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WilmingtonBiz Magazine

Editor's Note: Showing Up This Year

By Vicky Janowski, posted Dec 8, 2020
On March 18, New Hanover County saw its first presumptive case of the Coronavirus.
 
That same day, infectious disease expert Paul Kamitsuka spoke on our BizTalk program, a Q&A segment launched on the Business Journal’s Facebook page to help readers navigate the wide unknown that was unfolding.
 
More than 5,000 people ended up watching Dr. Kamitsuka break down what was happening –how testing might work and what early research showed on symptoms and airborne droplets.
 
And then he explained to us how to wash our hands, which we all thought we knew how to do, but turns out there was more to learn – about soap, about sanitizer, about toilet paper supply-chain logistics, about the length of 6 feet, about elbow bumps and about a host of other things that defined and changed us in 2020.
 
In tandem with a global pandemic came an unprecedented economic shutdown, with which the U.S. and our community continue to grapple.
 
2020 was also the year racial justice and equity issues rose to the forefront of the nation’s attention after a defining 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
 
So, when you read through the bios of this year’s WilmingtonBiz 100 members, it’s no coincidence how many times the terms COVID-19 and race relations show up.
 
From Power Players to Rising Stars, people throughout the region showed up in this most unusual and difficult year.
 
Some helped businesses find temporary relief during the shutdown by processing Paycheck Protection Program loans. Some organized community discussions about race. Some treated COVID-19 patients and moved quickly to implement testing. Some jumped in the game to find an effective vaccine. Some extended themselves to try to help keep people connected when they weren’t able to be.
 
Others kept working, innovating to prepare for post-COVID times.
 
The first year we compiled the WilmingtonBiz 100 list, we looked at people’s contributions to the region throughout their career.
 
This time, and for subsequent years, the focus is on people’s impacts during the calendar year.
 
It’s by no means a comprehensive list.
 
More than 400,000 people live in the tri-county area. Highlighting the work of 100 of them is just a drop in the bucket, especially this year when so many have stepped up.
 
Read more about this year’s picks starting on page 18 with our cover story about the members of the Partnership Advisory Group, followed by bios of The Power Players, Influencers, Innovators, Connectors and Rising Stars who led this year.
 
You’ll see that elected officials and economic developers are not eligible for the annual list, but their work is highlighted in the section as well.
 
Have someone in mind who should be on here?
 
Reach out, let us know and don’t forget to nominate someone for next year’s list.
 
Here’s looking forward to 2021.

-Vicky Janowski, editor
[email protected]
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