When I look around our office and see everyone who is a part of this newspaper family, I’m in awe. The Pleasanton Express has one of the largest newspaper over-the-counter-sales in Texas. We sell over 6400 papers each week through our vendors across the county. Add that to our 2,000+ mail out subscribers and we are still one of the largest weekly newspapers around the area.
Our owners and publishers Judy and Bill Wilkerson have always been so supportive of what we do here since 1975. Their guidance is immeasurable and very much appreciated! With the addition of their daughter Noel Wilkerson Holmes, our Associate Publisher, our news coverage has increase as well as our presence on social media. Leon Zabava has been associated with the Pleasanton Express since the 50s. Leon is our Oil and Gas Editor and keeps everyone posted on the happenings in the Eagle Ford Shale area – wells, businesses and housing. He also covers the Commissioners’ Court meetings. He is also an excellent photographer, takes pictures for us and produces most of the photos you see each week in the paper. He also contributes his Grid Iron Picks during football season.
Maggie Rodriguez, who has been with the Express since 1966, retired as Sports Editor many years ago, but still writes his sports column and contributes stories as well as delivers his regular route each Wednesday morning.
Hope Garza is the first person you see in our front office. She does a multitude of tasks at the paper. She is our Newsroom Manager, expert proof reader, both for ads and copy, helps with all the billing, keeps the office running smoothly, coordinates the stuffing crew on Wednesdays and makes sure we are well fed. Hopie completed her 24th year here.
Lisa Luna is our prizewinning Living Editor. Her layouts have been a consistent winner in the Better Newspaper Contests. In addition to her duties as Living Editor, Lisa writes many other stories and features with finesse. She also has covered the Pleasanton City Council and fills in when necessary. Lisa has been with us since 1998. She and her husband Chris have two children, Ava (20) and Sean (11).
Rhonda Chancellor pulls double duty as our Business Manager and Classified/ Circulation manager. She is responsible for the billing, bookkeeping, and record keeping. She has been at the Express since 1999. She and her husband Will have a son, William who is 12 years old and a daughter, Genevieve who is 4 1/2 years old.
Aaron Davidson joined our staff the summer of 2003. He is just one of our talented ad designers and our lone San Francisco 49ers fan. He also keeps our computers and archives in shape.
Robbie Hamby became a part of our newspaper family in 2004. She joined our editorial department and fit right in! She handles the job of Ag Editor and is also in charge of the obituaries. Robbie searches each week through our archives for items to be used in the “Flashback” article. She has a knack for finding news and keeping us all posted, plus she helps paginate a good part of the pages of the Express, too! She also has a blog on our website (and it appears in the printed edition sometimes) “Robbie’s Rambles”. She has three kiddos, Brandon, Erin and Colton.
Chris Filoteo became our Sports Editor in 2013. He does a phenomenal job covering the area athletes both in print and online. His podcasts during the football season were one of the highlights of the week. Chris has a three-year-old daughter, Tahlia.
Sarah Elmer, our student intern, has been writing sports stories and a column since 2013. She is also the Pleasanton school’s newpaper editor as well as being involved in varsity soccer and UIL competitions.
Adolphus Sanchez joined us in 2013 to help with sports photography and quickly started helping processing/ organizing photos on the computer while he attends college.
Megan Benishek has become our advertising manager after the retirement of Mary Gallegos. She’ll be handling some special projects as well. She has a three-year-old son named Connor.
We just welcomed Katelyn Scott as our new graphic designer. She will be designing ads and artwork for our issues. She graduated from Schreiner College and is originally from Kerrville.
Our freelance photographers are the ones who snap photos to assist us with coverage of the county. Whether there are wrecks, events or sports, we usually have someone there! J Garcia is one of our freelance photographers. He always does a great job and catches most of the wreck and fire photos. He learned his talents from his father Jack who still takes photos for us as well. Joe David Cordova has had the Jourdanton schools covered for years and helps with church and other events, too. George Garza has assisted us the past two years as well (famous for climbing in various rodeo arenas). They all do excellent jobs!
Diana Guthrie, our special correspondent, covers the various school board meetings in Jourdanton, Pleasanton and Poteet and city council meetings in Jourdanton and Poteet.
We are most appreciative of the many words written and pictures that we receive from these fine contributors: Thelma Cardwell Cale, Dolores Reyes-Pergioudakis, Sandy Housh, Jeff Chicoine and Mike Lambaria.
In addition to these fine co-workers and contributors, we have part-time help who take care of our distribution each week. They are Mary Calvillo, Rosie Diaz, Manuel Salazar, Patricia Storey, Richard Lambaria, Gabriel Elizondo, Cindy Trevino, Petra Salinas, Ava Luna, Cameron Thompson, Carly Thompson and Joseph Davila. We don’t know what we’d do without them all.
The way I see it, we appreciate everyone who helps us accomplish this each week – our staff, advertisers and readers. As I begin my 26th year here – and bid goodbye to 2014 – I hope you all will have a most healthy, safe and wonderful 2015.
SUE BROWN is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.