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A sense of gratitude

CEO NOTES | I’m supremely thankful for my 20 years at WORLD—and for those who came before me

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In this Thanksgiving season, as I reflect on the many blessings God has given me, I will especially consider my time here at WORLD as a gift for which I am supremely thankful.

I joined the organization on the first Monday of November 2003, which means I have been here 20 years, more than half of my career since I graduated from college.

That’s not a long tenure by WORLD standards. The two men who preceded me in this role, Joel Belz and Nick Eicher, have served the organization for 47 years and 33 years, respectively. That’s right—Joel predates WORLD Magazine by nine years.

My first day on the job, Joel said to me, “Get to know Nick Eicher—he’ll be your boss someday.” He was right, but he had no idea what God had in store. Just 15 months later, Nick succeeded Joel as CEO in February 2005.

I would have been very happy for the story to stay that way, with an “and they all lived happily ever after” coda. My sense of gratitude today would not have been diminished in the slightest had I served the organization for the past 20 years in my original role as CFO.

But in 2008, Nick demonstrated an unusual combination of character attributes—personal humility, organizational loyalty, and a strong understanding of his own giftedness—and decided that he would better serve WORLD in an ­editorial capacity rather than an administrative one.

Because the conclusion he came to in his 40 months as CEO was that WORLD urgently needed to chart a dramatic new course editorially, with a slate of all-new products to expand our reach. Quite simply, WORLD would not be as strong, and might not exist at all, humanly speaking, were it not for Nick’s return to his journalistic roots in 2008.

As I give thanks this year for my own tenure here, then, my gratitude will not be primarily for a long and happy career, but for two men who put their service to God through WORLD before their own personal ambition. They have been an example to many here, and now, I hope, to anyone who reads this.

Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin is the CEO of WORLD News Group.


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