February marks the beginning of the 15th year of Global Traveler magazine. It's been a incredible run!
I first met Fran Gallagher in 1984. I had recently started working at CWO&O (an advertising representative company) in downtown Chicago. Fran was a young salesman who transferred from the Philadelphia office.
His time in Chicago would be short, as Fran and his wife wanted to be back in the Philly area. I believe he was in Chicago for about six months, before he transferred to our New York office.
Fran and I got along right from the start. For some reason, he took a liking to me. We kept in touch after he left for NY and even after he left CWO&O to join Business Traveler magazine. Usually that meant he would call me when he landed in Chicago to invite me to dinner. He wasn't very fond of much notice.
Several years later, Fran started talking to me about his idea to start Global Traveler. When GT was going to become an actual entity, Fran started picking my brain for distribution help. Eventually, we decided I would handle all of his distribution.
It was a challenge and an opportunity (to quote our old CWO&O colleague Scott Richards). I had never handled any distribution outside of the Chicago area, but I jumped in and, along with Louie Atsaves, we developed a nationwide delivery system for GT.
Because of GT, I've been to New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles many times, as well as several other cities on occasion. I've had so many great times and it has accounted for the main source of my income over the years.
More important than all of that, it has been such a pleasure working with Fran. Things are never dull around Fran. He's loyal, caring, hilarious and everything you'd want in a boss and a friend. He's one of the hardest working people I know, but he also has more fun than most.
Congratulations to Fran and the entire GT family. I am proud to have been with GT from the start (actually before the start) and I am proud to be a small part of the success.
The GT staff in Beverly Hills, CA-December 2017.