It’s not goodbye, but rather, “see you soon.”
Since I was a young teenager, I’ve had a burning desire to not only write, but to give a voice to what’s going on around me. It started in middle school when I self-published and handed out copies of a monthly newsletter I called the Glen Allen Observer.
It continued when I saw the domain name “DowntownShortPump.com” etched in stone on the sign outside the Regal Cinemas in Short Pump, learned it had expired, and purchased it for $8 when I was 15. I started posting news to the site, began selling advertising, and pretty much “accidentally” started my first business. When I sold the site in 2012, I still had an insatiable hunger to cover local news. But without an outlet to do so, I felt a little lost.
Thankfully, Ross Catrow and the team at RVANews presented me with an opportunity to write for this amazing publication. It was there that I was able to not only reach a larger audience, but to tell more stories that mattered, share the news of new and exciting things coming to town in a time when Richmond was increasingly finding itself on the national stage, meet the people behind these projects, and even sharpen my photography skills through photo features. I was also in the unique position of becoming editor of the West Of The Boulevard News community site, which included Scott’s Addition, at a time when my own neighborhood was (and still is) evolving and changing almost every day. Most of all, I felt more engaged with and connected to Richmond–the city that has my heart–than ever by contributing to this publication.
I was but a small part of an amazing group of people who put their all into not only this website, but making an impact on Richmond through stories that matter. This publication was something really special because of the passion, unique perspectives, and in-depth reporting the team brought to the table, and the casual, approachable voice in which it was all presented.
Susan Howson has been an amazing editor. Her distinctive perspectives, depth of knowledge, quick wit, and sense of humor over the past few years helped the site evolve from simply being a news outlet to one that was a mission-driven vehicle that shed light on our city’s issues, told the stories of those doing good works around town, and really made you think.
Stephanie Ganz’ food news features are among the best in town. Her knowledge of the industry and culinary prowess brought something unique, fun, and insightful to the table (pun intended) every single week.
Teresa Cole’s education features made a seemingly arduous problem for our city, analyzed it piece by piece, presented real solutions to very real problems, and presented it in a digestible, easy to understand way.
Sam Davies’ refreshingly honest and vulnerable articles about fatherhood and family life have made me realize that none of us really have it all together, as good as some of us are at faking it, and have made me look forward to someday becoming a father and inevitably figuring it all out as I go, day by day.
These are just a few of the unique and talented writers that RVANews gave a voice to, and whose pieces this city won’t soon forget. This isn’t just a team of writers, it’s a family of sorts.
I’m really honored to have been a small part of something that meant so much to so many people around town (I had no idea just how many people felt this way or to what degree until this past week).
But this is not goodbye. Working with Richard Hayes, I hope to help keep the network of community news sites around town, which are currently under the RVANews umbrella, updated and operational. Who knows what else the future holds in this realm, but you can guarantee I’ll still be writing.
Drop me a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, and stay awesome, Richmond!
Signing off for now,
RVANews Features Writer
Neighborhood News Editor, West of the Boulevard News & West End RVA
Photo: Deb Snelson