In my experience, difficult news is best delivered straight-no-chaser. I don't dance around issues particularly well; in work and in life, I prefer to cut through the fluff and clutter and get straight to the point.

To that end, here goes: I've moved on from EBN to join Benz Communications as its Editorial Director.

Kinda like ripping off a Band-Aid, huh?

Even with more than a month to process it, it's hard to believe that seven years as Editor-in-Chief - and 11 overall at EBN - now are behind me. I learned so much from all of you readers over the years, and I can't put into words how awed and inspired I was by all that you do on behalf of your employees and their families. It was my joy and privilege to have you allow me into your companies and your careers to tell your stories. I hope the EBN community has gained as much from reading about your triumphs and trials as I have.

As I enter a new professional phase, I'm smarter, stronger and more finely battle-tested from the years I've spent with all of you. Thank you very much.

I consider journalism a service profession and told myself every day that so long as I remembered to "serve the reader" I could sleep easy every night. It was a pleasure to serve you, and I hope you were able to see in the magazine and on the website how diligently I tried to serve you well.

No woman is an island, and there is no possible way I could have done this job all on my own. I owe a debt of gratitude to all of the HR/benefits managers, brokers, consultants, nonprofit leaders, government officials, business groups and professional organizations whose expertise help bring EBN to life every month. And of course, the biggest thank you of all goes to my team - the exceptionally talented journalists, artists and contributors whose great work puts EBN in your mailbox and inbox in the hopes that it will help you do your jobs just a little better. I'm forever grateful and wish them all the very best in the future.

I don't like to say goodbye - it's much too final, and I've learned in this life to never say never. So, I'll say that I look forward to our paths crossing again someday. Until then, all the best to you, your colleagues, your clients and your employees.

With warm regards,

Kelley M. Butler

Kelley M. Butler's last day at EBN was April 17. Please send letters, queries and story ideas to EBN Managing Editor Andrea Davis at andrea.davis@sourcemedia.com.

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