What Does Your Company/Organization Do?
Leader Publications is the local news outlet for southern Berrien County and all of Cass County. We publish two newspapers, a shopper, a lifestyle magazine and supplemental digital products.
- Young Professional of the Year, Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce (2021)
- General Excellence, Michigan Press Association (2020)
- Columnist of the Year, Michigan Press Association (2019 and 2020)
- Brandywine Distinguished Alumni Inaugural Class (2020)
- United Way Impact Award (2018)
- Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award (2018)
- Niles Young Professionals Under 40 Young Leader Award (2017)
What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?
I would love to see a majority of our community subscribing to their local newspaper or news website. Recognizing the value of local news is imperative to its future.
- Bachelor’s Degree, Rhetoric and Journalism, Western Michigan University (2013)
- High School Diploma, Brandywine High School (2009)
Where were you born?
What was your first job?
I worked odd jobs throughout junior high and high school, but my first real job was in Shelton’s Farm Market’s Garden Center
Best advice you ever got?
A mentor once told me in our industry, we put out an imperfect product every day. As a perfectionist, this was hard to swallow, but I learned that the bigger picture was much more important than the details. To err is human, but we can’t let that deter us from the end goal: to inform and connect our community.
Who inspires you most?
My team. I am so blessed to get to work alongside the talented, dedicated, passionate people I do.
That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.
I am an identical twin!
What do you love to do in your downtime?
Read. I own more than 700 books, and can’t get enough.
What book are you reading now?
“If You Tell” by Gregg Olsen
Volunteer activity you love the most.
I’m a huge fan of anything that mentors youth. I’ve been blessed to co-advise Michigan Gateway Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council — a group I was in as a teen — for a few years now. I can think of no better way to invest my time than in the next generation of our community’s leaders.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
My community has given so much to me that I feel I owe it to my community to give back. My whole career is centered on serving the community — our readers or our advertisers — and I am wholly committed to doing so.
What Superpower would you most love to have?
I would love to teleport — how cool would it be to travel anywhere you want, to any place you want, any time you want?
What has been the most eye-opening thing about the coronavirus pandemic for you, personally?
The pandemic has shined a light on the importance of not only building trust and credibility in news organizations, but educating citizens how to identify trustworthy, credible news sources. In a digital age, anyone can share information, but not everyone has the resources, experience, background and authority to share information. And, unfortunately, there are too many people in our society who fail to verify information before they share it.
What does the honor of being named to the 40 Under 40 most mean to you?
Pre-pandemic, I could walk into any community event and quickly identify 40 individuals deserving of this honor. There are so many young people putting their heart, time and energy into bettering our communities that I truly do not envy the judges as they make this decision. To have made the top 40 in this year’s pool is an enormous point of pride, but it’s also empowering. To be identified as a leader in our community gives me a sense of responsibility to continue serving, giving back and investing in others so that as this class of young leaders “ages out,” many more follow and keep the momentum going.
Thank you sincerely for this great honor. I am humbled and most appreciative.