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Palm Coast Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 8 years ago

The Observer, one year later -

by: John Walsh Publisher

What a year. Thanks. We are grateful and proud to serve Palm Coast and Flagler County as your source for relevant, accurate and unbiased community news.

In my editorial one year ago, I pledged to work hard to no longer have second billing in our community’s moniker: We are Flagler — not Volusia/Flagler. Our publication is named the Palm Coast Observer, but you, your neighbors and your neighborhoods are the paper.

We are only as good as the people on our team. All of our team members do their best. All we can ask.

Brian McMillan, managing editor, was the first to join our staff. He has a background in journalism and taught English at a Midwestern college.

Then, we added Andrew O’Brien, Shanna Fortier, Melody Hopkins and Mallorie Bruce — all under the age of 24.

Andrew, who attributes his superior soccer skills to his first Palm Coast youth soccer coach (me), accepts his assignments with vigor and dedication.

Shanna, whom I have known since she graduated from my wife, Nancy’s, preschool class, contributes in a way that reflects her dedication to quality journalism and experiences growing up in Palm Coast.

Mallorie joins us fresh from earning a college degree and has family ties to our sister publications.

My staff on the business side is equally proud and dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our readers and advertisers.

Jaci Beckett, another one who returned to Palm Coast after obtaining her college degree, has been the captain of every team she has ever played on since she was Shanna’s classmate in Nancy’s preschool class. She elevates our standards with her infectious dedication and natural leadership.

Maturity and experience best describe George “Mr. Pop” Walsh, senior financial father. We also have Carole Ruffalo, matriarch, glue, office manager; Kathy Williams, professional and dedicated account executive; and I, with a tad more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience, the last 21 of which have been here in Palm Coast.

Annual report: The reception from our readers has exceeded our expectations. The support from family and friends has exceeded our expectations. The dedication of our staff has exceeded our expectations. The support from our advertisers has exceeded our expectations. The service from our suppliers and associates has exceeded our expectations. National exposure on “The Late Show” with David Letterman exceeded our expectations.

Not a bad first year. But the journey continues. We are Flagler. You, your neighbors and your neighborhoods are the Palm Coast Observer.

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