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Up Front | Feb 2015


I had a milestone birthday in November. After the shock of being 50 wore off, I thought about time and how my perception of it is always changing. When I was a kid, summer was a lengthy 3 months of “great.” Now, those same 3 months pass in a blink. I feel similarly when I look back at starting Bryn Mawr Communications (BMC) and launching Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today with business partner Adam Krafczek in 2001. We started with five employees and used office furniture in class C office space over the Mattress Giant store in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Those days are long gone. BMC now has more than 65 employees and offers publications and products in five medical specialties. Even so, BMC still has the feel of a new company, a startup in an environment of innovation.

An example of this balance can be seen in CRST Europe. Now in its 10th year, CRST Europe has undergone a makeover. The trend in print publications today is to shrink dimensions and lower the quality of the paper used. In typical BMC fashion, CRST Europe's dimensions have instead grown. We did not want to affect the publication's portability, but we believe the slightly larger size will improve readers' experiences by increasing the space for images—the iPhone 6 or 6+ (Apple) approach to publishing. We have also changed the publication's name to the acronym CRST Europe because that is what most physicians and industry members call it. Although BMC is recognized as a progressive digital media company, the truth is that our print products have experienced significant and consistent growth year after year. In the field of medicine, print is alive and well!

CRST Europe's continued growth is the product of strong medical and editorial leadership. From the original chief medical editors—the late Joseph Colin, MD; and Sheraz M. Daya, MD, FACP, FACS, FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth­—to the current ones—Sheraz; Erik L. Mertens, MD, FEBOphth; Arthur B. Cummings, MB ChB, FCS(SA), MMed(Ophth), FRCS(Edin); and A. John Kanellopoulos, MD—I feel priviledged to have had the opportunity to work with such talented and dedicated physicians. I have also had the pleasure of getting to know Khiun F. Tjia, MD, who is now our Editor Emeritus. Each in his own way has given so much, not only to CRST Europe but also to the ophthalmic community worldwide. Having been with CRST Europe since the beginning, Sheraz is generous with his time and talents and continues to provide us with many insights into ophthalmology. Erik, who joined Sheraz as Co-Chief Medical Editor at the height of his practice's redesign, has shared not only his business savvy but his surgical expertise also. More recently, we added the Associate Chief Medical Editor positions, which are filled by Arthur and John. Both of these men have helped considerably by offering article ideas and sharing their wisdom with our editors and our readers. The collective expertise of these men in cataract and refractive surgery has helped shape the publication into what it is today. They are true gentlemen in the field.

The second secret to the success of CRST Europe is our editorial leadership. When I met Laura Straub in 2004, she was a young 20-something go-getter who I could tell had a bright future. After watching her grow in her initial role as associate editor of another BMC publication, it was clear that she was ready for added responsibility, which came subsequently in the form of aiding in the launch of two publications, CRST Europe and Retina Today. Since that time, Laura has helped advance the vision of CRST Europe and, along with Senior Editor Callan Navitsky, is leading the publication through this exciting redesign.

On the business side, I could not be more impressed by publisher Gaynor Morrison. Although I filled the role of publisher initially, I passed the reins to Gaynor shortly after the publication launched; I knew her tenacity and vivacious personality would blend well with the team we already had in place. Since then, Gaynor has not disappointed. She has helped expand the breadth of our reach and continues to offer fresh perspectives to the industry personnel and physicians she comes in contact with.

Thanks to these dedicated individuals, CRST Europe is the complete editorial package. I hope you enjoy our new look! n

David Cox
Co-Founder/President, BMC