With my nephew, Eddie Gannon, at a baptism in Kent, Wash. Photo credit: Jackie Gannon.

I’m a firm believer there are no coincidences.

When I took on the role three years ago to serve as the Editor in Chief of the Examiner, I considered it as a job and aimed to do my best. But as the last three years have demonstrated, it takes a pretty nutty person to take this role, endure, and continue to embrace its challenges and believe more than anyone, in its potential. As it turns out, I’m pretty nutty myself. In a time when critics are describing the newspaper industry as in its twilight years, utilizing the Internet to offer a sustainable journalism model is still in its infancy, and non-profits are seeing dramatic revenue cuts, the Examiner team and I are experimenting, outreaching, re-branding, and ever-evolving to keep the tradition of the IE mission alive and relevant.

I’m often asked how I “keep at it” amidst so much change. And to tell you the truth, I don’t rationalize it that much. It’s a feeling kept separate from any logic. Because the long hours, late nights, constant pressure, and headaches should turn any rational person away. But for me, I feel only unrelenting duty to magnify the voice for a community whose stories are unheard, whose needs should be brought to light, and who requires our support. It’s a dedication that has passed down through all of the editors in the last 35 years. It’s not an individual goal that editors feel – but a dedication to serve in a role that supports an entire community.

Because someone will read an article in the paper that could change their life, the team and I push forward. Because an article or conversation can inspire a reader to action that will have an effect on others, or evolve their thinking, is why we continue to do what we do.

And this is why our 2011 CVA awardees are being honored May 18 at our annual gala this year. We all share this motivation to have an impact on others and dedicate our lives to it. It is no coincidence they have contributed to the community and greater good of the world. It was a choice and an action. We applaud our awardees.

In this edition, we are featuring biographical articles of our awardees, and hope that you, too, will find inspiration in their missions — from a long-time advocate for Japanese American elderly care, a businessman who makes philanthropy and empowerment a priority, a hip hop artist who uses his voice for change, a young activist for women and laborers, and an art gallery with a consciousness.  Everyone finds inspiration to support people in their own way. We thank those of you who have come before us and paved the way for another generation to continue the work


Editor in Chief


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