A Rewarding Leap of Faith
Thanks to many, MinnesotaHockeyMagazine.com is celebrating its first birthday.
Scott Tiffany, President and Founder of MinnesotaHockeyMagazine.com, reviews the first year results/success of the on-line venture.
From a proud past as a print-only publication many years ago, we planned and launched our first site on Dec. 7, 2012. Our first year was incredible. We exceeded our wildest dreams on who would help out and what we would do. Thank you to all of our hockey friends and fans who have made this journey possible.
After five years of planning we built a solid platform. With the help of some of the biggest names in Minnesota hockey, we produced some great content, and then presented it to our audience. With this formula, we have seen rapid growth and now have over 4800 subscribers to our e-Edition, 1300 fans who like us on our Facebook page and over 1100 people following us on Twitter. Our website is a destination for thousands of unique visitors each month.
For those involved, we feel very blessed . Starting a new business is like raising an infant and, much like parents with their first born, it is exciting to see what each new day brings. It is with great pleasure that we look back to thank some key people and to review what we did in year one.
Our Journey Begins
At our launch, we were fortunate to have three former first round former NHL stars in Phil Housley, Ryan Walters, and Dave Tanabe, contributing content. A special thank you to Phil as not only did he help with content, but he was very generous with his time as he also agreed to serve as one of our key advisers. He was very instrumental in providing great input on key issues. We also enjoyed sitting down with Phil in a “This is your life in hockey” series that we will be putting on our new website in the coming months.
Several other Minnesota hockey legends sat down for these soon to be released segmented interviews, including Willard Ikola, Henry Boucha, Glen Sonmor, John Harrington, Carl Wetzel and Neal Broten. We also are excited for this season, as our list of hockey legends that we want to sit down with are of the same quality. We look forward to bringing you these long forms of journalism and storytelling that are seldom done. We are certain that you will find these stories very interesting and entertaining.
In addition to giving us his life story in the first person, we also want to thank Neal for his endorsement and generously giving his time at our first annual MinnesotaHockeyMagazine.com Foundation golf event. Last year we sent four young people to hockey camps and advanced tournaments that would not have been able to attend without some support. The success of the golf event ensures we can continue sending more kids to more camps in the future.
Who Helped Make it Happen
We now want to thank those who helped with the creation of our websites. Personally, as founder and publisher, I, Scott Tiffany, need to first thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Christian faith requires believing in things hoped for with the evidence not seen. It was with this hope that I believed this was possible. My expectations for our first year have been greatly exceeded and I believe the best is yet to come.
I must next thank my family, who, without their support, I would not have been able to do this. My father Hal and mother Beverly have been there for me since the very first print issue over 25 years ago. My Wife of 23 years Jill Tiffany, and my 4 children Brett, Jordi, Grace and Hope all have been incredible in understanding my need to be away, as the cost of a start up and the time needed to make things happen isn’t free.
We built out three different websites and without the help from Mike Danielson and Mike Phillips in the earliest stages, and then Paul Roff, Eric Mills, Brian Halverson, Bill Rossini, David Kujawski and Mark Roemhild on the originally launched site, it wouldn’t have been possible. After evaluating our original site with feedback from a variety of sources, we proceeded to build the second generation and existing site with help from Brian Halverson, Bill Rossini, Zach Halverson and Tony Rocha.
Mills, who is the President of the National Institute of Social Media, was also very instrumental in providing the framework for our social media platforms Tara Tierney, who recently was awarded an MBA from St. Thomas in Social Media, also helped by giving us guidance and direction. These platforms are now growing at a rapid clip.
The two guys who really lent their ear and did whatever was necessary for the past several years are Bill Rossini and Brian Halverson. Brian is a member of the NHL writers guild, has provided solid editorial direction and is now our Executive Editor. Bill is a very decorated senior hockey player with multiple national titles, has been a solid confidante who has many leadership and business qualities and helps keep things prioritized as the voice of reason.
Other key advisers include Skip Peltier and Marv Jorde. These lifelong mentors have provided me great insights in living, accountability, and have given me a great love for the sport of hockey. I also need to acknowledge my high school linemate and great friend, Dr. Mike Jorde, who has been invaluable in helping me through the toughest decisions.
In the podcast/radio department, Kevin Falness has been a great producer as we have been able to use the Wild studios to make a high quality podcast that soon will be on the air as a radio show. On air talent starts with our host, Pete Waggoner, who is golden behind the microphone. His on air friends include Fox 9 sports director Jim Rich, Kare 11 sports anchor Dave Schwartz and Tim Kolehmenien, who is covering northern Minnesota and class A high school hockey.
Assisting with ad sales is Andie Lindsay and David Frenkel who are out promoting our product. We are thankful to our many sponsors including the following who have assisted us this year: Dave’s Sports, Strauss Skates and Bicycle, the Lumberyard, 3D Sports technology, Mitch Korn Goalie school, Midwest Hockey, Hockey Finder, Shock Box, Pheasant Hills Golf Club. We also met with 38 companies that we did infomercials for at the Let’s Play Hockey Trade Show with interviewers Jim Hoey, Bri Rossini and Demi DeYoung assisting us. A special thanks to former NHL stars Dave Tanabe and Phil Housley for signing autographs and to Greg Niederkorn, Tim Ruiz, Paul Roff and Bill Rossini who helped make the show a huge success.
A special thanks to our writers and video stars
With content being produced on a regular basis, we are blessed to have such writers as Dave Schwartz, sports anchor from Kare 11, Amy Gist who is covering the Duluth area along with the NHL, VJ Stanley with youth content, and over 40 other sources providing regular content. Those who have contributed more than once include former NHL first round stars Ryan Walters and Dave Tanabe. In addition, NHL coach Mitch Korn, European Pro Blake Sloan, and great writers Dan Myers, Chris Riley, Jayson Hron, Jessica Christopherson, Jim Hoey, Jessi Pierce, Jill Tiffany, Kyle Oen, Murray Pam, Dr. Raymond Petras, Pete Waggoner, and Tim Kolemainen along with intern Demi DeYoung, all penned multiple great articles. On the video side of content, Emmy award winners Phil Housley and Ann Carroll also lent a hand. Our video series Phil’s Skills will soon be shown on our new website.
Jeff Wegge and Jordan Doffing are a consistent source of great action shots on our platforms. On the video side, Paul Roff, Marcus Taplin, Justin Morrissey, Pete Waggoner and Zach Halverson have provided awesome video with consistent quality. Roff also has helped with all of the animation that you have seen on the site and provides the same services for our advertising clients.
To my teammates
I also need to thank my hockey playing family, my close circle of friends down at St. Mary’s Point, including Greg Niederkorn, and Tim Ruiz, my line mates for the past 20 plus years along with Tim Price, Rob Hubbard, Mike and Rob Rominski, Brad, Tom and Eric Morrow, Wally Nelson, Mike and Brennen Phippen, Steve Mikutowski and all of my other Senior A and old timer hockey friends. I consider all of you great friends and appreciate your ear as you have listened to me for all of these years. I also thank my hockey friends in Baldwin and all of the kids I’ve had the pleasure of coaching.
It is extremely difficult to name all of the people who have been a part of our success without potentially leaving names out. If I have left your name out and you were one of the people who provided me insights, ideas or helped out, forgive me, as those who know me well will know it was not intentional.
Thanks, and stay tuned.