In this issue we unveil the cream of the crop, our 2005 Imaging Innovators of the Year. In the past we had selected a specific lab that was chosen on the basis of the commitment to the imaging industry on how well they uniquely addressed the technical and creative challenges in business, and their professional integrity and support of the community in which they do business. This year we tried something a little different, we asked you to select the labs and we expanded the number of winners from one to five. Over the summer, we emailed out questionnaires to our readership. In this issue, we highlight five industry cutting-age labs that offer our other readers great examples of success stories and tips of how they might succeed in the digital age. One thing that all of these winning firms have in common was that they faced the digital challenge and all were able to reinvent themselves and create new business models. Turn to page 13 and check out this year's MVPs.
If you are looking for new equipment to purchase for your lab or new items for your retail business to stock, look no further than Imaging Business ’ new online Buyer's Guide. In August, we sent out questionnaires to all the major imaging suppliers. The suppliers that responded in time for our deadline are featured in this comprehensive guide. Imaging Business' 2005-06 Buyer's Guide is now featured on our website at www.imagingbizmag.com and was also emailed to our subscriber base as a pdf file. You can also download a pdf version from the website as well. Our goal with the guide is to provide you with a comprehensive and easy resource to help in all your upcoming imaging equipment and inventory purchasing decisions.
Lastly, our thoughts turn to New Orleans and Mississippi and the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to all the staggering loss of lives and homes, there were many people in the imaging industry who have lost every thing as well. PMA and other organizations such as The P.H.O.T.O. Foundation (Photographic Industry Helping Others To Overcome) have helped rally the industry to give support in the form of financial contributions, loaned equipment, extended billing and payment arrangements, and in-kind services to help imagers rebuild their businesses. In addition, Ritz Camera Centers donated 5,000 Photo Teddy Bears to the Salvation Army as gifts for children displaced by the disaster. Kodak announced a $500,000 contribution to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund to support rescue and recovery efforts for survivors of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and other states. Whether its for helping displaced people in the industry or supporting the people in shelters, please make donations to whatever relief effort you feel closest to, whether it’s the Red Cross, Save the Children, Salvation Army or other organizations that are lending a hand. Every dollar helps.