Three community members from varying backgrounds have been chosen to The Times editorial board. Each will serve a three-month term helping to inform opinions published on the editorial pages.
“I think it will bring diversity to our opinions,” Managing Editor Shannon Casas said. “We’ll have a closer tie to the community and that will hopefully involve them in reading the newspaper and feeling they have a stake in what’s published.”
Members will include Cathy Drerup, retired executive director of Challenged Child; Brent Hoffman, a commercial real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway; and Susan DeCrescenzo, a retired newcomer to Hall County who quickly got involved in the community.
“The opportunity for citizens to express opinions in print media exhibits the diversity of people, their ideas and the issues,” Drerup wrote in her application. Drerup has served in numerous roles with nonprofits, is active in her church, Redwine United Methodist, and is a graduate of Leadership Hall.
Hoffman has served on boards with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Kiwanis Club as well as on the Hall County Citizens SPLOST review and transportation committees. He also is a graduate of Leadership Hall.
He wrote that he’d like to see the The Times’ role in the community strengthened.
DeCrescenzo recently moved to the Cresswind subdivision from Gwinnett County, where she moved 10 years ago from the Northeast. She has participated in the chamber’s Wisdom Project, WomenSource and the Gainesville Newcomers Club as well as held various roles in the Cresswind community.
“I feel with my sense of humor, acquired wisdom and ‘northern’ perspective, I would add an honest and fresh lens to your editorial page,” she wrote in her application.
“The Times’ editorials are meant to start conversations, not serve as the last word,” Editor Keith Albertson said. “We take our position as a voice in the community seriously and want to do it better. These wise folks will help steer us toward issues and ideas that connect with readers.”