Everyone has people who steered him or her in the right direction or challenged him or her to find new ways of viewing life.
For Art, it really came down to the following:
Mr. John Tenbush at University of Detroit High School. He flunked Art three times in English, sending him to Mumford High for summer school. That taught him a key lesson: Never do anything twice. Do it right the first time.
Then there was John Reddy, managing editor of The Eccentric newspaper in Birmingham, Michigan. Art was first a rookie reporter then business writer / editor for the paper's new "Men's Section" a term PC'd out of existence.
John gave Art leeway to experiment with newspaper page layout, story content, new ways of looking at how a print medium could be used and viewed by readers. His casual guidance was unrecognized at the time (what 24 year old has the vision or insights to see someone is actually helping) and would let Art's imagination reach the pages of The Eccentric.
John was an invaluable asset to the development of CNW's managment philosophy because we strive to do things a bit differently and, like him, give employees freedom to roam, to discover new viewpoints and roads to travel.
Two folks at Ward's Automotive: Roger Kelly, one-time owner and publisher of Ward's Automotive, who provided a balanced, gentlemanly view of how employees should be treated; Dick Waddel, the consumate reporter who insisted that even the most complex issue could be written so anyone could understand it.
Dick Freed and Allen Crown, business publication publishers, carried on where John left off giving Art almost unlimited freedom to experiment with magazine content and design. All on a shoestring. Combined, they published one of the most successful auto trade magazines ever.
Jerry Baron, publisher of a Scripps daily newspaper in Oregon. A bit crazy, an artist and one of the best news writers who ever lived. True story: When he was a reporter on The World newspaper way back when, his editor/publisher would actually allow him to write breaking news stories on the Linotype machine directly to lead rather than a typewriter.
Jerry insisted on getting it right and would let you know in loud and direct terms if he was not happy with your work.
He also gave Art a chance to re-enter the newspaper business even though he had been away from it for decades and his latest job was a DJ at a local radio station. Jerry also authorized -- without the parent company's knowledge -- a special business-tab insert proposed by Art which became a successful revenue generator.
Finally, J. David Power. Dave provided important personal and business insights into the mysteries of surveying consumers as well as how to interpret their responses.
A low-key sort of guy who spoke little but said a lot when he did. Art's association with Dave took place in the 1970s and was outrageously important to the notion of even starting CNW Research a decade-plus later.
What, no women?
Well actually two: Art's mom Mary who even in the most stressful of times taught him to be positive and play "duck" -- as in letting negatives roll off your back.
And, of course, Art's wife Stephanie, love of his life, who keeps him from going too far off the deep end, sets loose boundaries and won't let him get too swelled a head.