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Giving credit where credit is due

As is often the case on the opinion page, we like to take the opportunity in our columns to commend those in the community who are making a difference. Today I’d like to take the opportunity to commend The Herald staff.

These past couple of years we have pushed the envelope at The Farmville Herald, adding Farmville the Magazine, which comes out eight times a year, a robust, mobile-friendly website, a Facebook page, Twitter account, a daily email which delivers the news to thousands of inboxes each morning and many special sections highlighting the best of the area.

The first question I’m usually asked is, “Why do you do it?” The No. 1 answer is because we want to be your source for local news. If you want your news in print, on the web, on your cellphone or in your email inbox each day, we’ll be there. Farmville the Magazine enables us to share the best of Farmville and what makes this area a special place to live, work and play.

The second question I’m usually asked is, “How do you do it?” The answer is I’m blessed with a truly great staff.

In our advertising department we have a top-notch marketing team that understands that building relationships and helping our customers is more important than a “sale today, gone tomorrow” attitude. I am convinced that Advertising Director Jackie Newman could literally sell ice cubes in Alaska if she wanted to. To her credit, and my gratefulness, she wouldn’t; not unless the temperature climbed to 90 degrees in Alaska, and they really needed ice cubes. Buckie Fore, Steve Wallace and Rachel Fielding complete our marketing team, and I’m grateful, as I know our customers are in good hands.

In our newsroom our reporters are dedicated and diligent. Starting out the newsroom lineup is our well-known sports editor, Titus Mohler, who has a knack for words and makes sports interesting to even those who don’t usually care to read about sports. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but sports in not my favorite section of the paper. Yep, I’m one of “those” readers. However, Mohler has such a gift with the written word that I find myself really enjoying the sports pages these days and looking forward to reading his next article. Not a month goes by that someone doesn’t comment to me what a great job he does.

Covering government, crime, business and education are staff writers Morgan White and Emily Hollingsworth. Just this morning I received a nice compliment about the work White does. Not surprisingly, I also received a compliment about Hollingsworth. These are the things that make a publisher happy.

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? Pressman Jeff Thomas and Assistant Pressman Andy Bridge are a dynamite duo who get the job done in record time, ensuring your papers are out the door, in the hands of our carriers and delivered to the post office in time to reach your home on schedule — even when the roads are covered with snow and ice. This department runs so smoothly, it’s enough to bring tears to this publisher’s eyes — really!   

Our Director of Operations Staci Bridge wears many hats. With a real love and passion for the newspaper and the community, Bridge keeps everything running smoothly around here. Always up to the task, she relentlessly works to make sure things are not only done, but done right. I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Bridge, and I count my blessings daily.

Customer service representative extraordinaire, handling social news and obituaries, is Wanda Fix. If you have called the office and spoken with Fix, then you know what I’m talking about. Fix always goes the extra mile to help customers and will usually have them laughing.

Our new accounts payable/circulation representative is Eva Kimball. Kimball also has a great attitude and good skills. If you have a problem with your bill or didn’t receive a paper, you can count on Kimball greeting you with a warm and friendly voice and a can-do attitude to get things straightened out.

Now you know why and how we do it and why I am grateful for my staff. I give thanks this day and every day to work with such a fine group of people.

Betty Ramsey is publisher for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Betty.Ramsey@FarmvilleHerald.com.