Hello. I guess it’s time to introduce myself to the community as the new editor at the Lacombe Express.
This will be the first edition of the paper I am lucky to be a part of, so it is only timely I tell you a little bit about myself.
I spent my early years growing up on the north side of Red Deer in the Pines and I truly enjoyed all Red Deer has to offer — from biking the extensive trail system, skating at Bower Ponds, or rafting down the Red Deer River, Central Alberta was a great place to grow up.
I began my journey into journalism a mere five years ago, when after completing two years at Red Deer College towards an English degree, I decided to go in a new direction and enrol in a journalism program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.
During my time at SAIT, I was lucky to complete two internships, one which was at the Red Deer Express, our sister paper. The other was at an online digital ad agency in Calgary.
During this time period, I also continued working as a barista at a local Starbucks, serving up some delicious coffee.
For some reason or other, I tend to stay in one place or job for a while, so I was a well-seasoned barista for over seven years.
During one summer, through a student government program, I had the chance to work here in Lacombe at the Lacombe Research Centre.
Throughout that summer, I was basically a farmer, watching intently as the corn I planted grew and crawling on my hands and knees through lush plots of canola.
After graduating from SAIT, I began completing freelance work for some area newspapers, all the while searching for the ideal permanent position within the journalism industry.
One day, the right job popped up. It was a reporter position at a western Central Alberta paper. I applied immediately.
For the past three years I have been living in Rocky Mountain House and working as a reporter at The Mountaineer, a weekly community newspaper.
During my time there, I was often pushed to the limits of what a reporter could do.
From flying upside down with an aerobatics pilot, seeing a blazing wildfire up close, visiting a fire lookout tower on top of a mountain, riding a horse with a well-seasoned cowboy during a cattle drive and participating in sharing circles and powwows with the First Nations community, I jumped in head first, aiming to get my feet wet.
I also spent many months tracking complex community issues within Rocky, Caroline, Nordegg and the two First Nations, the O’Chiese First Nation and Sunchild First Nation.
Truthfully, community journalism is not for the faint of heart, but it is a good fit for those who like to settle into a community and explore what and who shapes it.
Even though the Express is still fairly new in the area, I know it has grown and is now recognizable by residents in Lacombe, Blackfalds and the surrounding area. I hope it continues to be a valued source of local news to our readers.
I am very happy to be a part of that and hope to, building off the foundation of what the previous editor left, create and maintain numerous relationships with local organizations and community members.
I am incredibly happy to soon call ‘Alberta’s newest city’ my new home. I look forward to not only connecting with, but serving the community. I hope over the coming months I can attempt to scratch the surface of what Lacombe and Blackfalds have to offer.
As such, feel free to call, email or stop by the office to meet me. If you see me out covering events, feel free to come over and chat. Don’t hesitate to bring forward your concerns or ideas about the community.
I look forward to it.