Two <i>Sandy Post</i> VIPs sign off
This week we're saying goodbye to two individuals who have made an immeasurable impact on this newspaper: advertising representative Jennifer Groza and graphic composer Matthew Hunt.
When Jenn first started working as an advertising representative for The Post and The Gresham Outlook, she was 22 years old, fresh out of the University of Oregon's journalism/advertising program and full of energy - energy that apparently never ran out.
After a brief stint working solely for The Gresham Outlook, Jenn took over the Sandy ad territory when its rep went on maternity leave. She's been here ever since.
'It has been very rewarding helping the small business owners promote shopping (in) Sandy,' she said during a surprise interview, 'and I have enjoyed meeting a lot of my close friends through The Post, and I'll miss them all so much.'
In her time with The Post, Jenn has been one of the most powerful forces in bringing the paper back its identity, by making headway with local advertisers, bringing the paper's revenue to the point that it could afford to hire reporters (and an editor) solely devoted to the city.
'It's been a long, hard but enjoyable road getting The Sandy Post to be the No. 1 source for community news.'
She gave reporter Garth Guibord and me some of the credit, too, which was kind.
Jenn didn't just sell ads - she got involved in the community, serving as a chamber ambassador, Sandy Mountain Festival committee member and Sandy Oktoberfest board member, among other involvement. She's one of the 'Party Girls' raising money for the American Cancer Society (read about them on Page 1A).
Jenn is leaving us after seven years to spend more time with her two children - Taylor, age 2, and Zachary, almost age 1 - and to continue to cultivate her business, an event-planning company aptly named Oregon Eventz. Because of that business, which will focus on raising money for nonprofits, she won't completely disappear from Sandy. She said she plans to keep planning events for Mt. Hood Athletic Club and remain the event planner for the chamber's Music Fair and Feast.
We're sad to see Jenn go, but she is as excited as we are to have Cara Buck take over. Cara replaced Jenn in the Sandy beat when Jenn was on maternity leave, and, as Jenn says, 'She's a native of Sandy, so she will keep my philosophy of keeping local and supporting local businesses.'
So to you, Jenn, we say: Job well done, good luck and don't be a stranger.
Not many people have met Matt out here - he could probably count the number of times he's been to our office on one hand - but they're very familiar with his work. He composes many of the advertisements that grace our pages and is known for the quality of his illustrations and artistry. But he is also responsible for a lot of the fantastic graphics that have graced many of our front pages over the past two years.
Remember the July issue that had a blue sky filling the top half of the paper, with a Piper aircraft hovering just under the masthead? That was Matt's handiwork, as were the innumerable cutout images, maps and photo illustrations he created for the paper.
We worked together every Tuesday - the day I have to come down the mountain to the Gresham Outlook office to build The Post. Since our newspaper doesn't have a permanent desk down there (and why should it?) I always sat at the open computer in the back room, with Matt and the rest of the composing department.
Now, I like the news people, but it's always an adventure hanging out with the graphics folks. They're always cracking jokes, buying scones, griping about deadlines, talking about movies and - of course - doing amazing work.
I always knew I could count on Matt to take some cockamamie idea out of my head and make it a reality on paper. Many times, I would ask his advice regarding front-page design, knowing full well that he would tell me if one of my risky ideas was a little too risky or just downright dorky. He would get as excited about our front pages as I would. I'll definitely miss that.
Matt's always been the unofficial IT guy at The Outlook, so it's only fitting that he's transferring to the Pamplin Corporation's tech department.
Well, Matt, you had a good run, and it was a pleasure. You'll be missed, but I know computers are your thing. We hope it all works out, and that you're still able to score some scones in your new workplace.