After spending roughly 25 years with the Laser Focus World brand, Editor at Large Conard Holton is officially retiring. It’s a bittersweet moment for sure. Undoubtedly, I am happy for Conard and slightly envious of all the free time he will now have to enjoy his passion for painting. I have no doubt he will make the most of all the freedoms retirement has to offer. Plus, no more deadlines.
However, I must also selfishly admit I will miss having him on the team. I will miss working with him—and anyone who knows Conard, understands why.
Each time I have needed an introduction to an industry leader, desired the backstory on how market sectors have evolved, or sought valuable tips from someone who has been in my role, Conard has openly entertained my wonderings and questions. He has always been gracious with his time. It is difficult to express just how much I have valued his kindness, insights, and candor.
In the bigger picture, Conard has in many ways been a voice of reason, gently guiding the way for Laser Focus World, creating and upholding traditions, and firmly positioning the brand as a trusted source of valued information for those within the global photonics community.
A lot has changed since Conard first joined Laser Focus World in 1997. When he ultimately took the helm as Editor in Chief from 2011 through 2018, it was a pivotal time for the still maturing industry. It was a period filled with monumental growth and a bevy of new innovations hitting the scene at a staggering pace. Even after he transitioned to his Editor at Large role, he kept his finger on the pulse of the industry managing the monthly Business Forum, while also chairing the annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar.
Throughout this time, Conard developed and maintained numerous relationships that ultimately became friendships within an undeniably tight-knit community. He ultimately became a trusted confidant as engineers and researchers sought appropriate avenues to tell their stories to the world. This does not happen by chance, nor by position. It is the result of earning trust often by showing respect. Conard consistently exhibits this in his interactions.
Simply put, Conard has been an amazing asset—not only to the Laser Focus World team, but the broader photonics community as well. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with you Conard, even for a short while.
You are a class act, Conard. Please know you are appreciated. I wish you great happiness—and I will do my best to adequately follow in your footsteps.