Since 2001, we have selected the best and the brightest of the region's leaders in business, the arts and the nonprofit sector. We have always held that leaders are leaders, whether they are at the helm of a factory or a hospital, a museum or law firm, a restaurant chain or an economic development group. And we hold onto the conviction that business and progress are, at their very core, dependent upon strong and effective leadership.
While pointing out the inevitability of change, especially in business, has become a cliché, we don't believe that change for its own sake is a wise policy. Nonetheless, we have elected to tweak the process a bit again this year.
Last year, we initiated a process of selecting Pacesetters that relied upon you, our readers, to identify and nominate individuals for the award. The process proved quite effective, with nominators bringing to our attention business leaders with exceptional credentials and achievements that we felt were worthy of consideration as Pacesetters. Again, we will rely heavily on our readers to spot the region's best performers. You can find the nomination form and instructions on our Web site, www.sbnonline.com.
A change this year will be to make a direct appeal to our previous Pacesetters to nominate individuals whom they believe should join the ranks. After all, who is better qualified to know and recognize success than the successful?
Bigger isn't always better, but Smart Business believes that it takes a particularly intelligent, aggressive and resourceful individual to push a company to the 200-employee mark. For that reason, we have added a requirement for all Pacesetter nominees: For consideration in 2004, Pacesetter candidates must be at the head of an organization with at least 200 employees.
That raises the bar, something that Smart Business believes is a good way to identify the very best and highlight them as examples of exemplary achievement.
We're confident that this year, the fourth for the Pittsburgh Pacesetters, we will again receive a most qualified stack of nominations. There is little doubt that Western Pennsylvania is rich with talented, hard-working business people with a passion for making their enterprises and the region extraordinary success stories.
We look forward to hearing those kinds of stories again this year.