mortar of intent. Having grown up in an immigrant community where many residents, like my grandmother, couldn’t read English and didn’t have access to any periodicals in their native languages, Eastern News was founded in part to make such reading material available to the diaspora of immigrant communities in New York City and elsewhere. They set up distribution for translated editions of Reader’s Digest as well as other magazines.
Two other passions held by the founders were for quality journalism and for the arts. At that time, magazines like Harpers, The New Yorker, and Architectural Digest did not have mature distribution channels and were relatively hard to find. Eastern News was founded with the goal of creating wider distribution and readership for these “niche market” publications and the authors and photographers they featured.
As the business grew, Eastern News helped to pioneer the magazine newsstand, establishing the first such newsstand in Grand Central Station in New York.
I share my father’s passion for the wide distribution of progressive ideas, for intellectual freedom and freedom of the press, and for the arts
Support for a free press and the wide dissemination of quality, progressive thinking were principal reasons why my entrepreneur father and his entrepreneur partner started their business. And they stuck to those values like bears to a honey pot. And, for as long as he was alive, Eastern News was run like a family business. Literally so. My father had stayed close to his entire family, including his two brothers who had been put in an orphanage. Both were given jobs in the company.
As we launch Impact Entrepreneur Magazine — the first online media source and collaborative platform to amplify and empower the business innovators, funders, and broader ecosystem that are advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in every region of the world — I choose to remember my father’s legacy. Instilling authentic meaning — social good — into a business is what gives it lasting meaning — for the founders and for others, like those coming a generation or two down the line. Since I founded Impact Entrepreneur ten years ago, I have aspired, like so many other mission-driven entrepreneurs, to just such ends. And I share my father’s passion for the wide distribution of progressive ideas, for intellectual freedom and freedom of the press, and for the arts.
And I share my father’s belief that this kind of business — an “impact enterprise” — should be run in the same spirit that sustains a loving family — what we might call its “stakeholders”.
And in this spirit, I would like to thank the family that worked tirelessly over the past ten months to create this new platform for Impact Entrepreneur’s work.
I would like to thank my two co-founders of Impact Entrepreneur Magazine, Michelle Pomerantz, our Chief Operating Officer, and Óscar Pozuelos, our Chief Creative Officer. Simply put, this platform wouldn’t exist without their commitment, creativity, and brilliance.
I would like to thank Susan Lawrence and Scott Lawrence as well as Foram and Raul at Bold Print Design Studio for their exceptional work on the technology development of the platform. And to Tara Mele for her help on the technology back-end that enabled us to manage the many submissions we received for launch.
I would like to thank our twenty-two Advisory Board Members for being ever-present and always helpful. Their wisdom and insights are infused in nearly every part of the new platform.
A very special thanks to our two close collaborators on editorial development, Mandy Gardner and Andrea McGrath, who gave many hours of their time to the project.
I would like to thank all the Content Partners, Columnists, Correspondents, and Guest Contributors whose work fills our site today. Thank you for the trust you placed in a platform when it was yet unfinished.
And, finally, thanks to you, our members, and our readers. Without an engaged audience we are like lone wolves howling in the arctic cold. Your participation on this platform, more than anything else, is what will sustain it in the months and years ahead. Like a family. A family of systems-minded changemakers. Of Impact Entrepreneurs.
Founder & CEO, Impact Entrepreneur
Publisher and Editor, Impact Entrepreneur Magazine
Regina "Gina" Kline
Founder & Managing Partner, Enable Ventures
October 27 - 12:00 PM EST
Founder & CEO, Acumen
November 3 - 12:00 PM EST
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