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pg-20-Kerry-new-mug-shotSmith    With September comes the passing of summer and the preparation for the next season. For many business people, September means the preparation and planning for the next fiscal year.
    More so than in past years, the coming planning season will result in changes for many businesses.
    Change is with us all, and change is coming at the Illinois Business Journal. Change is coming for me professionally as well.
    At heart, I’m an entrepreneur. I love the thrill and the enormous potential that starting a new venture brings, and I love the challenge of making a business succeed.
    I began as an entrepreneur 20 years ago when I set up my own business to work with a major daily newspaper in Texas.
    Then 13 years ago, my second start-up, the Illinois Business Journal, was born. Back then, I was thinking only about completing the next issue and about making and keeping the publication profitable. I accomplished the profitability goal more quickly than I had expected. Several years later, I looked for and found a talented partner. Fast forward to today: suddenly I find I’ve worked on more than 150 issues.  
    With a spirit of excitement about what’s to come - and with the confidence of knowing that the Illinois Business Journal will remain in the capable hands of my business partner, Al Ortbals - on Sept. 30th, I am selling him my interest in this publication to launch my next venture, the third start-up of my career.
    In this new business I am continuing to do the work I love and for which I have a longstanding track record of experience and credibility, but I am doing it from a unique vantage point to meet an underserved need in the business marketplace.
    My brand-new business research and intelligence company, Informationworks Inc., provides a service of researching, organizing and reporting business and corporate intelligence.
    With the billions of gigabytes of information at our fingertips today, a good part of my service is devoted to helping businesses make sense out of what really has become too much information in a world changing at the speed of the Web.
    Think of my new Informationworks service as a single source for finding, distilling and summarizing mountains of information into easily understandable and helpful reports.
    I am focused on helping companies in Southwestern Illinois and the greater St. Louis region make better business decisions with customized business research and analysis.
    Through Informationworks Inc., I provide organized insight into what’s happening beyond the walls of a business. I check on changing customer needs and preferences, the competition, industry trends, potential threats, market opportunities and any other factor that can impact a client’s business.
    With nearly three decades of experience in researching and summarizing business issues for business people, I am now applying the exact same skills in a new and different way.
    I appreciate the support that so many of you have given me - both professionally and personally - through the years, particularly those of you who have girded the Illinois Business Journal during the past five years of choppy economic waters with your advertising dollars. Without you, we literally couldn’t do what we do.
    To those of you who believed in a newcomer to Southwestern Illinois who promised you a publication you couldn’t yet see or touch, and who promised me financial support in return - purely on faith - I’ll always be grateful.
    I hope this has been and will continue to be a business journal that you will call your own, a journal of which you can be proud. As I stand back and look at what we’ve done together, I’m extremely proud of the Illinois Business Journal and what we’ve all accomplished. Al and I have been privileged to work with each other and with the caliber and dedication of the freelance team we’ve shared for more than a decade.
    I’m a serial entrepreneur. The good thing is that I can admit that fact and look forward to a new venture. The better thing is that the advertisers and readers of the Illinois Business Journal are in good hands.
    When you see me in my new life, I hope you’ll take a minute to chat about the passing of seasons and the hope that comes with new seasons - and new business ventures. I’ll be right here with you as always, living and working in the vibrant, progressive region we call home: Southwestern Illinois.
   Kerry L. Smith has been founder, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Business Journal. She can be reached at (618) 465.5572 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. through Sept 30. As of Oct. 1, she can be reached at (618) 225-2253 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..