By Michael Pineda
So, how has everybody been doing?
Since I last wrote a column, there have been some changes in my life. I picked up a ping pong paddle and claimed the silver medal for my age group in the senior games. There were only two in the group, but not everybody needs to know.
I also found myself in need of a new job. During my career in newspapers, I have been blessed to work with some outstanding journalists and my luck is holding out. As of 5:01 p.m. Friday, I officially joined the staff of The Yukon Progress.
To be honest, this is about as exciting as the arrival of football season.
Over the course of the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet the staff members of The Progress as we covered events. When I arrived in Yukon, one of the first people I got to know was Sports Editor Chuck Reherman. Spring is a busy time for sports, and we had time to visit while chasing games and other events. I quickly found out he is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Yukon athletics.
Speaking of a fountain of knowledge, Conrad Dudderar is a local institution. He is well-respected in the community and doesn’t miss a story. A reporter needs to eat his Wheaties and take vitamins to keep up. Councilperson Donna Yanda said it best during a March meeting.
“Conrad has been around a long time,” she said. “He has a great mind, a great vision. He is very intelligent, and he knows what is best for Yukon.”
I met Traci Chapman, our managing editor, during the fall when we were covering a band event. As I waited to speak with Yukon Band Director Diana Williams, Traci was conducting her interview and even hugged Williams when she was done.
Here I am, in a profession that puts a premium on developing relationships, and I have to follow that?
I enjoyed meeting Blake Colston, who does layout and covers sports during a football game at Moore and look forward to getting to know him better. The same can be said for Circulation Manager Jeremy Pyle, who knows his way around with a camera.
As for Publisher/El Capitan Randy Anderson, I got to meet him for the first time at the Yukon Chocolate Festival. I had never met him before and he left quite the impression. Within one minute of visiting with Randy, it was clear he has energy and passion. You need that now more than ever in this profession.
When he presented the offer to come work for him at The Progress earlier this month, it was a no-brainer. It takes a year to kind of get an idea of what is going on in the community. Thanks to The Progress, I can stay in Yukon and build on the past year’s experiences and relationships. I will also be able to learn more about the communities of Piedmont and Okarche. To be part of this tremendous team makes it that much better.
Sometimes, you get your cake and get to eat it too.