Editor’s Letter – February/March 2022
By John Roark
Every year for the past 32, the staff of Phoenix Home & Garden has selected what we consider to be the Valley’s exemplary creatives and saluted them with Masters of the Southwest designations. There is no set formula for the highest honor we bestow. The categories are somewhat fluid, and it’s never been about choosing one winner in each. For example, in 1990, 30 inaugural inductees included five interior designers, five architects, two landscape architects and six chefs. The following year the nods were significantly leaner: We lauded a furniture craftsman, an adobe fireplace designer and a tinsmith.
This year we introduce you to the six extraordinary individuals who make up the “Class of 2022.” Each has made an indelible mark within our borders and beyond and has earned the respect of clients and their peers. And it was a joy for us to discover that each is a genuinely good human whose success came not only through hard work, but also with the healthy acknowledgment that succeeding isn’t just about the individual—it takes a team. When we convened at the Musical Instrument Museum in December to shoot this issue’s cover and portraits, the group enjoyed meeting each other as much as we loved getting to know them better. For a gathering that represents such high creative voltage, there wasn’t an ego in the bunch. We had fun that day, and I think it shows.
Speaking of awards, you undoubtedly have favorite professionals and businesses in your own community, and this year marks the first time we invited you to give them their due with the first Phoenix Home & Garden Readers’ Choice Awards. You selected the categories and the finalists, and more than 2,000 of you cast your votes. We gratefully acknowledge your enthusiasm.
As the only shelter magazine in Arizona that is 100% local, it is our joy to celebrate home-grown heroes not just once a year, but on every page of every issue.
As we were going to press with this issue, we received word that our longtime friend, Judy Harper, had passed away. As a member of the Cities West Media family for more than 25 years, Judy contributed feature stories, the monthly events calendars, and much more to both Phoenix Home & Garden and PHOENIX magazines. Judy was a friend to many and was always there with a smile no matter what came her way. We are at a loss to find the right words to express how much she will be missed.
Editor In Chief