May 2024


S tarting my career at Texarkana Gazette , typing out obituaries as a temporary newsroom secretary, was a humble beginning. However, to me, it was a big deal; it felt like my first real job after working in restaurants and the retail industry. I loved the hustle of the newsroom. When my stint at the obit desk wrapped up, I moved into classified ad sales. If you ever called about a garage sale ad back in the early 2000s, you were probably talking to me. That job really was the start of my sales career, and I learned a lot. That gig was just the beginning. I soon found myself on the local magazine scene, which I thought was the coolest job ever. I have only ventured away from the magazine industry briefly since I started. I have always loved it so much that I eventually decided to take a leap of faith and start my very own publication, and that’s how Texarkana Magazine came to be. There is something special about meeting people and hearing their stories. It’s like getting a peek into the heart of our community, and selling ads gives me a front-row seat to the inner workings of the businesses in our area, big and small. Now, after nearly twenty years in this industry, my Managing Editor, Alana Morel, and I are off to my very first media conference held in Chicago. We are eager to learn everything we can to make our magazine even better for our readers and advertisers. I am especially looking forward to the dinners lined up with other regional magazines to hear their insights. Just as in the book reviewed in this month’s issue, Always Learning , by Texas High graduate Gary Kusin, we want to keep moving forward. As a special feature of this issue, Terri Sandefur, my longtime friend, and our amazing art director, along with her husband, came up with a fantastic idea—a local photography contest. The response was incredible, and we are so thankful to everyone who shared their artwork. The talent in this city continues to amaze me.

Alana and Cassy at Nitch Media Conference in Chicago.

Alana and Cassy met with representatives from Local Life Magazine and Midway Press.

We can’t wait to see what next year brings. We are also celebrating a milestone for one local family business. Commercial National Bank has been in business for 60 years. That is the staying power we hope Texarkana Magazine can achieve. Enjoy this issue—we put our hearts into it, and we hope it shows.



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