Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A Rising Star

Samantha Husted Photo by Frank Steiger

Samantha Husted Photo by Frank Steiger

Coastal Breeze News is fortunate to have Samantha Husted on staff. Sam was born and raised in Southwest Florida, attending school on Marco Island and graduating from Florida State University. Once she started working at Coastal Breeze News, Sam jumped into her role as a photojournalist. “Her first assignment was to cover a young man with local ties recuperating from severe injuries he sustained in a skydiving accident. She did a wonderful job. The article was well written, informative, interesting and compassionate at the same time. Sam showed great promise from the beginning.” Said Publisher, Val Simon.

Coastal Breeze News is a member of the Association of Free Community Papers, the largest association in the free paper industry. The association gives access to hundreds of other publications and the movers and shakers behind their success. Last edition, Coastal Breeze News covered awards won at the annual AFCP Conference, including a First Place award for General Excellence.

Another perk of AFCP is a program called Rising Stars. The program is designed to honor individuals under who are emerging leaders in the free paper industry and 35 years old or younger. This annual program recognizes up to eight individuals who represent the best of up and coming industry professionals. These individuals exemplify good character, leadership, and professionalism not only at work, but in the communities they serve.

The required nominee qualifications include showing the promise of and a commitment to impacting their publication and the industry in a positive manner through professional achievement. Nominees must also show they not only perform their jobs to a high standard, but they also have a commitment to furthering their knowledge and abilities.

Rising Star award winners receive free conference registration, specialized training, and free round trip airfare as part of their award. The program doesn’t end with a trophy for recognition. AFCP recognizes that we have much to learn from these talented young people and desires to use their skills to help us lead the free paper industry. In return for participation in regularly scheduled conference calls and for volunteering some time to assist with AFCP initiatives, AFCP will provide additional leadership development opportunities and the opportunity to attend future conferences for even more training.

“Being chosen for the Rising Star Program was completely unexpected. I’m very grateful to be a part of it,” said Sam. “The program has allowed me to expand my understanding of the free paper industry as well as interact with other young professionals in the business. As part of the program I was able to attend the annual AFCP conference, which took place in Louisville, Kentucky. It was pretty amazing to see people from all across the country come together in the name of free community newspapers. It definitely made me excited for the future of the industry!”

“We are honored to have Sam working with us and being chosen for this program just reinforces what we already know about her. It is an exciting opportunity for her to learn a great deal about this business, be recognized by her peers and to make lifelong friends,” added Val Simon.

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