The years 1996-2003 were a great time to be in Asheville. Little did I know I was a part of the root-feeding system of a most successful alternative newsweekly. Mountain Xpress was just becoming known when I was offered the position of advertising director. To watch the product grow year after year was one of my life’s greatest accomplishments — from 24 pages to 108 pages (I believe it was) the day I left in 2003.
I had never worked anywhere outside of corporate America, so this was all new to me. I found people who loved each other and loved what they did. We all believed in getting the word out. This may have been information that would not necessarily make the daily pages of Asheville Citizen-Times. We introduced new entertainment venues and new restaurants, and broke stories that would become personal battlegrounds. My entire life changed. I used my corporate experience, but with a new flair, and applied it in many places to help us grow the paper. Walking out the door everyday onto Wall Street, rain or shine, with that feeling of accomplishment — it still thrives in me to this day. I love that a part of my story is, “I helped to start Mountain Xpress.”
Wanda Edney is advertising manager at the Times-News in Hendersonville, N.C.