As we recap selected moments from 2022 throughout the pages of The Chronicle this week, it’s worth noting a few milestones of our own this year, and recognize the team that puts it all together. It starts, of course, with the co-owner, Dee Dee – who wears too many hats to mention but is the heartbeat of our operation. A client once referred to her as “a beacon,” and her light shines bright on all of us. Dana, our office manager, has brought greater organization and professionalism, as well as good cheer, in refining our processes and workflow. We had two weddings this year: Erin, our executive editor, married in June and Larissa, a general assignment reporter who joined us this summer, was married in October. Pierre joined our team in June, and has filled the paper with the area’s best high school sports coverage. Ryleigh was hired early in 2022 to provide expanded coverage of Cottage Grove, among other assignments, and she’s delivered both insightful storytelling and hard-hitting news coverage. Ron had hip surgery in November, but is already out covering music and sports again. We are fortunate enough to have two of the area’s most-skilled and creative photographers. Bob is part-owner of Flashbox Studios, and Bobby is a certified drone photographer who helps run over social media platforms. Regular readers are familiar with Elyse and her weekly Emerald Valley Almanac page; Pat’s columns and contemplations on rural, small-town life; Frank’s fishing reports and environmental coverage; Michael’s business coverage this year was interrupted by a fall near the peak of Mt. Hood, but he’s back at it and has a new project; Don continues to offer sage advice and heart-warming nostalgia; Sarah and Sarina both joined us this year, offering commentary and arts coverage. And, lastly, we said farewell to two people we hope to see again: Dana, a longtime columnist in Cottage Grove, won a seat on the City Council in November, and gave up his editorial duties to avoid any conflict of interest; and Lillian, who came to us as a summer intern from the Academy of Arts & Academics, and then joined us a part-time employee while juggling her school and extracurricular activities, has had to curtail her workload as she prepares for her college career. This team earned more than 20 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association awards for 2021, totaling more than 50 since 2019.
My wife and I attended an event in Springfield this month that was co-hosted by Lithia Toyota and Travel Lane County. It was part of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Business After Hours” program, and more than 100 people mingled among the latest car models in Lithia’s expansive showroom.
These after-hours events are always great for learning more about local businesses, and meeting people across the employment spectrum. Small businesses, franchise owners, entrepreneurs, high-performing employees, and big bosses. We chatted with Joanne, Sam, Deb, Andy of Travel Lane County, Stephen, Laurie, Lyle of Lithia, Mary, Kevin, Tammy, Katrina, Gary, Bruce, Meg, Gena of Washington Federal, Adam, Anna, Tina, Bob and Denise of Everything Bundt Cakes.
Sales calls led to conversations with Kira and Lisa, who are hoping to reach readers in rural areas who might be interested in jacuzzis.
Shelly, who works for the City of Cottage Grove, reached out for some paperwork and we exchanged Christmas-week emails.
Kenny, who runs a business technology company, stopped by the newsroom this past week. Wayne, a devoted reader along with his mother, also popped in, bearing zucchini bread with chocolate chips. And some cookies. None of it lasted very long! Ricky also came by the office.
Jaime, who works next door, brought pudding-filled cupcakes and a variety of sugar cookies.
I met a few more folks as a result of my new Business Networking International membership: Guests at our most-recent meeting included Marge (of Springfield … and Solid Ground foundation repair); David, a VP of Cascade Title, George, a local CPA, Eli of NY Life and Steve of Farmers Insurance.
You can reach Noel Nash at