Meridian Industrial


3/1/2019 | Stephanie Trombley


In September, I accepted a full-time job at Reminder Publishing. While I had already been the editor of Go Local for six months, accepting the full-time position came with the additional duty of being a reporter for The Reminder newspaper. While I was just getting comfortable with Go Local, I had never written for a newspaper before. Suddenly, I felt like I had forgotten everything I learned in school. I couldn’t remember how to format, take a photo or even introduce myself. It was daunting, but it was a dream of mine, and I knew I had to go into it full throttle, no matter how scared I was.

Luckily, I had a support system. I had the pleasure of working with Payton North, who I graduated alongside at Western New England University and had developed a friendship with over the years. I had gotten to know Mike Dobbs as the managing editor of Go Local and was excited to learn all of the knowledge and skills he had developed in a lengthy journalism career. I knew working alongside Mike would make adapting to news much easier. I met Debbie Gardner, who is the editor of Prime in addition to working on The Reminder. She and I have bonded each month over wearing the two hats of magazine editor and reporter since then. I also met Jordan Houston, who would be splitting the duties of reporting on Agawam and West Springfield with me. I was lucky to have her on my side for election night, tricky meetings and confusing computer issues.

During coverage of The Reminder’s “Eerie Series” in October, I joined Payton and Jordan on a trip to a supposedly haunted park. I barely knew Jordan yet, but I distinctly remember her running up, putting an arm around me and Payton and exclaiming, “Dream team!” as we were walking toward the park.ΩI think that was the moment I knew I was going to be okay. My colleagues had accepted me and I wasn’t as scared to give news a try.

This month, Jordan is on her way to Arizona, where she will surely accomplish big things and help other new reporters feel less scared. I’m sure of it. Goodbye is never a fun word, but I know she is going to accomplish all of her dreams, no matter where she goes. I could never thank her enough.

An underlying theme in this issue is a fear of jumpstarting a longtime dream or making big moves. Wes and Sheila Crouch opened A Wondering Spirit in East Longmeadow. They had plans to retire, but life had other plans, and they embraced their spirituality and accomplished a longtime dream of opening their first store. Cindy Boyle of Archway Arbors in Stafford retired in 2018, but fully embraced an idea she had near to her heart for years and has developed a new career path. Michelle Zimora of Z Wraps was scared to start her business, but with the help of Valley Venture Mentors, she has been able to develop her idea, celebrating a big move to the Eastworks building in Easthampton.

Meeting these individuals this month has inspired me. They’ve all taught me something different. One: don’t be afraid to be who you are. Two: everything great started with an idea and taking step one. Finally, three: it’s okay to be a little nervous.

This month, readers, go for that big goal. Tackle that big dream. Ignore the doubt in your head and follow the joy in your heart. Happy March, I hope it’s a lucky one.

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