Archived Story

What makes a publisher thankful

Published 6:12pm Friday, November 29, 2013

I’m thankful for many things, not only this holiday season but also the whole year through.
My husband Gary is my champion and number one cheerleader, and at the top of my list with him are our children and their adorable children whom I just can’t get enough of (trust me on this). My extended family and friends are right along side them too.
I am truly blessed in so many ways, and not the least of which is a great staff.
These past couple of years we have pushed the envelope at the Tryon Daily Bulletin, adding a monthly magazine; a robust website; a Facebook page and twitter account; a daily email; the Visitors Bulletin, a seasonal guide to the western North Carolina and the Upstate and most recently, a weekend edition.
The first question I’m usually asked is, “why do you do it?” and the number one answer is because we want to be your source for local news. If you want your news in print, on the web, on your cell phone, even, we’ll be there.  “Life in our Foothills,” meanwhile, enables us to share the best parts of our area and the Visitors Bulletin let’s us tell others why they should visit.
The second question I’m asked is, “How do you do it?” The answer is I’m blessed with a truly great staff. Our editor, Samantha Hurst, tops the list.  Hurst hit the ground running when she moved here three years ago. She writes, designs and leads the newsroom on a daily basis with a can do attitude.
Leah Justice, our well-known news reporter, has developed her reputation to such a level that people know and trust her. That trust enables her to get the stories others might not be able to get. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t comment to me what a great job she does.  Thank you, Justice.
Rounding out our newsroom are writer Kiesa Kay, graphic artist David Walen and editorial assistant Leasa Hall.  We couldn’t do it without you.
Jessy Taylor, our customer service rep., has been a golden gem for the Bulletin. Taylor was working in the mailroom when I arrived and expressed an interest in expanding her role. I’m so glad she did. If I could clone her I’d hire that person on the spot.  She is the first person you see when you walk in the building and you can always count on a smile and a helpful attitude.
We have a top-notch marketing team, too, who understand that building relationships and helping our customers is more important than a “sale today gone tomorrow” attitude. I am convinced Lenette Sprouse, our senior marketing consultant, could sell ice cubes in Alaska if she wanted to try, but wouldn’t unless the temperature climbed to 90 degrees in Alaska and they really needed ice cubes. Harry Forsha and Kevin Powell complete our marketing team and I’m grateful, as I know our customers are in good hands.
Vital to our operation is the pressroom/mailroom crew. They print the paper and make sure it gets delivered. After all, what good is all the hard work we’ve done if it doesn’t get to you?
I’ve worked with other pressroom/mailroom crews in the past and although they were good, this crew is by far the best.  Our pressman Jeff Allison leads his crew, Jonathan Burrell, Austin Kempton and Ethan Price, well. In fact, this department runs so smoothly it’s enough to bring tears to this publisher’ eyes – really!
Now you know why and how we do it and why I am grateful for my staff. I give my thanks this day and every day to work with such a fine group of people.

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