I can hardly believe it. It seems like we only just finished compiling and admiring our annual Road Warrior issue and its fabulous winners, and here it is, time again to start up the contest. Based on the e-mails and phone calls we’ve received, I know you guys are chomping at the bit to tell us why you deserve to win. But just hold your horses. The contest doesn’t officially begin until May 15. That’s when you can log on to www.americanwaymag.com/roadwarrior and start typing! I can’t share the all-important essay questions with you yet, but I can tell you that this year’s theme is the Ultimate Everything and that the grand prize is, once again, two million Hilton HHonors Bonus Points and one million American Airlines AAdvantage Miles. Win that and you’ll be set for the Ultimate Vacation. There are lots of other great prizes for our second and third place winners as well.

This year’s contest will end on July 14, and then we’ll start the enjoyable process of reading through your entries. The winners will be featured in our December 15, 2005, issue.

So there you have it. Put on your thinking caps and start contemplating all the many reasons you should be our fourth Ultimate Road Warrior. And because I understand memory loss, I’ll be here on May 15 to give you a friendly reminder.

Speaking of friendly reminders, don’t forget Administrative Professionals Day, which takes place April 27. Whether officially or unofficially, we all have people who help us make it through the day. And although those people deserve to be thanked more than once a year, it’s nice that they have an entire day dedicated to them. So take them out, wine and dine them, then give them a well-deserved day off. Come on, you’ll survive 24 hours without them. I know you can do it.

In closing, I want to tell you about some of the great stories you’ll find in this issue. Tracy Staton — a former favorite co-worker and now one of our favorite contributing editors — has written a fabulous piece on what’s in store for hospitals. Recent research is influencing their architecture and design, which is in turn producing a win-win for both the medical community and the patient population.

We also have an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the fresh-flower market. Elizabeth Pope visited Amsterdam and checked in on the fast-paced, high-stress energy at the world’s largest flower auction. The decisions made there impact the flower market the world over — from which kind you can buy on a given day to how much you’ll pay. Even if you aren’t all that interested in flowers, we think you’ll find it a fascinating read.

And then there’s Kevin James. I don’t know if I’d use the word fascinating to describe him, but he’s definitely funny. And when he took a recent trip to Hawaii, Mark Seal convinced him to call in with daily reports of what he was doing and where he was going. And although the many late-night calls left Mark a little bleary-eyed, we’ll all benefit from the tales of the star’s romp through Oahu.

We also have great stories on Frankfurt, baseball, and cookbooks, to name a few. So in between jotting down notes about your life as a road warrior, read these stories written especially for road warriors.

Picture of Sheri Burns