To our readers,

As so many of you grapple with the changes that come with a new academic year, we here at INDY Week are experiencing something of a season of change of our own.

August was the last month that our longtime publisher, Susan Harper, had a professional affiliation with the INDY. She left her full-time position as publisher, after 25 years, at the end of May and has been working for us in a part-time role during our transition. Susan has helped us shore up so many of the tasks that keep the paper running; at first, I wasn’t sure what we would do without her inestimable energy, work ethic, and institutional knowledge, but now, I am confident that we are in a good position to move forward with our new publishers, John Hurld and MaryAnn Kearns, and a new chief financial officer handling the many, many tasks for which Susan was long responsible. We are so grateful for Susan’s help these past three months as she worked another full-time job, and for all the hard (surely sometimes maddening) work she put into the INDY for so long. 

We also say goodbye this week to our digital content manager-turned-full-time staff reporter for Orange County, a treasured and vital member of our team, Sara Pequeño. Sara joins the News & Observer in Raleigh, where she will bring her fresh perspective to a role that has traditionally been filled by journalists, often men, who are many decades in at the publication’s opinions desk. We can’t wait to read what Sara has to say in the pages of the N&O.

As a staff, we’ll miss Susan and Sara very much, but we are pleased to welcome three new colleagues.

Mathias Marchington joins us in taking over some of Susan’s responsibilities as our new sales digital director. Marchington, a Durham resident, is skilled in all types of creative endeavors, from graphic design and illustration to storytelling and marketing, and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team. 

Another recent hire is Lena Geller, whose byline in our paper has been prolific this summer (most recently in last week’s feature on Triangle beekeeping). Lena will work for us as an editorial assistant, helping us develop our social media strategy and engaging our audiences across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We also look forward to Lena’s continuing to write for the INDY in a freelance capacity, as her pieces infuse our pages with a lively and unique perspective. 

Finally, Jasmine Gallup, most recently a reporter at The Sanford Herald, joins our news team as a staff writer with a focus on covering Wake County. Jasmine has also contributed stories to the paper’s news section over the past several months, including features that delve into the campus experience for Black students at UNC-Chapel Hill, the landscape for the LGBTQ+ community post-HB 2, and the outlook for North Carolina residents facing eviction. Jasmine is a talented writer and reporter and we’re very excited to have her on board. 

I want to take a moment to thank all of our readers and contributors, and, especially, to thank those of you who donate to our Press Club. During these pandemic times, when advertising revenues have taken a hit across the board, I fully mean it when I say we would not be able to continue to operate without you. Your contributions to our publication are invaluable and you help us to continue the INDY’s legacy of providing free, fearless journalism to the Triangle. 

I look forward to this autumn and one day, hopefully soon, to putting this pandemic behind us. 

Thank you for all your support. 

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle. 

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