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S&P staff brings experience, focus together to inform, influence

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When I worked in newspapers, we called every edition “the daily miracle.” In many ways, it was miraculous that we produced a paper full of new content every day, without fail, and almost always on time.

At Surface & Panel, we publish four editions a year. Given the three months between publications, the process and result are less of a miracle, but much still must happen right and on time for us to make our deadline and, more important, fulfill our goal of producing essential content.

Our tagline is “Uniting Materials, Technology and Design,” and we push ourselves to do that and more in every issue.

Every cycle begins with a planning session, at which I meet with Publisher John Aufderhaar and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Wagner. To a large degree, they are the idea guys. John has decades in this business and knows more about it – from one end to the other – than just about anyone on the planet. Ryan works closely with key companies and is aware of the trends and innovations and has the experience and knowledge to put them in perspective.

I’m now eight months into the job, and I’m getting a good feel for what makes Surface & Panel the nation’s top information source for panel processing. As I get more comfortable, I’ll develop story ideas to add to the mix, and I envision the publication getting stronger with each edition.

To this point, my role has largely been to write some of the main stories, assign others to our team of talented writers, coordinate the content so it’s filed on time, edit the stories and oversee design to ensure the finished product meets our high expectations. It’s a fun job, full of challenges, learning opportunities and rewards.

One of the privileges of my post is the opportunity to work with a trio of regular writers who bring a range of experience and skills to Surface & Panel.

Jim Leute is former business editor for The Gazette in Janesville, Wisconsin, where we worked together for 20 years. He is the consummate pro, and his business background and strong writing make him the perfect fit for S&P and stories such as the Architectural Woodworking Industry outlook that starts on page 34 and the Vero Software profile that begins on page 44.

Leah Wheeler of Scottsdale, Ariz., has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, business writing and more. Leah is a determined researcher who has never met a deadline she couldn’t meet, and her years of work with S&P make her a go-to writer for in-depth articles such as the feature on DIRTT beginning on page 36.

Rich Christianson of Chicago, Ill., is owner of Richson Media and has three decades of experience and connections in industrial wood products. His understanding of the business is critical to such stories as this edition’s piece on PaperLogic, the University of Maine and their innovative work with cellulose nano fibrils. That story begins on page 50.

I would be remiss if I didn’t note the fine work of our designer, Karen Leno, in making S&P look as good as it does. Owner of KML Design, Karen has more than 30 years of experience in publication design and has been with S&P since its inception in 2003. She takes what we send her and works magic. The result is a beautifully designed magazine that rivals any in America.

Surface & Panel serves the suppliers in this business with articles and photos that inform and influence fabricators and other specifiers, especially architects and interior designers. We feature what’s new and innovative in materials, technology and design, and we know from reader feedback just how significantly those articles affect decisions in the real world.

No other publication has that mission, and no other publication reaches nearly as many key players in panel processing. S&P is distributed to 35,000 industry professionals in North America. S&P, however, is more than a magazine. delivers timely news and multimedia features, along with the magazine’s content. A companion website,, focuses on design and lifestyle, features 1,900 pages of unique content and attracts 550,000 monthly page views.

Surface & Panel also built the cutting-edge mHouse to showcase the industry’s best and most innovative materials. And its annual symposium informs and enlightens the top minds in the business and offers invaluable networking opportunities.

All in all, we’re confident that our mission and focus are spot-on for what the industry wants and needs. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re not open to good ideas. If you have one, send it my way.


Scott W. Angus | Editorial Director |


Our tagline is “Uniting Materials, Technology and Design,” and we push ourselves to do that and more in every issue.