The Sequim Gazette hosts a farewell party for publisher Sue Ellen Riesau from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, July 12 at the Gazette office, 141 W. Washington St. The community is invited to wish her well.
Sequim Gazette staff
For more than two decades, Sue Ellen Riesau has been the link between the Sequim Gazette and the community it serves.
On Friday afternoon, she’ll step down from her publisher position.
Riesau is retiring — “from the newspaper business,” she notes — after a 23-year stint with the company.
Debra Lahmeyer, a member of the Gazette advertising staff, assumes Riesau’s role as the newspaper’s interim general manager next week.
Riesau has been with Olympic View Publishing since May 1989. Brown M. Maloney hired her as office manager; two years later, after Maloney purchased the Forks Forum and two real estate magazines, promoted Riesau to business manager.
In 1995, she was promoted to general manager, handling both financial and administrative aspects of the company.
Riesau took a brief leave of absence in 1999 and for two years served as a marketing consultant for Olympic View Publishing.
In June 2002, she was promoted to publisher.
Riesau said she plans to stay in the community and will stay involved after a respite.
“Sue Ellen is a gem; I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know and work with her over the past few months,” said Gloria Fletcher, president of Sound Publishing. “Her passion, kindness and talent will be sorely missed.”
Riesau is an active volunteer in the Sequim community, having served on boards of the Peninsula College Foundation, Sequim 2000/Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce and as a founding member of both Sequim Community Foundation and Sequim Open Aire Market groups. She also served two terms as board chairman of the United Way of Clallam County. She was president of the board of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (2008-2009), serving a total of five years with that board.
Lahmeyer, formerly of southeast Alaska, moved to Sequim in 2002 with her husband, Ed, and children Eddi, Piroska, Lucas and Gabriela.
She began work at the Gazette in 2004. She started in the front office, moving to the sales room as an assistant in 2005 and took over as Special Section Coordinator in 2007.
In 2010, Lahmeyer split her time between the Sequim newspaper and Forks Forum as an advertising consultant.
“I am excited and honored to take on this new position at the Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum,” she said. “Sue Ellen has nurtured two very strong, community-minded newspapers and has blended a diverse, dedicated and talented team for me to work with. I look forward to this new role.”
“I feel quite fortunate that Debi Lahmeyer has accepted the interim management position,” Fletcher said. “Debi brings a wealth of past business experience. Rest assured, the newspaper is in good hands.”