Exciting things are happening at Midlands Anchor. Many of you have followed our launch from a small community blog focusing on the Town of Lexington Vision Plan, to a very active community development medium, to a re-launch and new web platform as ‘Midlands Anchor’ last summer. Once Allen Wallace joined our team as our Managing Editor in March, our “blog” grew into a full fledge journal with content that rivaled some of the best media outlets in the region. We also developed communications partnerships with dozens of the most ardent community development organizations in the Midlands and expanded our product delivery to biweekly e-newsletters and other multi-media platforms. The most active of these is Startup Spotlight, which features monthly Facebook Live Video conversation in local eateries and pubs with Midlands-based entrepreneurs.
Today we’re celebrating more important milestones. We’ve brought on two experienced and passionate writers to join Allen. We’ve also hired Erica Painter as our Advertising Sales Manager and assembled a small army of interns, which you can get to know here. One of our former interns has graduated to a great job at Mad Monkey, but graciously still contributes startup related content on a regular basis. Another, Kelsey Richardson, has scored an esteemed position with two prominent publications in Murphy, North Carolina. We enjoy hearing from her adventures as a rapidly maturing journalist.
Natalie Szrajer joins Midlands Anchor as a writer who lives and serves in her Lexington community. She graduated from USC with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and has written for The Newberry Observer, Lexington Life magazine and Free Times. A native of Newberry County and born in southern California, she eventually landed in the heart of Lexington with her husband who hails from Chicago.
One of the greatest lessons she learned as a younger journalist is that everyone has a story to tell. She will focus on writing stories featuring Lexington people and places and is excited to meet new and familiar faces.
We also have a Lifestyle and Entertainment Columnist joining our ranks. Allison Willingham is an instructor and criminology doctorate student at the University of South Carolina. She is actively involved in the Midlands community and current serves as the President Elect of the Board of Directors AIDS Benefit Foundation of SC. In her spare time, she writes a self-titled relationships and lifestyle blog. She has already covered some key pieces that have been well received by our readers, including features on Restorante Divino, Town Theatre, Columbia Ballet and War Mouth.
True to our tagline of “One Community, One Voice”, we also are fortunate to have regular contributions from local community advocates who work tirelessly to better the Midlands through their work and volunteerism. These voices include Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Reba Campbell, Clemson Road Creative’s Kasie Whitener, Farm Bureau Federation’s Jessica Cabrera, Sustainable Midlands’ Katie Welborn, Rosewood Merchant Executive Director and local musician Dave Britt, Columbia International University’s Dean of Business Scott Adams, SOCO’s Greg Hilton, The Iron Yard Director and Vesta CEO Heather Dughaish, and several others who contribute to our community centric mission. We are looking forward to recruiting additional voices to fill our pages as the weeks progress. Our aim is to include stories that resonate with the many passions, interests and concerns of the wonderfully diverse residents who make the Midlands home.
Finally, our mission at the Anchor is to connect Midlands regions, spur engagement, and promote a collective voice that will ignite and transform our region. As such, we’ve made some adjustments to our website and logo to try to promote visual engagement and ‘good energy’ for those hanging out on our page. We want you to grab a cup of (locally sourced) joe, prop your feet up and chill with us for a while. We want the stories to inspire a sense of pride and promise for our beloved Midlands community in the same way that it does for our writers and team. We want this community to be better because optimistic go-getters found a place to gather and went on to do even greater things united.
We don’t discuss the passion behind our mission statement often enough, and we want to do a better job of that moving forward. Please help us tell that story by getting involved and staying engaged. We’re looking forward to growing with you.