It’s hard to believe, but the members of the Good Fruit Grower team have been working primarily from our homes for over a year now. I’m proud of the way our magazine staff rose to the challenges of the pandemic, but I’m also eager to return to safely collaborating face-to-face. Thanks to vaccine rollouts, that return to regular office schedules appears to be imminent.
But when we return, things will look a little different on the advertising side of our office.
For starters, we’re welcoming a new colleague, Leah Crawford, as advertising sales coordinator. She took on a role previously held by Julie Sears, who stepped into the sales representative position after Germaine Newstead took over the reins of the department in May.
“I’m energized and excited about the opportunity to lead the GFG advertising team,” said Newstead, who joined the magazine in 2019. “I’m looking forward to building strong relationships with our advertisers and getting all their pertinent information to our readers.”
Promoting from within ensures continuity for our advertising customers, said managing editor Shannon Dininny. “I’m confident in our team and their ability to carry the magazine forward,” she said.
Crawford joins the magazine from a similar role as key accounts manager for the Yakima Herald-Republic. A native of Texas, Crawford moved to Yakima with her husband and daughter in 2014. She earned an associate degree in advertising from Amarillo College and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Texas.
While she has no background in agriculture, Crawford said she and her husband are big fans of the Yakima Valley’s cherries and peaches, and she was drawn to the Good Fruit Grower’s mission to serve the tree fruit and grape industries.
“I’m really looking forward to making connections around the industry community,” she said.
After the year we’ve had, it’s clearer than ever that those connections are the foundation of our work at Good Fruit Grower. We depend on industry support, and while our connections with you have looked a little different this past year — especially when Zoom connections were lost — we look forward to reconnecting with all of you in person as we move into the season ahead. •
—by Kate Prengaman