‘Always something new to learn’: Julia Stidham becomes The Union’s associate publisher
After working as The Union’s advertising director for over six years, Julia Stidham has been named the newspaper’s associate publisher.
Stidham, a Penn Valley resident and 1988 graduate of Nevada Union High School, said her interest in the publishing world was sparked early, in particular as her love for design was encouraged while she attended junior high school and worked on her school newspaper.
After graduating from Nevada Union, Stidham moved to Florida, where she attended Hillsborough Community College, studying business and management there prior to beginning work as an assistant manager at General Mills.
Realizing after about five years that she wanted to move back to California, Stidham said she knew she wanted to continue working in advertising and marketing — a skillset she continued to develop with General Mills for some time, before working with the Auburn-based magazine Sierra Heritage as well as local radio station KNCO.
She then began working at The Union in 1999.
“And I’ve been here the whole time,” said Stidham.
Connecting her work with each of these entities, said Stidham, was a drive to better understand businesses and their needs — and then, how to meet those needs. In her current role, she primarily works with a team within The Union, which includes seven salespeople, one person working with classifieds, and one event manager.
“So I know (that) if they are trained really well, they are at the top of their game, they’re feeling really good, they like where they work — that they’re going to be doing a really good job for us in working with our local businesses,” said Stidham.
The Union Publisher Don Rogers, who has worked with Stidham since 2016, wrote in an email that, in her work, Stidham “has been able to look beyond the boundaries of her department in ways that make the whole operation better.”
“She’s from this community, loves it and knows it well,” wrote Rogers. “Then she’s just sharp, warm and has a great sense of humor. That is to say she’s great to work with.”
He went on to describe her as “a natural,” noting that she has worked well with a variety of publishers at the newspaper, and that he knew “right away” that he could count on her not only with sales, but the whole operation.
On the development of her role with the newspaper into her current position, Stidham said, “Everybody wants to know that they have a place to develop and grow in their career, and that was important to me, too.”
As advertising director, she said, she regularly took on more than her position required, aiming to better understand “the full scope of the business,” including aspects of general business management as well as the ways that others at the newspaper worked together.
The ability to regularly work on something new, Stidham explained, is key to “why this is such a perfect position” for her. She highlighted as an example her work in collaboration with The Union’s special publications manager, Valerie Costa, in developing creative publications throughout the year.
“Between the publications we get to work on, between the website and different platforms, between events and all of that, it is constantly going and there’s always something new to learn,” said Stidham.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com
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