It’s been a privilege to work here

This is a bittersweet column to write. Cutting right to it, I’ve accepted a new job elsewhere and my last day with Wilcox Newspapers will be July 31.

As it’s the thick of a run-up to a big election, I’m neck-deep in letters to the editor, and I don’t want to use up too much space going on about this. I promise to reminisce a bit more in next week’s paper, the last one I will have a hand in laying out.

Simply put, it has been one of the most meaningful privileges of my life to develop into the journalist I am today here among the many great communities of Allegan County. Since beginning at the paper on April Fools’ Day in 2002, I’ve shared in milestones too numerous to count of the many people here. But you know it’s time to go when you start outlasting all of the public and elected officials who were just starting their tenure when you started reporting on them.

Longtime readers have watched me go from wide-eyed cub reporter, to welcoming me as I succeeded former beloved editor Bill Brown, to seeing me not as often while I tried to keep up with all of you in an extremely fast-changing world. My children have grown up, in some ways, in this column. Bill put my engagement photo atop the front page.

So it’s fitting that my time at The Allegan County News and Union Enterprise newspapers represents the entirety of my journalism career. I don’t get to retire; I’m not sure many reporters ever do. I’m not moving away. I’m just trying something new, an enterprise that will keep me closer at hand with my family as we contend with the rigors of life in a pandemic—and school and work.

Talk to you next week for a final, official time, and, as always, thanks for reading.

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