"There is nothing so stable as change."
— Bob Dylan
It is with considerable pleasure and excitement that I introduce to you the incoming editor of the Colorado Springs Independent, Vanessa Martinez.
I was lucky enough to make Vanessa's acquaintance in April 2005, when she joined the Independent as managing editor. She came to us then from the Rocky Mountain Bullhorn, the Fort Collins alternative newsweekly she helped launch, then edited, following her graduation from Colorado State University in 2000. For a year and a half, Vanessa worked with our staff and freelancers to make the work we did stand out in the local media landscape, even hiring Matthew Schniper, who's now our food and eco editor.
When the Bullhorn ceased publication in 2006, Vanessa saw an opportunity and resigned from the Independent to return to Fort Collins to help launch the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, another alternative newsweekly. After leaving the Chronicle, she was the first online editor for 5280, Denver's city magazine, where she honed skills for today's digital media world.
Vanessa brings years of alternative newspaper experience, a keen eye for digital journalism and a passion for the Front Range to this editorship. She truly eats and breathes news, and has immersed herself in content creation even when she's been out of traditional journalism positions. She has roots in Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and is a Colorado native (born and raised in Pueblo) in the truest sense of the word.
This change is, of course, bittersweet. We say goodbye to editor-in-chief Kirk Woundy, who has been a fixture at the Independent since 2005 and the leader of our award-winning editorial department since 2012. In just this past year of Kirk's tenure, the editorial staff garnered 25 "Top of the Rockies" awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and he helmed production of the Indy's 21st birthday issue (bit.ly/1KySS3b) — no small task, given 21 years of both digital and paper archives (the latter of which were not necessarily filed according to any rhyme or reason).
It's impossible to detail the impact Kirk's leadership and skills have had on both the staff and the paper during his decade of service. He's a quiet, behind-the-scenes leader whose fingers touch virtually everything that makes it into the weekly product. I've never once heard him take credit for a story or a success, but without his unending dedication to excellence, the Indy would not be the trusted voice of authority and expertise that it has grown into over the past 10 years.
Kirk leaves us, but not Colorado Springs, to start his own company helping people preserve their life stories. And if we're really lucky, we may be able to talk him into some extended work with this next iteration of the Independent.
Please join us in welcoming Vanessa back to the Independent, and stick with us into the next phase of greatness. Expect to meet her at various events around town, and find her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.