(Note: This story appears in the March 2022 issue of ED Magazine)

A few ED staffers (Kris, Kevin and Danika) and I recently took a drive over to our storage unit, where we have boxes and boxes of old magazines (such as the EXOTIC DANCER Directory and the VIP Guide … remember those?). It turned into a walk down memory lane, as we perused through issues of our magazine (which was initially called the Bulletin and only came our four times a year), with covers showcasing feature entertainers who have long since retired. We shuffled through stacks of EXPO paperwork and uncovered posters from previous ED’s Awards Shows and feature entertainer showcases. And of course we shared a few laughs at how young we all looked way back when.

Then I spotted one framed item, one I knew that I had to bring back with me to the office (it’s pictured on this page). It’s not out of some sense of misplaced vanity (cut me some slack; my hair was in that in-between phase as I was growing it long), or because it holds any monetary value. Instead, this framed item represents history; my history, anyway. It’s me at my very first EXPO in 1998, which also happened to be the first year of the ED’s Awards Show.

If you had told that 27-year-old kid that he would eventually take over as Publisher of ED Publications, what would he have said? It’s hard to say; that kid thought he was gonna be a rock star with his band Shiver. But what he was also starting to figure out was that being the editor of ED Publications — the strip club industry’s only national trade magazine and convention — came with its own rock-star-like perks.

Eventually, that kid got married and had a son. He got his Master’s degree. He created a feature dance competition called the Annual EXOTIC DANCER Invitational (EDI). And with each passing year, he took on an even bigger role in the day-to-day operations of ED Publications as well as the Annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO.

Though it took maybe just a bit longer than he’d have hoped, ED Founder Don Waitt made it official on January 1, 2022: That bushy-haired kid — now a 50-year-old man — was taking over as Publisher.

I want to thank Don for providing the years of training and preparation I’d need to assume this role. It was never about one meeting, or one lesson. It was about years and years of conversations, of learning from one situation after another, and being provided with opportunities to increase my involvement in what we do at every level.

I also want to thank the people who have taken the time to congratulate me on assuming this new role. I’ve known many of you for years, some even decades, and I appreciate your respect and the confidence you have in my ability to not only move ED Publications and the EXPO forward, but to help the company grow and evolve in the years to come.

Though I’m no longer that kid with the bushy hair, I still feel like I have that same enthusiasm I had those many years ago. And I’ll continue to bring that enthusiasm and energy to everything we do.

We lost a friend

Manack (L), Bobby Mac (R), Ms. Parker & Angela Sommers

As many of our readers may already know, a very good friend of ED Publications and the industry at large, Bobby Mac, passed away on January 7. Bobby was a fantastic industry DJ — after all, his nickname as “The Voice” was well earned — and was the on-stage host of our Annual EDI contests. He also became part of our extended EXPO staff, even lending his talents as the off-stage emcee for our 2021 ED’s Awards Show in Miami. But beyond any of his professional accolades, Bobby was just a great guy. He was friendly, exuberant and full of life. He loved what he did, and that enthusiasm was infectious. Bobby is survived by his wife and daughter, and our most sincere condolences go out to them.

I also want to celebrate the efforts of Michael DeSuno — aka DJ Platypus — who put together an amazing tribute/fundraising event at Monroe’s of Palm Beach (FL) on Monday, January 28. He brought together a bevy of comedians and feature entertainers, all of whom donated their time so that the money raised could benefit Bobby’s family.   

Dave Manack

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