My Dad, Joseph Spina, was a master carpenter. In this chosen profession, he functioned in strong work relationships with a series of junior partners. They supported his daily craftsmanship and learned how to fine tune their growing skills under his deft guidance.

He loved talking about his partners. One was a spiritually focused Black minister working in carpentry to supplement his ability to sustain his growing parish. Another was a rough ’n’ tumble Irish immigrant looking to bring his family to America. And Dad’s favorite was a budding apprentice eager to become a master carpenter like Dad.

Dad relished these work friendships. And he seemed to love calling them his partners. He loved the grassroots title as such, and I believe he loved the word “partner” and what it stood for in his mind with its aura of trust, support, learning and giving unto others.

I guess that’s why I jumped at the chance to name this issue’s new publishing and advertising initiative as being The Ultimate Partners and was equally enthusiastic theming many of our own editorial features in this special double July/August issue as explorations of union, bonding and support into what I hope will be our yearly Partnership Issue moving forward.

The word “partner” plays even deeper into the agenda I’ve been facing as editor-in-chief of 20/20 throughout this past year and a half. Never have I more depended on the support of the incredible editorial team of our magazine in its role as a publishing community center for our optical arena. In expanding their capacities as Executive Editor Christine Yeh, Fashion Editor Victoria Garcia and Feature Editor Jillian Urcelay, all three have honed new skills, abilities and a deeper sense of profound creativity when it comes to facing the challenges inherent to our new state in this universe. They have taken command of all of our photo shoots and fueled these efforts with a new sense of structure and imagination. They’ve sought inspiration in both likely and unlikely places. And in conjunction with our digital art director Julie Zidel, they’ve given new meaning and presence to all of our growing impact online on a virtual second-to-second basis.

They are my valued and cherished partners. So too is Andy Karp on the lens and tech front and Deb Kotob and Linda Conlin as our “pro partners” in the Pro to Pro bounty of 20/20.

I could go on with some personal and professional ultimate partner nominations but time’s a wasting, and I need to focus on the doubling up of duty required in order to  proudly deliver this first Partnership Issue to you… my most valued Ultimate Partners. Thanks for the word Dad.

James J. Spina
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