Opinion: A new role for a new year

Opinion: A new role for a new year

By Patrice Culligan

Almost three years ago I arrived in the Washington metropolitan area from New York City and found myself in the Port City with the task of running the Alexandria Times. At the time it seemed like a huge undertaking, and I was a stranger here.

After getting involved with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association, the Alexandria Small Business Development Center, the Old Town Business and Professional Association, and various other networking groups, I felt that I had made lifelong friends. I was at home in Alexandria.

Along with a small and dedicated team, I set out to make the Alexandria Times the best-written newspaper in the Port City with the largest circulation. Full responsibility for the content went to David Sachs, then the editor-in-chief, and he rose to the task. We later switched printers to improve the newspaper’s visual quality and hired an in-house art director to take graphic art to a new and improved level. Denise Dunbar, the managing partner, and a hard-working sales team rounded out the foundation of a strong newspaper.

Most important to me was producing a newspaper and website that residents of Alexandria wanted to read. Along with the weekly news, politics, sports, business and event coverage, the Alexandria Times introduced a pet column, health column and the Hobie & Monk advice column during the past three years. In addition to the print version, the Times offers daily updates and breaking news at www.alextimes.com and a free electronic edition on request.

I am happy to say that I think the Alexandria Times team has successfully provided our readers with an excellent newspaper and website. We are always open to new ideas and input from our readers, so keep us on our toes!

Advertising is an important part of publishing any newspaper. I have been thrilled to work with many of the local real estate agents, small businesses, shops and restaurants and hope that their message has encouraged you to patronize their establishments. I also hope that these businesses will continue to support the Alexandria Times in our ongoing effort to provide readers with this valuable service.

This brings us to today with our new editor-in-chief, Derrick Perkins; new reporter, Melissa Quinn; and new art director, Ashleigh Carter. We also welcome Kristen Essex to our team. This devoted group of young, ambitious professionals, along with Dunbar at the helm, gives me the confidence to step down and take a different role at the Times. I will continue to consult and assist when needed, while maintaining my sales role at the same level.

Please join me in supporting this great team that dedicates their careers to providing you, our readers, with the best newspaper in Alexandria. Thank you all for your friendship, and I will continue to be just a phone call away.

The author is publisher emeritus of the Alexandria Times