Hello, this is my first column as Publisher of this newspaper. I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve in my new role. Once David Specht approached me about writing a column as Publisher, I started thinking of many things. I thought about all of the people who have supported me throughout my life. There are numerous family members, friends, colleagues, team members, educators, religious leaders, my pastor, motivational speakers, professional, educational and community organizations, musical activities and athletic endeavors that have helped shape who I am.
For all of this, I am so grateful!
Most especially, I would like to thank God and I would like to thank my parents for their ever constant and unwavering support in everything I do! Also, I would like to thank Specht Newspapers owner and President and former Bossier Press Tribune Publisher, David Specht, who’s steady leadership, guidance and friendship is immeasurable. David has paved the way for me in this new role and has set a high standard over many years for our newspaper, our internal organizational culture and Specht Newspapers, Inc.. I will try to the very best of my abilities to continue to uphold these values in my new role each and every day. So, to everyone and everything mentioned above (I hope that I have included everyone and everything), I would like to say THANK YOU!
In moving on, I have also been thinking lately about all that has taken place in Bossier City and Bossier Parish over the 13 years that I have been at this newspaper. I started to work at this newspaper in July of 2001. As I see it, Bossier was just on the verge of unprecedented and exponential residential, business and civic growth. A few years earlier, Arthur Ray Teague Parkway running down the Bossier side of the Red River opened up a major traffic artery moving traffic both north and south in Bossier City. The CenturyTel (now CenturyLink) Center had just been built. Many forms of business and industry (including gaming and hospitality) were booming and poised for future growth. A few years later (2005), the Louisiana Boardwalk opened and quickly became the number one destination in this region.
In 2008, the Haynesville Shale natural gas play came on the scene and had a voluminous economic impact upon our entire region. Our city and parish has also experienced tremendous retail, restaurant and residential growth since the turn of the century. In turn, This has resulted in the growth and expansion of a multitude of developments, new and expanded schools and various other supporting entities. And, Bossier City (and the region) has also seen the tremendous growth of Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), one of the nation’s premier community colleges. BPCC’s expansion to a beautiful new state of the art campus during the last decade has most definitely aided in their growth. The Cyber Innovation Center (and all of the supporting technological businesses and industries) is taking us in a whole new and very important economically diversified technologically based direction. All of this could not have been done without great leadership.
Great leadership is a must! From governmental bodies and political leaders, to law enforcement and community/civic organizations, great leadership has been what has made our community what it is today! We are also blessed with a wonderful Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation that have both paved the way for so many great things to happen.
In short, we are very blessed. The Port of Shreveport Bossier on the Red River is rapidly growing in activity and business development. We will soon experience the economic benefits of the long awaited Interstate 49 North which will link us to both Interstate 30 in Texarkana on the north side and to Interstate 10 in Lafayette on the south side. This will further establish us as a major transportation and distribution hub for this entire region and part of the nation. Also, Interstate 69 is also on the not too distant horizon. As such, the future looks very bright in terms of our development as a major economic force in terms of transportation and distribution and so many other areas.
I am so proud to be the Publisher of this newspaper at this particular time! Many great things have happened in our city/parish over the past several years, great times are here now and so much more is yet to come! I am really excited about the future and I look forward to being a part of it all! As David Specht so often says, “The best is yet to come!”
Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org