In one way or another, The Brandon Sun has been part of Glen Parker’s life since he was a young boy.
His mother was born within a block of the downtown newspaper building. They lived in an apartment block in what is now the Sun’s parking lot.
Friday was Parker’s last day as the newspaper’s sales and marketing director, a job he has held since 2006.
"Leaving is a little bit sad," said Parker, 63, who was in the local financial-services industry before taking a job as the Sun’s circulation manager in 2003.
"You’re part of a team here," he said.
"It’s been a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed working with all the people in the building. I’ve enjoyed serving our clients and our readers."
That doesn’t mean the job has always been a bed of roses. There are challenges, Parker acknowledged.
"The newspaper business is a tough grind, and it’s an everyday battle ... and sometimes not winning for long periods of time. It gets to you a little bit," said Parker, adding national advertisers, in particular, tend to paint all newspaper businesses with the same broad stroke that has resulted in them backing away because of the woes of larger big-city publications.
"The local business community has supported us pretty well," he said, adding the Sun is among the leaders in readership across the country.
"The partnership that we’ve had, and the relationship that we’ve had with local business, it’s really heartwarming," he said. "We’ve been able to help them grow their business. They’ve helped us maintain our business."
Just because Parker is hanging up his ad hat at the Sun, that doesn’t mean he’ll be sitting on a rocking chair with his wife Shannon holding his three granddaughters on his lap.
He said he has other pokers in the fire in addition to his role as a city councillor and sitting on the boards of both Hockey Manitoba and the East End Community Centre.
"So I was going to be busy. But something’s come up that’s sort of piqued my interest, so full-blown retirement may be delayed a little bit," he said, adding with a smile, "You could say my wife probably prefers that I work as opposed to sitting around with her."
Brandon Sun publisher Jim Mihaly thanked Parker for his dedication over the past 16-plus years at the Sun.
"He’s served the paper, and his community well during that time," Mihaly said. "The Sun has an amazing following in the areas it serves, and Glen was a huge part of building the excellent reputation we have in the communities we serve. I wish Glen all the best in his retirement from the paper."
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