We are a company of just 12 employees, myself included.
It is a small group, really, to take on the many steps needed to produce a unique community newspaper every week.
There is no cookie-cutter approach to what we do. Every story you read, every photo you see, every ad you review and every invoice we prepare is created new each week by our team of writers, artists, sales representatives and customer service folks.
To produce the 32-page newspaper you are holding, my staff was looking at 32 blank pages last Tuesday. They had just five business days — until Monday — to fill these pages with new stories, new photos and new advertisements. This is the equivalent of 15,000 words, 80 headlines, 30 photos, 140 display ads, 60 directory ads and 125 classified ads.
People are often surprised when I tell them there are only a dozen of us getting the paper out each week. Our group makes it happen week after week because we share a vision, and a commitment, to produce a newspaper with quality stories and effective advertisements that are important to our readers and local businesses.
This shared vision keeps us motivated and satisfied by our work. Employees are trusted to make decisions that are best for readers and advertisers, and know their decisions will ultimately be best for our company.
I credit our success to this culture of self-determination, and believe it is why eight of our 12 employees have worked here for more than six years. Even more remarkable is that three of these employees are celebrating 10 continuous years with our company.
Terri Williamson, our senior account manager, was the first to pass this milestone in November. In the business community, Terri is the face of The Laker/Lutz News, attending two or three chamber and community events most weeks.
I never fail to marvel at Terri’s ability to assess a business’ marketing needs and then recommend ideas to maximize its budget and exposure. Her goal always is focused on getting more people to buy products or services from the businesses she consults with, whether it’s through ads in our newspapers, by sponsoring a chamber event, or connecting the owner or manager to another business that targets similar customers.
Next up is Mary Eberhard, our accounting manager, whose anniversary was Dec. 2. Mary is the ultimate diplomat — the rare person who intuitively sees the other’s perspective. She brings a kind heart and level head to our accounting process, and manages her area with outstanding communication and accuracy.
And then there’s Carolyn Bennett, who celebrates 10 years on March 2. As our inside customer service rep, she is the person most customers work with to update their ads and sign off on their proofs. Carolyn also works closely with other departments in a position that is perhaps the most detailed in the company.
No matter what her responsibility, Carolyn handles it with incredible efficiency and finesse.
I single out Terri, Mary and Carolyn in this column because of the significance 10 years represents. But they would be the first to tell you they would not be successful at their jobs without the shared commitment of the rest of our team: Matt Mistretta, Stefanie Burlingame, Kathy Welton, Suzanne Beauchaine, Rachel Thompson, Mary Rathman, Michael Hinman, B.C. Manion and myself.
It is our appreciation and respect for each other that unites us at The Laker/Lutz News. We come together to produce a new newspaper every week with commitment and dedication because we know our newspaper is important to each other and to the communities we serve.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.