Change is inevitable.
Businesses open and close, leaders rise and fall, and neighbors come and go.
Now it is time for the Seattle-area Patch editorial team to say goodbye. Although my last day was officially on August 17, this is my final farewell to the Patch community.
It's been my pleasure to cover Renton and Skyway/West Hill. In October 2010 I left print journalism for a new career as the editor of Renton Patch. To say this was a large undertaking, is an understatement. The site could not have launched and run so seamlessly without the help of my colleagues, freelance reporters, connections through the Renton Chamber of Commerce, support from the community, and the City of Renton's willingness to work with a new media outlet.
The community's interest, participation and passion for information grew Renton Patch into the site it is today. The connections I made lead to a wealth of opportunities in both my professional and personal life, for which I will forever be grateful.
Just as I'd loved working at small town newspapers before Patch, I thrived on the energy and interest from community members who sought local news online. Although the medium was different, the hunger for community news coverage was just as strong — as evidenced by emails, texts and phone calls at all hours of the day and night. It's that level of reader involvement that allowed me to provide the Renton community with the timely news it deserves.
A sincere thank you to those who attended my events, including Patch Happy Hour, the impromptu breakfast club experiment, and to those who included Patch in their fundraising drives and events, especially Friends of Renton Schools, The Landing, and Renton Fire and Emergency Services, among others.
Last January Patch offered me a new job as community editor, where I worked across all 15 Washington state Patch sites to increase reader uploads and encourage blogging by community leaders, parents, politicians and others.
I missed the reporting side and launched my own 'Patch' blog to satisfy the void and better understand what I was asking of this dedicated and diverse community of bloggers. I this new role I met even more loyal readers, although mostly on a virtual level.
It wasn't all smooth sailing. There were growing pains, budget adjustments, staffing changes, site upgrades and code glitches. In mid-August of this year, Patch laid off several Seattle-area Patch managers and editors, including myself. I'm only sorry that I did not give a proper farewell at that time.
It's been a great ride and a wonderful experience. AOL's hyper-local news model allowed me to grow as a journalist, hone new skills and learn how to better adapt to a rapidly changing news environment. Although I may not have always agreed on AOL's business decisions, I must also thank the company for funding this outstanding opportunity.
I would not trade my experience for anything, and am ready to embrace this latest change in my career.
I'm still in the area and would love to stay in touch. Feel free to connect with me on Facebook, or Linkedin.