My last word: Gratitude

    Wow. It’s my last "Last Word," and it still hasn’t completely sunk in that in a few weeks, I’ll be working somewhere else.
   After 10 years at The Bellingham Business Journal — the best 10 years of my life — I’m moving on to new challenges. After the publication of this issue has been completed, I’ll start my new job as the assistant director of University Communications at Western.
   It’s been an amazing run, and I don’t want to get maudlin or teary — but it’s very hard to underestimate how proud I am to have worked at this paper, how proud I am of it as a product, and how proud I am to have worked with so many incredibly talented people.
   When I started at the BBJ in 1997, the paper was still printed in a mechanical process that looked more like something out of the Wild West than a modern print publication; we assembled the paper on flats and used hot wax to stick the stories into place on the pages, which were then taken to the Herald, where we were printed at the time, and shot using their huge camera. These negatives were used to make the printing plates for the press. It was a messy, inexact science. Not long after I started, we began to make the switch to purely digital production and print work, and have been there ever since, light-years ahead technologically in just a few intervening years.
   It has been a joy to watch the newspaper grow and mature. My first goal upon becoming the editor was to instill a real drive for newsgathering in the reporters; that just because we were a monthly didn’t mean that we couldn’t break big news. I stressed the need to hire reporters, not writers, and continued to always push for news to be our focus, which I think has paid off and, in the long run, placed us in a niche by ourselves. People began to really count on us for their business news, and thankfully, still do.
   As I said before, the reason this paper enjoys the popularity and reputation it does is because of the people who have worked here with me — sometimes for tenures far longer than can be expected in this industry. Folks like Sam Meader (now at Ryzex) and Dave Gallagher (now at The Bellingham Herald) worked here for five years or more and provided important building blocks for the paper, both editorially and from a sales standpoint. Working with them was a joy, and I’d be remiss not to also mention BBJ alums like Josh Barnhill, Jennifer Hayes, Joe Beaularier, Dan Hiestand, J.J. Jensen, and Jackie Reed, along with the incredible current staff of Sean Echelbarger, Heidi Schiller, Sarah Drues, Ginger Oppenheimer, and my successor, former BBJ wundergal come home to roost, Vanessa Blackburn.
   Most of all, thank you to our readers and the incredible businesspeople who have let me into their business and lives over the past decade. What you do on a daily basis is simply amazing.
   I leave the BBJ in incredibly capable hands, and can’t wait to make the leap from avid publisher to avid reader. Bellingham is growing and evolving as a city, and the BBJ will grow and evolve right along with it—and I’ll be on the sidelines, cheering.
   Thanks for the memories!


Related Stories