By Becky Justice Hemmann
It’s hard to believe 15 years have gone by. When I think back on the past, being in the newspaper business was never on my radar. I was in sales and marketing and doing well. When it was suggested to Robb (my son) and I that we should start a newspaper in Berthoud – we just looked at each other and said, “We aren’t journalists.” As it turns out a person doesn’t have to be a journalist to publish a good newspaper. You just have to hire good people. We started the paper with Jill Boyd as our editor. A 22-year-old young lady fresh out of college, she grew up in Berthoud and her parents are still here. The great thing about Jill, besides being smart and creative, is she wasn’t afraid to try new ideas and designs for the Surveyor.
Next on the list would be a seasoned veteran, Rick Padden. He had all the experience we needed, and we are so grateful he wanted to come work with us. He kept us out of trouble more than once. He is an accomplished writer and has expanded his writing into becoming a playwright. Rick is currently a volunteer for Red Cross and has written some wonderful stories about the people he encounters in disaster situations.
We also had Katy Justice, Dave Swineheart, Craig Simmons, Virginia Adams and Diana Greathouse on staff helping us get started. Craig designed our first logo, and I still love the compass he created. I told him I wanted the paper to be about the community and he incorporated business, education, government and community in a circle around the compass.
What I like the most is featuring the kids. We have some pretty amazing kids in Berthoud. From sports to robotics and everything in between, Berthoud kids are really special. Berthoud is such a loving and caring community, and we like to write about the non-profit organizations that do so much for people in need.
Over the years we have had many good people working with us and I am so grateful for their involvement in the paper. Susan Richards, Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, Bob McDonnell, Eli Hopkins, John Gardner, Kathleen Donnelly, to name just a few.
Our current team is amazing, Rudy Hemmann (my DISH!), Amber McIver-Traywick, Jo Buckridge, Dan Karpiel, Diane Wells and Jenny Richardson. Our contributing writers are quality writers and journalists – Mark French, Katie Harris, Shelley Widhalms, Mark French, Kristie Leonard, Caroline Creager, Autumn Leopold, Aaron Reynolds, Virginia Huppe and Robin Ferruggia. A special thanks to Kim Skoric for working with us over the years with high school students who were interested in writing for the paper. Currently Jordan Schachterle is contributing to the Surveyor; she will be a junior in the fall. Jordan is developing into a great writer and we could not be more proud of her.
Our goal every week is to give our readers a quality newspaper that is about Berthoud. We do occasionally write about something or someone not directly related to Berthoud, but in our weekly meetings when story ideas come up, I always want to know if there is a Berthoud angle.
Last but not least, I want to thank our subscribers and advertisers. Without them Berthoud would not have a newspaper.
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