Friday Oct 23, 2015

Gloria Fletcher

President Sound Publishing

“Sound Publishing – Past, Present and Future”

Scribe: Scott Hildebrand Introduced by: Jonathan Heras

The invocation was given and the pledge was led by John Martinka.  John prayed for an energized club to help with the upcoming 10K.  He also prayed for good beer at the upcoming Oktoberfest.

Tim Lahey introduced visiting Rotarians.  Mark Davis- Seattle #4; Jen Dralisch- Bellevue Sunrise; Henry Haver- Modesto, CA

Tanya Franzen-Garrett introduced Student of the Month Kayla from Sammamish High School.  Kayla told the club that she was from Hawaii and that she attended RYLA.  She said she plans to go to Pacific Lutheran where she hopes to study nursing.  She told the club about her impressive record of community service which includes working at the YMCA and several environmental projects.

Coleen re-introduced the club to Leonard from Lyon, France.  Leonard told the club about how much he loved school in the US and gave us a comparison between French and American education.  He gave a synopsis of his travels and living situation in the US including two sisters and a very accommodating family.  He has traveled a bit around the area which included a Mariners game and a trip to Camano Island and the rain forest, all of the experiences were very much enjoyed.

Wendi ascertained the club’s attitude toward the upcoming 30th Anniversary Party.  Since the club has had relatively few respondents on the website, Wendi asked everyone whether they intended to RSVP but have not yet, whether the party should take on another form and whether the venue was convenient.

Ann Norman brought up Jeff Cashman for a rendition of “To Tell The Truth.”  Jeff told the club he lived in Hong Kong as a young man, he participated in skydiving, that he dated the daughter of a highly compensated CEO from a Fortune 50 company, and that he chaired a conference at the state level that resulted in “Jeff Cashman Day.”

The club found out the whole list was true with the exception of the claim that he jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

John Cherry was fined by Ann for having a successful wife.  John’s wife has been named to the list of top 50 female entrepreneurs and has been duly recognized as the CEO of one of Washington’s fastest growing companies.

Jonathan Harris introduced Gloria Fletcher and Bill Shaw of Sound Publishing.  Glorai told the club that this was the most fun she has ever had at a Rotary club.  We could have told her that!  She went on to describe the company as the largest community news media organization in the state with some 49 publications published in ten languages.

Gloria went on to tell the club that the business is intensely local and that mobile readership is the fastest growing sector in the business.

Bill Shaw, who has been involved in previous publications on the eastside including the Journal American and the Bellevue Reporter told the club that there are 266,000 households on the Eastside receiving Sound’s publications.  Bill went on to tell the club that the readership of the publications are younger than most, at 38 years old on average.  Also, according to Bill, the printed product is still robust despite conventional wisdom, which says printed publications are dead.

Gloria told the club that the group has grown organically as well as through acquisition, particularly the acquisition of the Everett Herald in the North Sound.  So far as the Eastside is concerned, she said the strategy is to be intensely local but that many people on our side of the lake will live in one community, work in another and have their children in schools in a third.  She said this has caused the publications to be intensely local and regional at the same time, which is a strategy that is working, but is a constant challenge.

President Paul delivered the traditional 1,000 pounds of food donated in the speaker’s name to Rotary First Harvest and delivered the thought for the week, “It’s amazing the amount of news every day fits exactly in the newspaper.” – Jerry Seinfeld

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