Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Excited to be part of ‘Camp Union’
Business development manager
Thirty years ago this week, I changed my life forever when I boarded a plane in New York and moved to California — a new beginning.
I have spent the last 20 years living in Nevada County and the last 10 as a broadcaster. This week, I begin a new chapter as the business development manager at The Union.
Many people are asking me why I have made the move from radio to newspaper. The short answer is, I believe in the forward-thinking direction I see this paper’s publisher taking for the greater good for our community.
The long answer is, well, longer.
Western Nevada County is fairly unique for a community of our size in that we have just one privately owned radio group (KNCO-AM/FM) and just one daily (excluding Sunday) published newspaper. Because of this, KNCO and The Union compete to be your primary source for information.
We both want to be first, accurate and fair. We also vie for the advertising budgets of local businesses and nonprofit organizations — balancing the need to meet our own financial demands with the commitment to serve our community.
Jim Hemig has been the publisher at The Union for about a year.
It seems longer, because in that short amount of time he has become part of our community. He moved here, bought a home here, reached out to get to know and understand our political, business, health, education and nonprofit communities.
He seems to be everywhere and know just about everyone.
With the energy and openness of someone in their 40s, he is working hard to move the paper forward (as the way we choose to get our information changes) while still holding on to the traditional values this community holds dear, all the while balancing fiscal responsibility.
He has quickly grasped our collective values and has some innovative ideas for bringing community service and need together, using The Union as the primary vehicle. The more I heard his ideas and the direction the paper plans to take, the more I knew I wanted to be part of it.
I took a completely unscientific poll (among some of my friends) asking if they were a radio person or a newspaper person, and why. Since you are reading this, you are probably a newspaper person, but my poll showed there are actually four camps:
Camp Radio — tends to start their day with their radio on. They like their news short and sweet and enjoy the quips of the personalities they invite into their homes. They take them into their cars and to work. They like the programs they like, but don’t really care where they find them.
Camp Union — loves the visceral, ritual of reading their daily paper. It begins with the walk out their door to retrieve it, while coffee is brewing, and continues as they read page by page (first the obituaries, followed by the police blotter and the front page, and then depending on gender and season, sports, with many variations following that.)
Camp Information Junkie — listens to the radio, while reading The Union (see above).
Camp Everyone Else — only listens to community radio and reads monthly publications, a smattering of online only, television only and “none — thank you very much” as in, ignorance truly is bliss.
For a decade, I have been in Camp A, interviewing and reporting on countless organizations and issues. From crime to politics (not to be redundant), health to business to service groups and events.
What I realized is that unless you heard me at that moment, the moment is gone. While “being present and in the moment” is important, having a record, of say 150-plus years of profound human experience, is priceless.
I am excited to be part of Camp B — the visceral, ritual of something to hold onto, dig deeper into, refer back to, clip, save, debate or worst case, line the bird cage with.
I hope to entice members of the other camps through hands-on events that benefit our community members not only by providing information, but also by building relationships.
So I am back to the short answer. Jim Hemig is committed to helping fill the gaps between services and those in need, using this organization as a vehicle.
He is open to exploring new publications to serve specific markets that are not yet recognized in local media. I love this community and am dedicated to doing the same.
This is just the beginning.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is business development manager at The Union. Contact her at email@example.com or 530-477-4221.
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