On behalf of the board of directors of The Charlotte News, I am thrilled to announce that long-time Charlotter, Peter Joslin, has joined the board.
Peter and Paula, with their children Nathaniel and Elizabeth, moved from Hamden, Conn., to Guildhall in 1991 then to Charlotte in August 1993.
Peter is known to many of us for his work on the planning commission where he served for 17 years, including five as chair before stepping down in October 2021. He describes this as a fulfilling experience learning about town planning and zoning and all that is entailed. Perhaps his most important takeaway is that issues surrounding development, large or small, can be, depending on one’s perspective, insignificant or hugely consequential.
Less well known is that Peter has been a painter since the mid-’70s and has exhibited in New England and New York. His art is landscape-based and draws on the rivers and mountains in and around his studio.
Before retiring in December 2016, Peter worked in the printing business for many years, initially in the fine art market where he worked with museums, galleries and book publishers. He developed his expertise in the color reproduction process while working for Eastern Press in New Haven, Conn., and then for The Stinehour Press, in Lunenburg. Later in his career, Peter worked for Lane Press, a magazine printer based in South Burlington, where his responsibilities included managing prepress, bindery and distribution operations.
Peter’s interests include the arts, gardening and yardwork, sailing, golf and the Boston Celtics. As far as The Charlotte News is concerned, Peter writes, “At a time when newspapers are disappearing at an alarming rate, the importance of small-town newspapers, both ink on paper and web-based cannot be overstated. They are a vital link to town governance and provide a platform and forum for the community.”
In addition to serving on the board, Peter will continue to write his column, “Where do we go from here” with a focus on planning and development issues in town.
After serving as a board member for three years, Ben Miller recently decided to step down. He has taken on a demanding new position as the senior analyst of digital strategy and insights at J. Crew where his responsibilities include working to expand digital tools and possibilities at the J. Crew Group. As a result, Ben felt that he no longer had the time available for board service. We are sorry to see him go but are grateful that he agreed to stay on as a member of our digital committee.
By any measure, Ben brought a wide and impressive range of digital skills and experience to the board. He added substantially to our understanding of Google Analytics, SEO (search engine optimization) and online marketing, and provided valuable feedback on website development projects. Ben also took the lead in researching subscription software, so that we could more efficiently manage subscriptions for our out-of-town readers. He introduced us to Billsby, one of the few affordable subscription software products, and we’ve been using it for the past year.
Faced with declining revenues from print advertising over the past decade, many community newspapers have strengthened their online presence and offerings. During his time on the board of directors, Ben guided us in how best to move in this direction.
Reflecting on his time on the board and the relationship between community newspapers and the readers they serve, Ben writes, “It has been a great joy to see The Charlotte News expand and embrace a range of digital technologies. I cannot wait to watch the paper continue to grow over the coming months and years. I’m confident that The Charlotte News will continue to produce an excellent community newspaper and an ever-evolving website, thanks to an experienced and hard-working staff and board.”
Thanks for all your contributions, Ben. We wish you all the best and hope to see you around town.