Business Scene for the week of 12/29/2010

recognizing our staff

Throughout the year with the help of my ad staff we use this space to tell readers what we think is newsworthy in the business community. These tidbits include things like new product lines, new hires, employee milestones and business anniversaries. We’re all about promoting our businesses while keeping you enlightened.

Because this is typically a slow news week, indulge me as I once again to do a little bragging about the great staff my wife, Keri, and I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with for the better part of our lives — the unconditionally dedicated, hardworking and highly skilled individuals who bring you these award-winning newspapers each and every week.

Companywide, our 82 employees have amassed an impressive 798 years of combined local newspapering experience. Imagine the kind of reminiscing we can share with one another around the water cooler and at company gatherings.

Once again, here’s an inside look at our extended family: I start with the older ones …oops, I always misspeak, I meant to say senior staffers… while blending in the others in their departments. Some of the years of service have simply been put in parentheses in avoid some repetitiveness.

Kevin Mallory, our vice president in charge of administration, computer technology and serves on the company’s board of directors, leads in longevity with 31 years. But, he had to wait his turn for the honors for others ahead of him to retire (Hi Diane Kleine and Barbara Hall, hope you two are enjoying yourselves, we miss you).

Right behind him is our Production Manager Tom Forney with 30 years of service. He and his able crew, Mark Jennings (9 years), Andrew Stites (7) and Shane Openshaw (4-in his second tour of duty here) make sure your paper is crisp, clean and sparking with vibrant colors.

Skillfully handling the responsibilities associated with managing our advertising and marketing department for 29 years is Sherri McConnell.     Assisting her working with their business clients are advertising consultants: Cheri McIntire, an anchor for us in Chester for 16 years; Michael Peters (5) in Graeagle/Portola; Quincy’s Karen Kuhn and Kay Moss, and Val Chisholm in Chester, who are each approaching five years.

Eva Small likes to remind us that when she started here 29 years ago she was kid less and without a single grey hair! She has done a superb job running our graphics and typesetting department. Sharing the responsibility of designing display ads and building award-winning newspaper pages are Carrie Curran, who has got it nailed with 22 years and Rose Torres and Sara Barrett, both working on their five-year pin.

And Patsy Dingel says when she was hired this job was just a “stepping stone” for her. Gee, that was 28 years ago and it hasn’t deterred her from producing top-notch products for our print shop customers. Tony Ringo has worked in the printing division for 18 years. He also acts as the company’s unofficial tour guide, enlightening and entertaining the guests of all ages who visit our plant.

For 23 years, Randy Stratton has been a reliable constant in our preprint-inserting department. Our bulk mail and postal guru is Marvin Bowersox — another two-timer — with 17 combined years. The department is aptly managed by Dale Thomas (9) and includes Randy Nesbit (9), Kerri Franklin, Mark Lillard and Jon Holmes each working on the first five years.

Another one of our key company leaders is taskmaster Cobey Brown, a getter’ done, go-to kind of guy. There isn’t much he hasn’t tackled for us in his 22 years. Cobey is vice president of operations and the print division manager. He is also on the board of directors for the corporation.

Assiduously chronicling and packaging the county’s news is under the talented and extremely competent leadership of Managing Editor Delaine Fragnoli (5). Her skilled team includes seasoned veteran Indian Valley Editor Alicia Knadler, clearly covering that portion of the county’s news for 17 years. Chester Editor Kate West (6) has kept the north end well informed, while her counterpart in Portola, Diana Jorgenson (4), has done likewise on the eastern end.

Shannon Morrow, our sports and recreation editor, has had the formidable task of covering the entire county’s sports scene for 10 years. Will Farris (11) keeps his eye on the news in the Feather River Canyon; Josh Sebold (3) thoroughly enjoys covering some of the action beats like

cops, courts and supervisors; and the wordsmith for the group is Copy Editor Mona Hill, heading towards five years. She is looking forward to the new role she assumes next week as a reporter and feature writer. Her replacement, Ingrid Burke, begins her second stint with us next week.

Linda Randall (12) is our photo editor but is currently out on medical leave. Her replacement, Jenny Lee (6), is doing a remarkable job. Michael Condon came out of Forest Service retirement three years ago to become our website editor and manager.

Accomplished graphic artist, designer and special projects coordinator Juliet Beer — another in her second stint —has logged 16 years.

John Kleine, a well-known longtime Quincy resident, has been with us in various capacities for 14 years following a distinguished career in the automotive body repair business.

Last, but certainly not least is our office staff. We’ll put our congenial and knowledgeable frontline folks up against anybody, anytime! Leading by example is the infectious Manager Sandy Condon, also our human resources director. In nine short years, Sandy has proven herself as a key company administrator. Mary Newhouse — never without a smile or kind word for customers and co-workers alike — has been managing the classified and circulation departments for just shy of five years. Also just shy of five is our ever-tenacious, yet affable Accounting Manager Elise Monroe.

Sharing their smiles in Portola is Julie McBurney, while Dawn Curtis and Carrie Warren warmly greet customers in Chester. All are pushing the five-year mark.

Part of the general office duties includes delivering the papers in a timely fashion to the newsstands. Bill Weaver has diligently done the Portola are for 10 years; Martha Vaughan (8) handles the Indian Valley stores for and Wilbur Kaster (5) and recent hire Jolene Perry handle the Chester-lake Almanor areas.

That’s the Plumas operation. Another 30 employees work at the Lassen Co. Times in Susanville and two at the Westwood PinePress. Collectively they share 257 combined years of service.  Four have been with us there between 20-30 years and nine are hovering somewhere between 10-19 years of service.

Keri and I began our newspaper careers in 1974. From the very onset, we knew we wanted to nurture and grow a family business, surrounding ourselves with employees who shared in a philosophy that is our business’ mission statement: Pride and Ownership. Being committed to constant and never ending improvement.

Mission accomplished, but far from over.

Keri and I believe we’ve surrounded ourselves with the very best. Each of you has our deepest gratitude and utmost respect for all you do for the community and for each other.

Small newspapers, like ours, play a vital role in the communities they serve and will continue to do so for decades to come.

We look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and hope our papers will continue to be a welcomed guest in your home.

From our family to yours, may we all have a healthy, safe and prosperous new year!



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