The golf courses in Kansas are going to be a little more crowded from now on because Loretta Miles has retired as manager of National Pavement Expo and NPE West. Loretta started selling ad space in Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction and booth space in NPE in 1990 when both were owned by The Aberdeen Group. When Aberdeen sold the magazine and NPE to Johnson Hill Press (now Cygnus Business Media), Loretta was part of the deal, bringing her knowledge and industry relationships to the new company. She will be missed here at Cygnus where she was a top-notch manager and salesperson, and she'll be missed throughout the industry. Here's why.
Loretta enjoyed her job, she liked the paving and pavement maintenance industry and the people in it, and she understood the industry virtually from the start. When Aberdeen acquired this magazine in 1990 we didn't know the industry and the industry didn't know us. So someone needed to help us make a mark and demonstrate our commitment to the market, and Loretta was that person. She was successful not because she knew so much that she could tell her customers what to do but because she asked so much that her customers knew she understood what they needed. Her first question to contractors and manufacturers alike was, "So, how's business?" And she listened to the answer. Her next question was usually, "So what does that mean for the rest of your year?" And she listened to the answer. Over the years people often called Loretta to ask how her business was and what she was hearing in the market. They knew they could rely on her for a straight shot of reality, good or bad but real nonetheless. She worked hard and she was straightforward with all the people and companies she worked with over the years. No company received special treatment but all received fair treatment, and her legacy is a trade magazine and two trade shows recognized for their unbiased and straightforward efforts to reflect, develop, and grow the paving and pavement maintenance industry.
So as I write this in late July (and as you read it in August) Loretta is undoubtedly on a golf course somewhere sinking an unreasonably long putt, and she's probably already worn through a deck of cards playing bridge. She's earned every bit of that, and we will certainly miss her.