When who you know really counts



Melodie Davis

© Bradley Striebig Photography

We all know the importance of “who you know,” as the adage says, in job seeking. Our cover story highlights how David and Julie Sacra have experienced that as they raised four daughters—and we’re delighted to include one daughter’s photos on our cover—who at age 19 has launched her own photography business.

With this issue we’re also starting an ongoing column called Shenandoah Spotlight, focusing on younger men and women in our community who can give all of us hope. Local writer Lauree Purcell will zero in on strong and positive role models for other young people trying to find their calling or career.

We’re indebted to Ann Yoder, an outstanding community citizen herself, for both of these ideas (the spotlight idea and also the feature on the Sacra family). Over the years Ann has fed me as editor numerous great ideas for articles. I always know to put down what I’m doing, grab a pen and paper and take full notes when Ann calls and says, “You might be interested in doing a story on…”

Ann is married to Paul Yoder who has been one of our faithful ad sales associates for many years, so she has had the vision of Valley Living on her radar: holding up positive stories of people who persevere.

Right now, Ann is dealing with serious illness herself and Paul has stepped down from ad sales to devote himself to “being there” for Ann; Ray Ressler also asked to be relieved of his duties due to his own health issues. We join their families, friends and congregations in praying for a return to good health. We will include a longer tribute to the work and contacts of Paul and Ray in an upcoming issue of Valley Living.

But it is not only when you are young, looking for work and direction, that “who you know” counts. As we gain life and job experience—as we work, volunteer for various causes, serve on committees and boards—who we know can become invaluable to the cause or organization we serve.

One of our board members has done just that. You may recall seeing our ads seeking an additional sales associate for Living, to add to our team of Paul and Ray. This was before both men needed to step back for health reasons.

Bill Troyer, a mostly-retired accountant who’s been our board treasurer for several years, thought of a former neighbor who we actively pursued for the sales position. We are thrilled to introduce Susan Huffman. On the Community Connections page, you’ll find a bio and photo for Susan, as well as for two new board members.

For operations such as ours, who you don’t know can be a problem though. Even with our nice sized board and new sales person, we only know a small portion of our large and growing valley. This area is blessed with great people resources stemming partially from the longtime heritage here, numerous great colleges/universities, and an increasing ethnic diversity. We are still in need of an additional sales representative, new board members, and additional story ideas, which represent this diversity and cultural richness. Feel free to contact me—or our board president Trisha Blosser (development officer for Explore More Discovery Museum) if you have story ideas or names to suggest as board members/additional sales staff. We’d love to more closely align with the diversity of the Valley.

Last but not least, we give a shout-out to a special group of readers and Word Search enthusiasts who stepped up with donations—ranging from $1 to $100—through a special appeal that went out last November (see p. 21). These gifts spoke far more than their dollar value—people willing to share from their hard earned cash and Social Security checks to keep this publication and website growing and offering light for new readers and generations. For all of this and more, call us overwhelmed, and so very grateful.


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