Everything I've done has led me to this moment. From joining a framing crew as the clean-up-kid-next-door, to my preteen infatuation with woodworking and tools, to creating and running my own home-building company for 20 years, to these last 12 years as editor-in-chief of Tools of the Trade, I've followed my heart and always found myself exactly where I wanted to be. And that's been in and around construction because, as I often say, I was born to build.

It only helps when editors emerge from the ranks of the industries they cover. That way, we can bring with us the experience, passion, and credibility we need to understand the needs of our readers and speak with authority about the issues they face, in a language they understand. This has been true since Tools of the Trade's earliest days with founding editor Clayton DeKorne, and under my watch with talented editors like Mark Clement and Michael Springer.

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Rick Schwolsky

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David Frane

The legacy of this magazine is based on our expertise, editorial independence, technical accuracy, job-site relevance, and down-to-earth hands-on experience. During my tenure I have worked to honor, nurture, and protect the credibility we've established over the years, as a way of acknowledging the trust you have placed in our work. I hope that I have served this mission well.

But now it is time for another transition. From my earliest days as a builder in the mid-70s, I was at the forefront of what has now become the green building industry, designing and building high-performance homes, including some of the first homes in the country to incorporate passive solar heating and photovoltaic solar electric systems. Over the following 20 years I devoted my company to this mission, experimenting with just about every combination of wall section and super-insulation package, window glazing technology, and alternative energy system that emerged in the marketplace.

And so, when Hanley Wood launched EcoHome magazine in 2008, it was natural that I would be chosen to lead that editorial mission, in addition to my role here at Tools of the Trade. Now, given the growth and importance of the green building industry, it's time for me to put all of my attention onto EcoHome, and hand off Tools to its next editor, David Frane.

You may remember Dave from the earliest days of Tools and, most recently, as senior editor at The Journal of Light Construction (JLC). This experience, coupled with his 20-plus years in construction, ensures that you're in good hands and that Tools will continue its important mission.

I want to thank all of you for your intense interest, uncompromising expectations, merciless honesty, and unflagging loyalty and support, and to reassure you that even though there will be a changing of the guard here at Tools of the Trade, its mission will never change.