I’ll never forget the first time I met Amy Kinnaird. She was dressed very smartly, as always, with kind eyes, and no hint of an accent. I was introduced to her as the publisher of BIZ. Magazine and she walked right up to me and shook my hand, only slightly surprised that I was running a business magazine at the age of 30.
“Sean? Amy Kinnaird, it’s such a pleasure to meet you. David has told me good things about you,” she said in the lobby of our old offices after my boss David Specht introduced me to his best and most faithful columnist.
“You too, I read your column every month,” I joked, as I was the one putting the issues together for several months prior to being handed the keys.
“I’m glad at least one person does,” she said with a laugh.
I knew then that Amy and I would get along. And, so we did for years after that. She was indeed the one columnist I could count on month-in, month-out to submit me something that was well-written, informative, and sent on-time, if not early.
I wish I could say that I knew Amy on a more personal level, but life doesn’t always seem to allow those types of things.
Now, I found out this morning that I won’t ever get that chance. Amy passed away Jan. 20 at the age of 62.
Amy began writing for BIZ. back in the heady days when it was known as NWLA Business Monthly, circa 2010. She always gave such great advice to entrepreneurs and established business leaders — everything from marketing tips to dealing with burnout. We have several on our site, but I should make it my personal mission to go through our archives and upload all of them so Amy gets the true credit she deserves.
Perhaps more importantly, she was always happy to promote and tout BIZ. Not only because she wrote for it, but because she believed in it. She believed in its value for the local business community, its marketing potential for our clients, its news and informative components, and, I think because she even believed in me.
For someone who was a talented public speaker, marketing consultant, and IBM systems engineer, that meant a lot. It meant a lot when there were dark days and it means a lot now that I sit here trying to struggle with her being gone.
The last time we communicated was when she broke it to me that after almost a decade of writing columns for BIZ., she would be stepping away to refocus and deal with some “health issues.” Of course I was sad that I was losing my best columnist, but I was more sad that I was losing my main line of communication with a smart, trusted advisor.
I wanted to be respectful and not pry, I assumed she was focusing more on being a national speaker and maybe trying out a new business idea. I should have pried. I should have asked her what was wrong and if I could finally be of use to her, for a change. But, I didn’t and now I wished I had.
All I can say is that Amy helped make BIZ. what it is today, and I will always be grateful to her for that. I respect her a great deal, and she left an indelible mark on me as a businessperson. And, I’m sure through her work both in BIZ. and her own consulting and speaking business, she left that same impact on hundreds of others.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. We will all miss you, Amy.
Sean Green | Editor and Publisher, BIZ. Magazine