LMTA Hits the Road with Renaissance
The magazine in your hands is the same Open Road that has both informed and enlightened the trucking industry since 2009, but there is one small difference: the publisher.
Beginning with this issue, the Louisiana Motor Transport Association has partnered with Renaissance Publishing, owned by CEO Todd Matherne and Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde, to produce and distribute Open Road.
The most award-winning print organization in the region, Renaissance Publishing’s in-house publications include New Orleans Magazine, Louisiana Life, Biz New Orleans, Acadiana Profile, and St. Charles Avenue.
Open Road initially she grew from an annual publication to a quarterly under the guidance of LMTA Executive Director Cathy Gautreaux, and the magazine appealed to both the trucking industry and government officials alike.
Dana Weidman, Office Manager, meeting planner, coordinator for the LMTA Safety Management Council and production editor, said that with Gautreaux departing the company for a leadership position in Washington, D.C., the LMTA team turned to a Louisiana-based publisher “to fully embrace our industry without losing its unique Louisiana flavor.”
“Although LMTA will continue to manage the content of the magazine, we look forward to Renaissance’s unique publishing style to draw in our members for a cover-to-cover read,” Weidman said.
Weidman added that LMTA was initially drawn to a partnership with Renaissance because of the company’s outstanding reputation for custom publishing—in addition to their in-house magazines, Renaissance produces Saints Gameday magazine, Lagniappe magazine for the Junior League of New Orleans and several other projects.
“These are some very prestigious names that are trusted,” said Errol Laborde. “I don’t know if any other company in the state has the kind of client base that we have.”
Laborde said that he and Todd Matherne were also attracted to a partnership with LMTA because of the sheer significance of the industry the organization represents.
“It’s an important industry, one that probably doesn’t get the attention that it deserves,” he said. “If you think about it, New Orleans started as a river town. Then came automation, and now the highways have become the new rivers, and the trucks have become the steamboats.”
Jessica DeBold, manager of production and custom publishing at Renaissance, said the partnership fit like a “Cinderella shoe,” and that her creative team was already hard at work on a new “design lift” for Open Road.
“We plan on implementing some of the same photography and layout strategies used in our in-house magazine, Biz New Orleans,” she said. “Developments are being made that we think Open Road readers will appreciate, like information about up-and-coming tools for the industry.”
Art director Ali Sullivan said readers can expect to see the same great photography in Open Road, but that going into 2018 she hopes to bring more attention to the magazine with continuity throughout the issues and dramatic covers.
This is the last issue with Cathy Gautreaux as Executive Director, so this issue is a special dedication to her years at LMTA.
“Cathy has been imperative to the evolution of Open Road for years now, and we hope to pay tribute to her in this first issue by offering a fresh and impactful aesthetic that still holds true to the industry news readers look for,” Sullivan said.
And although the partnership was formed in the midst of so many changes, one thing both organizations share is a strong hope for the future and the benefits that the relationship will bring.
“Part of the goal of the magazine is to educate not only our members, but our government officials about issues facing the trucking industry today and in the future,” Weidman said. “We’re confident that the Renaissance Publishing team will help us meet this goal.”
Matherne said that it’s his hope that the partnership will allow LMTA to “expand their footprint” and that, as LMTA’s membership grows, so will Renaissance’s readership.
“I hope, because of the diversity of product and resources we have, that we will give them the ability to launch into a new expanded audience,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for both of us.”