It was 2004 when Becky Justice-Hemmann recognized opportunity existed within a community need in Berthoud, a small town in Larimer County.
The town newspaper at the time, she said, “left a lot to be desired,” and wasn’t serving readers the way a publication of record should.
Enter Justice-Hemmann and her son, Rob, who launched the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor, an old-fashioned broadsheet that publishes eight to 12 pages each Thursday.
A dozen years later, Justice-Hemmann, the paper’s owner and publisher, said she couldn’t have made a better decision to start the Surveyor.
“I’m really proud of our little paper,” she said. “When you have a weekly in a small town like Berthoud and you get to know the people and you write about them, you just fall in love with it.
“There are such great people in our town, and I think that’s what I love most about it — the people, they’re just amazing.”
Justice-Hemmann, who describes herself as something other than a “typical newspaper person,” is also the owner of Media Innovations, LLC, a sales and marketing company.
Her skills as an entrepreneur were beneficial for the Surveyor, and she hopes they’ll also translate into her two-year term as a new Colorado Press Association board member.
She was named to the board in May. She’d previously expressed interest in serving the association board, but the timing wasn’t right until this year, when other commitments ended.
“I thought that when this opening came back up, it’d be a good time to help out,” she said.
“I can bring some fresh ideas on sales and marketing, perhaps with a different way of looking at things. Newspapers are struggling and need some help. I’m just hoping I can bring some new ideas.”
She said she’d like her board service to potentially extend beyond the two-year term and be long-term.
“I’d like to be of service as long as I can,” she said.
If her work with the Surveyor is any indication, she’ll certainly be an active CPA board member. In addition to her role as owner and publisher, she also designs ads and pages.
“We actually all wear a lot of hats,” she said. “Some days I’m Sadie the house cleaner and other days I’m Becky the bookkeeper and sometimes I get to be Rebecca the publisher.”