Opinion: Publisher’s Notebook – Part Three


Illustration: Angelica Geisse

After seven years serving as publisher of APEX Media, Spafax has elected to move on from the role with great appreciation to APEX for the opportunity. While APEX’s platforms will continue strong as ever under the ongoing direction of the association working with a new partner, Spafax’s executive vice-president, Al St. Germain, looks back on a highly rewarding and eye-opening time at the helm of this unique media venture.

Throughout this series, I’ve spent a little bit of time looking back at a couple of the big trends that made up a large part of our time on the job. Our industry continues to evolve, and has done so at an accelerated pace in the last 12 months. Those changes will continue, but APEX is an association, and assocations are fundamentally about people. So, as we bow out, I want to recognize some of the folks who helped make APEX Media the success it is today.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank the association for their trust in us from the very first moment. That includes all board members past and present, but notable thanks must go to Alfy Veretto (our first, and seemingly endless APEX President), Joan Filippini, Brian Richardson, Ingo Wugettzer, Anton Vidgen, and Spafax’s own Maura Chacko for being extra supportive at various times during our tenure. Dr. Joe Leader came on board not long after we started and became our biggest cheerleader, for which we are very grateful. And, of course, the team at Kellen, including Lauren Costello, Robin Applebaum, Katie Geraghty, Desiray Young and the one and only Russ Lemieux.

No publication can survive without its advertisers, and we were grateful to have many loyal supporters, even when times were tough. The collective Hollywood studio community made many pages of APEX Experience possible with their continued presence, as did a number of major industry stalwarts.  But we were also lucky to have many smaller companies invest their hard-earned dollars in APEX Media – if you could only take a half-page, please know that we appreciated you! I encourage all of you to continue supporting the APEX Media platforms, which contribute so much to our industry.

I cannot say enough about the folks that made up the APEX Media team, past and present. I’ve never worked with a more fun, diligent and engaging group of people. The list is long, but we couldn’t have pulled this off without our first-year crew made up of Terri Potratz, Andreanne Lafond, Nico Venturelli, (the infamous) Steve O’Connor, Jessica Sammut and Katie Sehl – thank you for putting up with someone who wasn’t always sure what he was doing!

Over the years, we were lucky to have other incredible performers as part of the team, including Caroline Ku, Valerie Silva, Ari Magnusson, Kristina Velan, Angelica Geisse, Joanna Forbes, Ella Ponomarov, Justin Mulfati and Maryann Simson, who did incredible work increasing our profile during her time as Director. I’ll particularly remember the incredible times on the road with these folks, where their talents shined through the most. We also couldn’t have done this without our stable of regular contributors, featuring talented writers such as Howard Slutsken, Tomas Romero, Seth Miller and Marisa Garcia; artists including Marcelo Caceres, Jorge de la Paz, Felipe Vargas and Ricardo Polo; and photographer Maxim Sergienko.

The broader team at Spafax also played a major role in our success. A special nod to Mary Shaw, Arjun Basu, Joelle Irvine, Laura Gress and Ardee Velazquez, along with sincere appreciation for the leadership support of Raymond Girard, Niall McBain and Simon Ogden. And my very deepest thanks to Stephanie Taylor and Felipe Batista-Nunes, for maintaining a high level of service to APEX members while facilitating the platform’s transition.  

Finally, my biggest thank you goes to you, our dear readers. If a newsletter falls in an inbox, and nobody reads it, did it make a sound? Over the years we have appreciated your feedback, your engagement, your clicks (always needed) and your participation in our stories. Our primary mission was to educate our membership, and hopefully after each newsletter, magazine issue or EXPO Daily, you learned something that you hadn’t already known about our exciting, innovative, and occasionally crazy, industry.

On behalf of all of Spafax, I wish APEX nothing but the best of luck and look forward to when we can all be together on an EXPO show floor, soon.

Read the first and second parts of Al’s Publisher’s Notebook series.

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