After 3,322 days, my tenure as the publisher of the Mirror comes to a close with this edition. When I took over this position, the Mirror was very young and we were getting ready to celebrate our 10th year in existence. We were a broadsheet delivering on Wednesdays and Saturdays, housed in a run-down office in Celebration Center. From those humble beginnings was born a newspaper that has grown into a multi-award winning, integral part of the community.
Up to this point, although I had been in newspapers for a number of years, I had never been a publisher. I decided from day one to make this your newspaper. I only considered myself the keeper of the key so to speak. I challenged you, as the readers, on the simple premise that this paper would be local and relevant. If I ever deviated from these two principles, then I wanted to hear about it. To date, I never received one response concerning this challenge. You see, I consider the Mirror’s core competencies as local and compelling. Nothing more, nothing less. I figured that if we solved these two issues, everything else would fall into place. Sure, there were other business decisions that had to be made along the way, but they were always guided by these principles.
As I reflect on the last nine years, Federal Way has undergone quite a few changes. We have opened and closed businesses, built new parks, expanded Pacific Highway, built new schools, re-purposed old buildings into new performing arts centers and even changed our form of government because, well, why not? The Mirror has tried to keep up with these changes. We have changed delivery days as the market demanded, overhauled our website several times, changed our look and feel, migrated from an old-school broadsheet to a more modern tabloid style, added new columnists and new pages, such as diversity and game zone, and the list goes on and on. We even added a community-led editorial board and became the last stop for all political debates that were and continue to be a large part of District 30 and the local campaigns. I have made it a mission of the Mirror to be front and center in this community. To that end, every year we spend thousands of dollars, and an untold amount of free staff time, in community sponsorships and good will for virtually every nonprofit in the city and make sure that we attend and support these events with our time, our editorials and even our own money. It makes us a part of this community, and I am a firm believer that people need to put back into the community at a greater rate than they have received. I would like to think that the Mirror was rewarded for this. We have won numerous Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awards for general excellence in the large newspaper class for the state of Washington, including a first, two seconds and a third place. We were also awarded a first place in community service, which I find as valuable as the general excellence awards. But more than anything, you awarded us with your readership, advertising dollars, comments and community discussions that continue to make an impact each and every day.
Enjoy year 20 and beyond, Federal Way. It has been my pleasure to be in charge of this dynamic group of staff who I call forever friends and who have helped put together, week in and week out, an award-winning newspaper for the community of Federal Way.
Without them, there is no me. Without you, there is no us.
Oh, and one more thing. Where am I headed in my next career path? None of your business.
Live long and prosper.