Final Column For The Press: Thank You Dickinson For 10 Amazing Years

There’s no such thing as a perfect goodbye. Goodbyes are difficult. Sometimes they’re painful. While some goodbyes bring relief, there always seems to be a bit of awkwardness to them.

One thing’s for certain — goodbye is never easy to say.

So it is with bittersweet excitement, I announce today that I’m stepping down as managing editor and leaving The Dickinson Press after more than 10 years with the newspaper.

Since arriving here, my life has basically revolved around the newspaper and the community of Dickinson. The Press building itself has become like a second home to me. When my wife Sarah and I first got together, it became part of our shared lives — so much that she even came to work with me here for a while. She has been my biggest supporter and has been amazing for putting up with my crazy schedule back when I was sports editor and for all the times when work took precedence at inopportune times.

But once our son Grant came along last year, we knew eventually a change would have to be made.

Very soon, I’ll start my new job as the marketing and information director for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, which will force our family to leave Dickinson and relocate to Bismarck as I’ll be working in the State Capitol building with a great team of people who share two of my biggest loves — agriculture and North Dakota.

When asked why I stayed at The Press all these years, my answer always boiled down to one simple truth: I care about this community and this area. Leaving the newspaper won’t change that, and I wouldn’t be stepping aside if I wasn’t happy with the position The Press was in. The newspaper is in great hands with Publisher Harvey Brock and our staff of reporters and editors. I assure you that they’ll keep the candle burning on both ends to bring you local news.

As editor the past three and a half years, I made it a goal to ensure The Press prioritized covering the people and the issues that affected our readership in Dickinson and southwest North Dakota. I believe we’ve done that exceptionally.

I leave The Press convinced that the past three years were among the greatest in our newspaper’s history. We were able to bring in some amazingly talented young reporters on both the news and sports sides who shared thousands of great stories, and I’m proud of the work they’ve contributed to our community. The past two years, we won three national awards — the biggest in Press history — for our coverage of the Dickinson State University Foundation troubles and the aftermath of the oil industry’s downturn.

After growing up reading The Press, I walked in the doors on July 5, 2006, straight out of college with only one goal: make the newspaper better. I leave here confident that I’ve done that.

I want to thank all the reporters who came through the newspaper while I was here both as sports editor and managing editor — especially my former sports reporting partners Chris Aarhus and Royal McGregor, who put up with me through some very late and challenging nights.

While I’d like to thank everyone I’ve worked with by name, there’s only so much space on this page. Two special thank yous, however, go out to Press Lifestyles Editor Linda Sailer, who has been here longer than I’ve been alive, and Publisher Harvey Brock, who took a chance on making a sports guy into a news guy. Both of you are absolute rocks of this newspaper and our community, and I’m proud to have worked alongside you.

I’d like to thank our readers and our community — especially those of you who allowed us to tell your stories over the years. You make our jobs easier and allow us to continue recording southwest North Dakota’s history every day.

Also to every person who has ever stopped me in the supermarket, at a game or anywhere you may find me just to say some kind words about my writing or our newspaper, I truly thank you for recognizing the heart and soul I poured into my work day in and day out.

I’m proud to have been a part of your lives for the past decade. Thank you and goodbye.