You hold in your hands the inaugural issue of My City Magazine! I’m extremely proud to bring it to you, and feel that a brief history of how it came to be is in order.
For the past 18 years, I’ve published a very successful international business-to-business magazine and in doing so, have traveled extensively – to or through every state and several countries – visiting and building relationships with my advertisers. During meals with these clients, many of whom are my good friends, it never fails; he or she will ask, “Why in the world do you still live in Flint?” Almost without exception, someone mentions the film Roger & Me: that’s my cue to spend what is typically an hour defending my city and why I continue to build businesses here.
Flint’s unsavory standing in our country is no secret, nor is its place on a few very unfortunate “Top 10” lists. But, believe it or not, defending my city is easy for me. I know about the good things happening here and that’s why I became actively engaged in making it a better place. Yes, my city has a multitude of problems – but, what city doesn’t these days? Many great people have raised families and found success in Flint and are very proud to say so.
Aside from my college years in Ann Arbor, I’ve spent my entire life in Genesee County. I started my first business here more than three decades ago; Flint has been very good to me and my family. I owe my success to the loyal support of area citizens, and am proud to have created hundreds of good jobs. But despite the efforts of many who have done the same, Flint’s once bright reputation and image have certainly suffered.
I’ll get back to the impetus behind My City Magazine. If you examine the media’s portrayal of Flint since the late 80s – no matter what the source – we’ve occupied a spot at the bottom of their lists and, unfortunately, taken the top spot when it comes to annual murder totals. However, I know that those lists don’t define Flint and the vibrant spirit that is still alive here. I’m happy to say that there are many others who believe as I do.
I got involved with my city many years ago, offering my experience and energy in the hopes of making a difference. I’ve always loved to build things, so I invested in recent Downtown Flint development. For over 13 years, I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of serving with other local professionals and businesspeople as a member of the Flint Institute of Music’s Board of Directors. I am well aware of what the FIM family contributes to the community; however, I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned to me that their kid plays an instrument, dances or takes acting classes, yet they’ve never heard of the FIM, the Flint School of Performing Arts or Flint Youth Theater. I always wonder: why is that?
I want everyone to know that my city is rich with diverse culture. My city has many residents who are dedicated to supporting the arts and amazing social happenings, investing in Flint’s rebirth and nurturing the things that make it extraordinary – yet, most of those who live and work in Flint and surrounding communities are unaware of the very reasons why they should support it. This publication was created to bring these elements to light, celebrate them and encourage our readers’ participation in Flint’s resurgence.
More than a year ago, I started pitching the concept for My City Magazine to other Flint enthusiasts, local businesspeople, community leaders and respected colleagues. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to find success in my life, I was humbled by their instant enthusiasm. Many were aware of my publishing background and excited about what a high quality city magazine could do for Flint; others were simply inspired by my energy and vision for this venture. To all who have offered good wishes and supported this inaugural issue with advertising, I am beyond grateful.
No matter their resources, a single individual cannot accomplish an undertaking of this kind; I didn’t do this alone. The carefully chosen, super-talented My City team shares my passion for this project; we’re all on the same page with regard to creating a fun, exciting, prestige publication for Flint. The stories we bring you will highlight the character, creativity and resilience of area citizens; I guarantee you will be uplifted and surprised by our content.
I want to once again thank those who supported the inaugural issue of My City Magazine and pledge that we will stay true to our mission: to celebrate Flint’s rich history, as well as highlight the abundance of current business, cultural and social happenings in and around the city. Over 10,000 people received this first issue and our list is growing every day; proof positive that I’m not the only one who loves my city.
Vince Lorraine, Publisher & Editor in Chief
PHOTO BY PATRICK BAFILE