After almost three decades of convincing advertisers to get their copy in on time, Beach Metro News Advertising Manager Dianne Marquardt is shifting her focus from work to family and friends. On Sept. 21, the staff wished Dianne both a happy birthday and a happy retirement, as she said goodbye at the end of one last press deadline.
Dianne started with the paper in 1983, when it was known as Ward 9 Community News, and a staff of four put the paper together in a room at the Kingston and Beech YMCA. She had been working at the Y after landing a job with a hand-written letter.
“I’ve never written a resumé in my life,” she said.
After five years at the Y, it was time for Dianne to move on.
“I decided I didn’t want to go through working for a fifth boss,” she said.
Joan Latimer, Ward 9 News editor at the time, heard Dianne was leaving, and convinced the board of directors there was a place for her at the paper. Dianne started out part time, taking classified ads and answering the phone. About a year later, her job became full time.
Eventually, she began working on laying pages, starting with the food page. She said the satisfaction of finishing laying out a page in the physical paste-up era of newspaper production is something she missed sometimes in recent years.
“Computers truly changed everything,” she said.
At the beginning of 1995, ad manager Brenda Dow retired, and Dianne stepped up to fill her spot. Many of the long-time clients she was working with at the time still remain with the paper to this day.
“Some of the advertisers are just absolutely wonderful to work with,” said Dianne.
Along with her advertising duties, Dianne has also been responsible for planning Beach Metro News floats in the annual Beaches Lions Easter Parade, as well as large anniversary parties for the paper’s birthday celebrations. She may or may not have been the person wearing a giant cake costume created for the Easter Parade the year of the paper’s 25th birthday. She’s also acted as the collective memory of the staff, making sure no birthday remained uncelebrated.
Dianne has no grand plans for the immediate future; rather, she will be spending more time with friends and family, enjoying her grandchildren, “especially tea parties with my granddaughter.”
When pressed, she admits she does plan to spend some time at a family cottage; there may also be cake decorating classes on the horizon. It’s probably safe to assume family functions will be even more well-planned than usual; no word yet on whether Dianne’s party organizing skills will eventually be put to more professional use.
Dianne said she is thankful to all the support from advertisers over the years, and said she has many great memories of working with the staff and board members that have been with Ward 9 and Beach Metro News during her tenure.
After starting her work history as a youth with a Telegram paper route, and ending with 29 years of success in community news in the Beach, Dianne said it’s been a blast, but it’s time to focus on family and friends.
“It’s all been good. Sometimes I had to pinch myself to believe the job was real,” she said.
From all of us on staff and the board of Beach Metro News, our most sincere thanks for everything.