Raehal joins Glenwood Springs Post Independent as publisher | AspenTimes.com

Raehal joins Glenwood Springs Post Independent as publisher

Staff report
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

New Glenwood Springs Post Independent Publisher Jerry Raehal

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent's new publisher, Jerry Raehal, is no stranger to community journalism. He got his start in the business as a youngster in Greeley where he later attended the University of Northern Colorado and was a reporter at the campus newspaper, The Mirror.

Raehal, who begins his new position today, earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado in 2000. Before joining the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, he worked as editor of the Craig Daily Press, publisher of the Rawlins Daily Times, publisher and editor of the Laramie Boomerang and most recently as CEO and president of the Colorado Press Association.

"Jerry is the kind of leader who Roaring Fork Valley residents will come to trust and respect because he cares deeply about people, community and family," said Samantha Johnston, Colorado Mountain News Media West General Manager. "He is an avid learner, a cheerleader for the industry, a champion of telling stories that matter and a guy who enjoys spending time with his family above all else."

In his first months in Glenwood, Raehal looks forward to meeting people — both engaging audiences through conversations and editorial board participation, but also by getting out in the community and being a part of local organizations.

"The No. 1 thing I care about is telling the community's story, and Glenwood has a great story to tell," he said. "There are also some unique challenges here that are close to my heart."

Raehal is a passionate advocate of the First Amendment and the public's right to know critical information that impacts their daily lives. In his role as CEO and president of CPA, he worked tirelessly with the Colorado Legislature to support the work of journalists across the state.

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"The Post Independent's audiences near and far deserve the talent, commitment and enthusiasm Jerry will bring to our organization," Johnston said.

While journalism was always in his blood, it wasn't the obvious path at first.

"In college, I would take a class and love it and decide that's what I wanted to do. And then I would take another class and love it. It felt like I changed my major 12 times," Raehal said. "I decided that what I really love is learning. If you love to learn and you love to share what you learn, there is no better field than journalism."

After completing college, Raehal applied to law school while his wife was finishing college. He had a management-level job at a major retailer, but the calling to tell stories was stronger than any other career path.

"The only job I've ever had that didn't feel like a job was journalism," he said.

Raehal's love of community fuels his belief that the purpose of local media is to fuel conversations, not confrontations.

"How can we be the conversation piece? It doesn't mean we don't do our jobs, we just do it respectfully," he said. "We're not just a business, we're a community partner."

Although Raehal, his wife and two children have been transitioning to Glenwood from Arvada for several weeks, they've only recently enjoyed their first full days living in the community.

"Our family has been so impressed with the hospitality of everyone in the area," he said. "It makes Glenwood feel like home."

His kids have explored the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and gotten their own library cards.

"We sometimes walk outside and look around and think, 'My God, we live here. It's so beautiful.'"

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