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Thank you for showing me around my new town

I’m impressed.

It isn’t the easiest thing to up and move to a new place, and while I knew I had a good crew at The Advertiser-Tribune, I knew very few people around here.

But, boy, was the red carpet rolled out.

I’ve tried to make it a point to meet with one new person or group almost every day, and I’ve found the leaders and those who make this place special were just as excited to meet me as I was to meet them.

I realized how generous people were with their time when I recently visited the local Rotary Club and scanned the room. I smiled when I realized I now recognized at least half of the faces.

Grocery shopping, done incognito for a short time after my move, will never be the same.

Thanks to the wonderful people I’ve met, I got to visit both the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, enjoy tours of local facilities and schools, and eat lunch or drink coffee at many of Tiffin’s fine establishments. While spending a day on sales calls with each of our sales representatives, I chatted with many of the area’s small business owners, listening to their successes and challenges while sharing my vision for the A-T. I sat in on meetings, had meetings at my office with my staff and 1-on-1s. I was asked to judge Tiffin’s monthly trivia night alongside other community and education leaders, which might have been my favorite assignment yet.

The bottom line is that you sure do know how to make a newbie feel like a local.

Here are some of the things that I’ll be following up on from conversations and experiences I’ve had on my tour around town:

• People love their local newspaper and we vow to keep it that way by being local. I have invited many “experts” in certain areas of the community to write guest columns for us and invite leaders of all organizations and endeavors to submit information to us, as we want our paper to be as uniquely local as it can be.

• I hope to form partnerships in many different places, including some unexpected ones. An example is a lunch conversation with Dale DePew of the Seneca News Daily. Through the talk, both of us realized we have similar goals in seeing a successful community and keeping people informed, and that we provide vastly different mediums and styles. Therefore, we’ll not be afraid to work with anyone and will seek out win-win situations.

• There are some distinct themes in this community, and they should form the pillars of our coverage. I would put education, business, industry, agriculture, health and faith in that category as pillars. I see our editorial staff focusing on stories that fit into these areas.

• From the honesty department: We are struggling to meet some of your deserved expectations of delivering our paper. We have had a number of down newspaper routes, leading to our dedicated circulation department staff having to scramble almost every day. We are working hard to fill our routes and get your papers to you on time every day. To those who have had trouble receiving their paper, I am sorry. Our team is working hard behind the scenes to make things better in this area. Oh, if you would like to be an Advertiser-Tribune carrier or know someone who may be, please contact me!

• If you don’t know someone who would like to carry the A-T, perhaps you can help me with this: With five full-time news editorial employees plus myself, we only have a combined 12 eyes and ears. There are so many interesting things going on in Seneca County. We appreciate the help in learning about all that is going on out there, and encourage everyone to pick up the phone or shoot us an email with story tips.

Thank you to all of those who have opened their doors, facilities and minds to me. I’ve enjoyed canvassing the area. I know I have many more people to meet, more places to see, more things to learn about. I look forward to getting out even more in the coming months.

Jeremy Speer is the publisher of The Advertiser-Tribune. He can be reached at jspeer@advertiser-tribune.com.

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