Ready For Second Act 63d40b36496c2

Ready For the Second Act?

Feb. 3, 2023
The stage is set for more Chemical Processing magic

Back in 2008, I left a chief editor gig at another publication and accepted a position with Chemical Processing as the brand’s digital editor, focused on building the brand’s webinars, podcasts, blogs and newsletters.

For 14 years, I served as Teller to Editor-in-Chief Mark Rosenzweig’s Penn (although no one would ever peg me as the silent type). Now, I’ve dusted off my editor-in-chief cape — and I’m ready for the show.

After five magical decades in the industry, Mark pulled off one final trick as our master mage — he made himself disappear. When the curtain closed, he packed up his typewriters (he boasts well over 100 machines) and drove off toward retirement in his Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk (If you missed his final act, see: “It’s Time to Say Goodbye.”)

"We aim to create a few new tricks of our own."

Before Mark left, he made sure he practiced what we preach in our industry coverage: Don’t let knowledge vanish. He enrolled me in the Rosenzweig Ramblings program of prestidigitation and taught me many of his trade secrets — from his New York style of nudging sources to perform at their best to the keys to conjuring up exactly what readers need.

To help me on stage, I set out on a search for an executive editor. Enter Jonathan Katz, a journalist who brings nearly two decades of experience to Chemical Processing. He has expertise on a wide range of industrial topics and has hit the ground running, writing features and news coverage for the brand. He and I have worked together over the years and we both cut our teeth in the B2B space on IndustryWeek, one of Chemical Processing’s sister publications.

As you’ll learn in this month’s cover story, “Conjure Machine Magic” by Seán Ottewell — Chemical Processing’s editor at large — knowledge should not be compartmentalized. “Rather, it should focus on complementing process engineers’ traditional service activities by offering new aspects that will expand and enhance what they are already doing.”

While the article is referring to condition monitoring, this sentiment rings true in our roles as editors. We strive to offer new ways for the audience — you — to expand and enhance your knowledge. Our web-exclusive coverage is growing, and we are introducing new voices to our expert lists.

Another feature in this issue, “Avoid Big Trouble from Little Changes,” by Jody E. Olsen, P.E., takes a deep dive into the nuances of management of change as it pertains to process-hazard reviews. Working with Jody to make certain her words delivered exactly her meaning proved to me that even the slightest deviation could be catastrophic. Both Seán’s feature and Jody’s story work in tandem to drive home an important point: information matters.

Success requires more than simply connecting equipment to the cloud. “A partner with service expertise is essential to make effective use of the data collected.” And even where questions are carefully crafted to identify conditions needing process-safety assessment, without a skilled process-safety practitioner signing off on the screening, changes can be missed — and it’s that sleight of hand that can lead to failure.

Jon, Managing Editor Amanda Joshi and I have a big task in front of us to ensure Mark’s legacy lives on through the pages and web-exclusive content we create. We intend to move forward with the blueprint Mark crafted but we also aim to create a few new tricks of our own. 

About the Author

Traci Purdum | Editor-in-Chief

Traci Purdum, an award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering manufacturing and management issues, is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent, Ohio, and an alumnus of the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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