I’m excited for you to meet Tami, Latisha, and Heather. Chances are if you don’t know one of these women, you know someone like them: They’re the gatekeepers.

They’re the people who are sometimes taken for granted, or maybe just not taken seriously. As writer David Morrison put it, “I would be horrible at their job.” I think after you read about what it takes to do their jobs — switching hats in an instant, honing hawk-like organizational skills, carrying out work for many different people, making sure everything goes off without a hitch — you’ll feel a new appreciation for executive assistants and other similar roles.

I challenge you to take a moment to appreciate the amazing people who play a critical role in your organization but might not always get the credit they deserve. They’re the organizers, the planners, the “have you thought about this” people. They’re the list makers, the ones who you’d be lost without. You know your receipts would definitely be lost without them.

This is also our Top of the Town issue, where we reveal who you recognized as the best in Columbia B2B. Take a look at page 39 to see the full list of winners in categories from Top Place to Work to Top Salesperson to Top Janitorial Service. We’ve pretty much covered it all!

And thanks to the thousands of people who nominated a person or business and then voted. The recognition you’ve given to these people is truly special.

In this issue, we’ve also got an update on the upcoming solar eclipse, a low-down on Columbia Mall, and lots of other great stuff.

It’s hard to believe, but it will soon be time to nominate your favorite young professionals for CBT’s 20 Under 40 awards. The nomination form will be open soon. Until then, think of the young leaders in your life who make a difference in the community, innovate in their businesses, and lead their peers. We want to know who they are.

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