What Matters Most


Jack Houvouras

Twenty-five years. When I started the Huntington Quarterly in 1989, there were a handful of critics who predicted the venture wouldn't last a year. And while I was confident the publication would find success, I'm not even sure I envisioned a silver anniversary for the magazine I now affectionately call HQ. But it simply proves that my instincts about the people of Huntington were right. From our devoted readers, both near and far, to our loyal advertisers, the people who make up this community are a loyal lot who proudly call Huntington home. If not for them HQ would never have reached this milestone.

While reflecting on the last 25 years, there are several things I have found rewarding both personally and professionally. My initial goal was to provide the people of Huntington with a first-class magazine of their very own. In it, I wanted to defend the region from the critics and shed a positive light on my home. I think we have succeeded in that regard. In addition, I wanted to prove the critics wrong and see the business flourish financially over the long term. I think 25 years proves our staying power. In addition to HQ, we have expanded our business model and currently publish five other magazines for such entities as Marshall University, Cabell Huntington Hospital, The West Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Bar Association and the MU School of Medicine.

While I'm proud of the magazine's positive impact and business success, the single most rewarding aspect of the endeavor has been the writing. For me, that's where it all began. An American literature class at Marshall University planted the seed, followed by journalism classes and a semester as editor of the university's student newspaper. By my senior year I knew I wanted to be a writer. That's how the Huntington Quarterly first came to fruition.

Over the last 25 years, HQ has provided me with an outlet to express myself creatively in a number of ways. Columns have allowed me to write about a variety of subjects including my love of animals, my reverence for nature, the impact of entrepreneurship, my affection for this community and more. Meanwhile, longer feature articles have provided me the opportunity to meet and write about some of the most accomplished individuals to ever touch our community: Mike Perry, Marshall Reynolds, Bill Campbell, Joan Edwards, Chuck Yeager, Paul Ambrose, Paul Newman, Soupy Sales and even my own father. Of course there are many more, but these comprise some of my fondest endeavors.

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" In the end, what matters most to me isn't the business success or the prestige that comes with being a magazine publisher. No, it's the writing, the craft, the storytelling and the chance to make a difference in someone else's life through the power of the written word. That is what defines my soul.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make my dream of being a writer come true.

Jack Houvouras

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