|4/3/2018 1:31:00 PM|
The people behind The Nugget...
Teresa Mahnken can scarcely believe 18 years have passed since she first walked through the door of The Nugget Newspaper.
She came to The Nugget simply seeking a job and wound up finding a family.
In the year 1999, Teresa and her husband, Barry, left Seattle, Washington, looking for a change - a place with four seasons, a place on a smaller scale than the booming tech capital Seattle had become. They found themselves in Reno, Nevada, but that wasn't quite the right fit.
"Barry's folks, prior to us leaving Seattle, had moved to Sisters," Mahnken recalled. "They said, 'Why don't you guys come here? We have four seasons here."
So, they did.
Before leaving Reno, Teresa submitted a résumé in response to an ad for an office administration position at The Nugget and then-publisher Erik Dolson had called her.
"I had an interview days after we got here," she said.
She remembers talking with long-time Nugget employees Leith Easterling and Jim Cornelius and deciding that The Nugget would be a good fit.
"I just had a sense, yeah, this sounds right," she said. "I guess, 18 years later, it was kind of meant to be."
Teresa wears a multitude of hats at her station at the front counter of The Nugget. She manages classified advertising, subscriptions, circulation, and provides all kinds of administrative support to her colleagues - who have a profound appreciation for her as a colleague and as a person.
"Teresa is the most on-top-of it person I know," said graphic designer Leith Easterling. "Before you ask her to do something, she already has it done! She really is amazing. And she is a beautiful human being as well. I feel really lucky to know her."
Production manager Jess Draper said, "Teresa is an amazing person, patient and kind under pressure, steadfast in her service to every person that walks through the front door. She never complains about a long day, and backs up her co-workers in whatever way necessary to meet the team goals."
For her part, Teresa recognizes that working closely and often under pressure with colleagues creates a bond that feels like family. The crew has been through a lot together - the birth of children, the loss of parents, changes in relationships: "A lot of life milestones - happy and sad," she says.
And, since she is the person people interact with first when they visit The Nugget, she's established a bond with many members of the community as well.
"I love happy customers," she said. "I love having somebody smile at me when they walk through the door. The Lance Trowbridges, the Jim Andersons - those are some of my favorites."
She's found in Sisters what she and Barry were looking for when they left Seattle - though she could do with a little less of the fourth season, which is hanging on tenaciously.
Teresa considers herself a "big reader" and she loves to walk. She feels very much at home in Sisters, especially when the weather turns nice and it's time to get out in the yard.
"I love being in the yard in the summer," she said. "I love the smell of grass. I don't care what I'm doing in the yard - I just love being in the yard. I love the birds in the yard, too, actually. I'm kind of obsessed. The birds are very entertaining."
She appreciates Sisters' human environment, too.
"There's so much generosity in this community," she said. "There's so many that give so much of themselves here."
She includes her Nugget colleagues in that assessment.
"I hope (people) know how much we all really care about the paper," she said. "I don't feel like anybody here just punches in for a job, for a paycheck.... We really care about what we do; what we produce."
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