Our Business Person of the year nominee has been a part of this community for over 40 years. And while she wasn’t born here, her early years were spent in a small town much like Pleasanton where her family-owned and operated the local newspaper.
Her background in marketing and media, her thirst for knowledge and her spirit for community involvement is what makes her the perfect recipient for Business Person of the Year.
Promoting and supporting this community and recording and reporting fair and balanced local news is just one of the many things she has done while running this independent family-owned business.
She began this journey as a youngster – as most do when their parents have their own business. She graduated from Pleasanton High School and attended Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). Marriage, a demanding job and then children led her away for a few years.
In 2011, her father’s declining health drew her back and she hit the ground running.
This fourth-generation newspaper publisher is Noel Wilkerson Holmes and should be named the Business Person of the Year. She is the daughter of the late Bill and Judy Wilkerson, wife of Noel Holmes and mother to grown twin sons, Will and Zach.
Noel became the Associate Publisher of the award-winning Pleasanton Express when she returned to the newspaper. In 2015 she became publisher and started writing her column “Local Matters” in 2018. Her dedication to support all things local by not only promoting businesses, events, schools, athletics, cities, our county with thorough coverage, she many times helps with monetarily or with in-kind donations, too.
She has led the Express into the 21st century by not only printing over 6,000 newspapers that are distributed through 60+ point of sale locations each week but presents community-driven news through digital and social media and assisting their advertising partners with marketing plans to help businesses grow.
The Express is a consistent winner at the Texas Press Association, South Texas Press Association and Texas Gulf Coast Press Association Better Newspaper Contests averaging 20 awards annually and is well-known and respected by their peers.
From her first column, Noel wrote the following:
“This weekly column titled “Local matters” is written out of my love for community news. Telling the stories of the community is our job at the Pleasanton Express. We tell the good news, the sad news and when necessary the bad news. We may be a weekly newspaper, but our job is 24/7 news gathering of all the information that deserves to be told in print, digital and via social media to the 50,000 people that make up Atascosa County.
We are staffed by real journalists reporting real news. I could not be prouder of the group of individuals that help put out the news at the Pleasanton Express. Their dedication and talent never cease to amaze me. Their interest in this community is vast and rich. A majority of the staff went to school here. Their knowledge of this county, its history and its stories go deep. We love when we hear from our readers how much they enjoyed a story or how an advertisement brought them more business or how an article helped a non-profit fill up an event. As I have said before, I even appreciate the complaints we receive. I take them as compliments because I know that a reader cares enough about our paper to make that call.
We strive to bring a newspaper that contains something of interest to everyone in this community. I feel the way Matt Geiger, Executive Editor of News Publishing Company feels about his paper, “Everything in this newspaper is important to someone.”
The beauty of a family owned newspaper is that no corporation tells us what we can and cannot report. We live by the laws of community journalism by simply telling the facts of the stories happening locally.”
Noel continues the legacy that her parents began by producing an award-winning top-notch newspaper each week. We thank Noel and her team at the Pleasanton Express for their continued presence in our community. Their reporting makes unites and strengthens our community.