Note: This column appears in the Sunday, Feb. 24 newspaper on Page A4.

Hello!

I’m so excited to make my return home to Ohio where our entire family is from and to be a part of one of the great, unique communities in the Buckeye State.

We grew up and lived in Cincinnati for 30 years and made it back to Ohio in Akron in 2013 before heading off to Pennsylvania to be president of the state press association. It is exciting to be back working directly in the journalism business. Challenges, transitions and a changing media environment is the storyline for our industry, but newspapers will thrive if they provide good local content by journalists who are connected to the community. What we do matters and I’m proud to be a part of this award-winning newspaper.

For advertisers, the opportunities are wide ranging and offer more possibilities than at any time. We are not just one solution for customers but rather full service which means — mass-, niche- or micro-based, depending upon the target. We are more relevant than ever before and that is why newspapers, both print and online, have a bright future. From events to magazines, we can do it all.

It will take time for me to get acquainted with the community, but I will have a better understanding of the area once I meet our regional leaders, readers, advertisers and familiarize myself with everything that is Athens County and Ohio University.

I have other newspaper responsibilities outside of Athens to oversee, but Athens will be my base. The agenda for me for the next few months will be about listening to our employees and appreciating the uniqueness of each community.

I know all about the MAC Conference, with my son graduating from Ball State, and I was the publisher in Akron with the Zips. Make no mistake, however — I’ll be all about the Bobcats and will be working on adding to my hat and shirt collection that is both green and says Ohio.

So my journey begins. I’m passionate about what we do every day and open to hear any thoughts. I can’t wait to take in the spirit, the off-beat, sample the local beers, the food and visit the rolling hills.

I’m ready to contribute to do my small part to give back to the community. I am happy to be home.

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