She's on a mission

A few words from Creative Loafing's new publisher

click to enlarge SMILE, MS. SMITH: Sharry Smith and her publication of choice - Wayne Garcia
Wayne Garcia
SMILE, MS. SMITH: Sharry Smith and her publication of choice

I am delighted to serve as the new publisher of Creative Loafing and appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself to you.

Before I begin, though, I'd like to say a fond farewell to Amber Abram, who has done a fabulous job as publisher over the past two years. She has made a tremendous impact at Creative Loafing and will be truly missed. We wish her all the best with her new endeavors in Boston.

My history with Creative Loafing began in advertising sales in 1989 and spanned 10 years, including four years in sales management and three years as co-publisher. I then moved on to spend five years working with Aubrey Organics, a Tampa-based manufacturer of organic hair, skin and body care products that are distributed internationally.

Even so, I found myself longing to return to publishing. The reason I chose to work here back in 1989 was because I believed that Creative Loafing was in an ideal position to impact our community in a positive way, and I wanted to be a part of that. That's the same reason I chose to return in 2005.

At some companies, a mission is something that gets dusted off and reviewed once a year. At Creative Loafing, our mission — to enrich lives and strengthen communities — is the measure we use to create this publication every week.

We are always seeking ways to bring you new and challenging perspectives on the people, places and businesses that make Tampa Bay so unique. And, as we move forward, we'll be looking for new and better ways to connect with you, our readers.

Media is changing rapidly, and we're working hard to be on the leading edge of that wave of change. While traditional print media has been a one-way communication in the past, from us to you, we believe your voice is as important as ours. We are busy creating ways for you to join the conversations that matter to you through our website, blogs and events. If you haven't already, I encourage you to check them out and engage. Let us know your thoughts and opinions, join in healthy debate, or tell us what you're interested in that we might be missing. We're listening.

The other reason I chose to return to Creative Loafing is the people. Our organization attracts some of the brightest, most creative, passionate and innovative folks in the industry. From writers to advertising salespeople to distribution employees, they are people who really care — about each other, their contribution to Creative Loafing and their communities. I am truly blessed to be working with such a talented staff of unique individuals.

My personal motto is borrowed from Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see in the world." My sincere wish is that you will be inspired by what you find within the pages of our paper and on our website, that your lives will be enriched in a big way and that our communities will be better places to live because of it.

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