Honored: Our Town recognized

February 2015 Posted in Business, Community
The Our Town team (left to right): Office manager Deede Williams, custom publishing graphic designer Steve Beckner, Our Town graphic designer Tavis Bettoli-Lotten, publisher and editor Paula Mabry, and advertising executive Jim Kinghorn.

The Our Town team (left to right): Office manager Deede Williams, custom publishing graphic designer Steve Beckner, Our Town graphic designer Tavis Bettoli-Lotten, publisher and editor Paula Mabry, and advertising executive Jim Kinghorn.

By Mary Owen

Our Town is all about giving people a sense of community.

“We share people’s stories and provide context for their lives,” Publisher Paula Mabry said.

“The day-to-day is important,” she added. “Who’s doing business, who’s volunteering, who’s stepping up to lead, what’s making a difference, that’s the basis of Our Town, and the backbone of our communities.”

For its coverage and outreach to the community, Our Town has been recognized as Silverton Chamber of Commerce 2014 Business of the Year.

“I think they are the definition of a community-focused business,” said Stacy Palmer, chamber executive director. “We are fortunate to have a business like Our Town that is supportive, compassionate, and so tuned in to what’s happening in Silverton.”

Former chamber president Nicole Kay, credited Our Town for highlighting moments in people’s lives with “a beautifully complete and honest manner that isn’t seen in print very often today.”

Our Town has always been an amazing collaboration of talented people coming together to share the stories of our community,” Kay said. “Receiving the honor of the Chamber’s Business of the Year award is fitting because they are the ones that are commonly sharing the stories, and finally we can recognize them for their story.

“One that is filled with hard work and determination, whether it is Jim Kinghorn capturing the smiles of children at the Pet Parade, Kristine Thomas tracking down a story of the achievement of a local resident, or the team handing out hot chocolate at Silverton’s tree lighting.”

Mayor Rick Lewis called Our Town “a wonderful partner in our community.”

“They have always been responsive to community needs and concerns and have played a vital role in ensuring that the public is well informed on local issues and matters,” he said.

Former Mayor Stu Rasmussen agreed.

“In this age of disappearing print media, it’s wonderful to have such a fine publication serving our community,” Rasmussen said.

Our Town writer Brenna Wiegand (left) and managing editor Kristine Thomas (right).

Our Town writer Brenna Wiegand (left) and managing editor Kristine Thomas (right).

Manny Rodrigues, owner of Creekside Grill and president of the Silverton Wine & Jazz Festival board, credited Our Town for knitting together the community’s social, business and political pulse, allowing its readers to feel invested and informed.

“I am personally aware of many instances where Our Town uses its resources to support local causes,” Rodrigues said.

Artist Lori Webb added, “In a town that has so much going on, Our Town is always there, not only covering but contributing!”

When Kathy Hunter learned about Our Town’s award, she was thrilled.

“Working with the OT staff – every one of them – was the best of my 20-year journalism career,” said Hunter, now retired.

She added that as a feature writer and calendar editor she was met with “nothing but a spirit of cooperation, and that in my opinion is another outstanding OT quality. The publisher and editor bend over backward to help their writers as everyone strives to serve the community.”

Hunter said every time she mentioned she used to write for Our Town, people would say how much they loved the publication.

“Or ‘it’s such a newsy paper about our communities’ or ‘it seems so positive, not negative or sleazy,’” Hunter said. “And I would think happily to myself, ‘we must be fulfilling Our Town’s mission,’ because this is just what we are all about.”

Mabry calls it “a privilege to serve Silverton, Mount Angel and Scotts Mills.”

“We’re honored to be recognized by the chamber,” Mabry said. “Our heart-felt thanks go to our readers, advertisers, contributors and co-workers for being part of Our Town.”

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