Marianna, This One is For You

Speaking of “the best,” I would like to write a few words about Marianna Lynch.

In A Backwards Glance, Edith Wharton quoted Henry James: “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” In my opinion, the photo on the cover of this issue of Cape Cod LIFE captures this same thought. This beautiful photo was taken by Bernadett Pava, and is the first-place winner in our annual photo contest. It is the “best of the best” in this special issue, which marks our 21st year of sharing our readers’ choices for the Best of the Cape and Islands.

Marianna, This One is For You

Photography has been a hobby of mine since I was very young. I am still very much an amateur when it comes to taking photos. However, I do have an eye for good photography, and I very much enjoy it when our art and editorial teams allow me into the production department to share my opinions on photo selections. The Best Of issue is always the most popular of our issues all year.

Speaking of “the best,” I would like to write a few words about Marianna Lynch. Marianna, who passed away in January of this year after a battle with cancer, was Cape Cod Life Publications’ longest-time employee and was with us for 23 years. She was here the first year we had our readers’ choice contest for the Best of the Cape and Islands, and she oversaw the voting and handling of this contest every year up until now. We miss her dearly.

I was privileged to say a few words at Marianna’s funeral. I explained that as a small company, we never have had layers of management. My approach has been one of finding capable and devoted staff members, matching talent and opportunity, and letting the chips fall where they may. It has been very satisfying for me to witness the growth in capabilities and professionalism in job performance among our staff members. The success of Cape Cod LIFE, now in our 34th year of publication, is a testimonial to the staff members we have been blessed to have over the years.

One result of this management approach is that team members operate very independently, often contributing solutions to problems and new ideas on better ways to do things completely on their own. The logical result of this is that their role in the company expands, as does their authority.

I doubt that anyone who has done any degree of business with Cape Cod Life Publications during the last 23 years has not encountered Marianna Lynch. For our staff and our customers, these encounters were almost always focused on “doing the job right”—usually pleasant encounters, but sometimes not. However, I know of no encounter, ever, when Marianna was not looking out for the best interests of Cape Cod Life Publications.

Match talent and devotion with opportunity and let the chips fall where they may. I am CEO, or chief executive officer of the company, since I am the founder. Marianna worked her way up the ladder until she was considered the COE of the company. That means Chief of Everything.

Back in January, the staff and I decided to devote this year’s Best Of issue to Marianna. I hope our readers will find this issue to be one of our best ever. Because I know that if Marianna feels that there is anything that we did not “do right,” trust me, she will get the word to us.

My best,


Brian Shortsleeve, President and Publisher

P.S. One new staff member and three longer-time staff members have divided up Marianna’s job. We have it almost completely covered.


Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the President and Publisher of Cape Cod Life Publications.

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