On Monday, the governor’s office announced the addition of new staff, including the new communications director, Michael Pearlman.
When the press release popped into my inbox that afternoon, I couldn’t help but smile. Pearlman is a former colleague of mine here at The Sheridan Press. I started working in Sheridan as a reporter in June 2008, just after earning my journalism degree at Northwestern University. A few months later (OK, it was December), Pearlman joined the team at The Press.
He covered education and the outdoors, and as most of the journalists here do, a little bit of everything else. He worked at The Press until the spring of 2011, and moved to the southern portion of the state.
I remember Pearlman and the whole crew at The Press at that time fondly, and recall looking up to Pearlman for his writing abilities.
Now, Pearlman will take the reins in the communications office for Gov. Mark Gordon.
He isn’t the only Press staffer who has come and gone in my time here in Sheridan. As a small newspaper, we’re often looked at as a stepping stone to bigger media markets. As a result, turnover isn’t uncommon. I like to look at it like a junior college sports team — if we can recruit the best of the best and keep them for a couple of years, we’ll compete at a high level with every other media organization in the state.
In the nearly 11 years I’ve been at The Press, other staffers who have gone on to do big things, include Chelsea Coli, who moved to Montana and started her own paddle-boarding business — Mean Moose Boards. Look her up if you’re in the Helena area.
Mike Pruden, who served as editor and before that our sports editor, now works for the University of Indiana’s women’s basketball team. He’s using his design skills and marketing talent to help them succeed.
Christina Schmidt, after working at The Press, worked for the Sheridan County Public Library System and as a freelance writer. Now, she is the public information specialist for the Sheridan Region of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Other former staffers have gone on to start businesses, become teachers and start families. Many moved back closer to home and closer to family.
We’ve built a strong team here and we love continuing to help our staff grow in their lives and careers. And while turnover is rough on every company, I love bringing new team members on board, learning their stories and maximizing their skill sets.
We always hate to see staffers leave — a feeling I’m sure many other small business owners share — but we also celebrate their successes.