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Mission accomplished: Profile is done

The old cliche that “practice makes perfect” may apply to a whole lot of things.

Let me assure you that producing a mammoth 112-page special edition of the newspaper isn’t one of them.

The newspaper you hold in your hands today should have included our annual Profile edition, a true labor of love. Well, lots of labor and mostly love.

This is my eighth time working on this project that could be equated to herding cats. Lots of things are going lots of different directions.

And while it may not get any easier, there are definitely things learned along the way.

Hopefully, you will agree this is our best edition ever because it offers so many snapshots of what makes Lawrence County and the entire Tri-State special.

We tried to find stories and photographs that offer a window into life here in 2010.

The staff has worked on this for more than four months and that culminated with the inevitable sprint to the finish line that becomes a frantic dash down the final stretch.

None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of the entire team. It takes every person working together, culminating with all employees coming in Saturday to put the entire package together by hand.

Getting started in the fall, the newsroom probably jumped out first with lots of juggling required to write the more than 60 stories and shoot the photos for them, while still keeping focused on putting out a newspaper each day.

Reporters Teresa Moore, Benita Heath and Lori Kersey really stepped up. We also couldn’t have done it without freelance writers Tammie Hetzer-Womack, Billy Bruce and Catherine Burcham lending a hand. Sports editor Jim Walker pitched in when called upon.

And for nearly every story, photographer Jessica St. James was there to capture the images that tell the story. If pictures are worth a thousand words, Jessica contributed a dictionary’s worth.

Taking all those items and making them look good was graphic artist Kandi Thompson. She had the daunting task of taking all this chaos and creating order.

Fellow graphics artist Kelli Jameson has been through more than 20 years of Profiles and has just about seen it all. She and Kandi had the challenge of building hundreds of ads that get the message out for our advertisers.

And it is because of the hardwork of our advertising sales staff — and of course the support of so many loyal advertisers — that we have those ads. Ad director Shawn Randolph leads sales executives Chad Bellomy, Gina Milum and Doug Pinkerton in the task of making sure our clients utilize this great platform.

They are joined by classified sales representatives Shirley Justice and Bonita Creger who work hard to help their clients succeed.

But none of that would mean anything if we couldn’t produce a good looking newspaper.

The production team of press foreman Bo Elliott, pressman Mike Riffe, mailroom supervisor Gary Cochran and mailroom workers Mike Barber, Bud McClain and Dennis Taylor put the whole thing together.

Then the challenge falls on the circulation staff that includes home delivery manager Josh Morrison and circulation clerk Debbie Milem to work with an excellent group of newspaper carriers to make sure the newspaper lands with a “thud!” on your doorstep this Sunday morning.

Although Profile may not get any easier year after year, it also doesn’t get any less rewarding to see how it all comes together.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.