We recently heard from Arkansas Business founding publisher Dan Owens, who said lessons learned during the 1984 start-up remained fresh on his mind.
Owens, who sold his stake in the newspaper in 1987, is now president of Senior Living Associates Inc. of Charlotte, N.C. The company, which Owens started out of his basement in 1992, publishes free resource guides for the retirement industry in the Carolinas. Among them are five magazines and Retirement Lifestyles in North Carolina, a 50,000-circulation guide to retirement communities.
The company also launched CARA, the Carolina Active Retirement Association, which he described as a “chamber of commerce” for the retirement industry.
After leaving Arkansas Business, Owens earned an MBA from the University of South Carolina. He then worked in Dallas as a consultant for a publishing company in the seniors market. A year and a half later, he moved to Charlotte and married.
The first publications hit the stands in 1993, and the company is now growing from 40-50 percent per year, Owens said.
“It is a niche that we’ve been able to exploit,” he said. “There was not a magazine such as ours in the Carolinas, and we feel pretty good about it.”
Owens said he was proud that Arkansas Business, which he helped start when he was 24, was still providing a place for journalists to pursue business writing.
“Probably if we hadn’t done it, someone else would have done it, but I just think it’s wonderful,” he said.