Two and a half years ago, the Ponte Vedra Recorder took a chance on me.
I was two to three years removed from journalism school, with a background in corporate communications and marketing, followed by a handful of freelance assignments with publications in the Jacksonville area. I was fighting to find my way into the journalism industry, and the Recorder ultimately obliged, hiring me first as a reporter and then as the editor. The Osteen family (owners), Recorder Publisher Susan Griffin and staff, and my predecessor Jennifer Logue graciously welcomed me to the team and jumpstarted an adventure I will never forget.
That adventure has included the fulfillment of lifelong dreams covering THE PLAYERS Championship and the Jacksonville Jaguars. It has included meetings and interviews with professional athletes, politicians, CEOs of major companies and organizations, former CEOs and many others who have humbled me. It has included everyday Ponte Vedra residents and organizations in the community who have also humbled me, opening their doors and welcoming me into their homes and meetings to tell me their stories.
Through these interactions and experiences, I’ve been reminded of how special Ponte Vedra is, reinforcing what I knew was true so many years ago when I visited this sleepy beach town as a child to visit family.
That’s why writing this message is so bittersweet, as I complete my time as editor of the Recorder and transition to the next chapter of my life as a public relations specialist at Wounded Warrior Project.
As I look forward to that opportunity, I am proud of the work the Recorder has accomplished over the past few years. Our small but mighty staff has produced a quality newspaper week in and week out that readers look forward to, enjoy and count on for original reporting and storytelling.
In addition to the Recorder’s 50-year legacy as a strong print product, I’m also proud of the digital progress we’ve made over the past few years. We’ve dramatically increased our presence on social media, expanded our storytelling to video and other mediums, and worked to improve our website, most recently seen through the launch of our Best of the Best of Ponte Vedra contest.
True progress, indeed, and I know that will undoubtedly continue under the tutelage of the next editor of the Recorder.
As I move forward in my career, I will always be grateful for this chapter of my life. I’ve met so many great people and have learned more than I ever could have imagined. I want to thank all of you in the community, for reading, for taking the time to meet or speak with me, for submitting stories we weren’t able to cover, for agreeing, for disagreeing and, ultimately, for embracing the Recorder as your community newspaper. It’s been a true honor serving in this seat. I will always look back on this experience fondly, and I will always look back on the people I’ve met along the way with a smile on my face.