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It’s been great, but it is time to move on

This is my last week with McLeod Publishing. After nearly 35 years in the newspaper business — 31 of that career with McLeod Publishing — I’ve decided it’s time for a change.
I started my journalism career with the Byron Review, spent a brief time with my hometown newspaper, the Pine Island Record, and was hired in 1986 as the editor of the Brownton Bulletin by then-publisher Bob Moulton. When Bill Ramige bought the Bulletin in 1987, I became part of the McLeod Publishing.
I was with the Bulletin when it incorporated the former Stewart Tribune into its fold, and stayed with it until 2008, when a fading economy meant its closure. I then transferred to The Chronicle as a reporter and, in 2014, became its editor when Rich Glennie retired after over two decades at the helm.
But now I’m at a time in life in which I have to acknowledge that I have far more working years behind me than ahead of me. For the past couple of years, I’ve been pondering: do I want to finish out my working life in journalism, or try something different? The bottom line is, on the day I retire, I want to look back and say “I’m glad I did” instead of “I wish I had.”
It was not an easy decision, and I definitely have bittersweet, mixed emotions. Those who have made mid-career or late-career changes have assured me that I’ll feel rejuvenated with the change. My new opportunity, with McLeod County, will allow me to utilize the skills I already have, as well as teach me some new ones.
That being said, I’ll miss what I’m doing now. This has been a great career for me. I’ve met many great people, enjoyed a wide variety of experiences, and grew in ways I never thought possible when I started taking journalism classes at college.
As I shared recently on my Facebook page:
I have spent countless evenings at city council, school board, county board and God knows how many other meetings, as well as (back in the day) numerous sporting events. I’ve covered state championship sports teams and teams that went 0-18 for a season.
What I’ve loved most, though, is having people invite me into their homes and hearts, to sit in their living rooms, on their porches and at their kitchen tables, while they have told me their life stories, and who have trusted me to tell their stories fairly, accurately and respectively to our readers. I have been privileged to chronicle both triumphs and tragedies.
I’ll forever be grateful for this part of my life, and I will forever be grateful for the friends, family and community members who supported me in my endeavors. I hope that support continues as I move into this new phase of my life. My last day at The Chronicle will be June 29, and my first day at my new position with McLeod County will be July 9. Thank you again for the privilege of telling your stories … God bless you all as we part ways.