Long-time Creston Valley Advance editor Brian Lawrence is returning to the fold and will assume a dual role as publisher/sales manager.
Lawrence, a Nelson native, came to the Advance in 2003 as a reporter after having gained experience with assignments from the Nelson Daily News. He served as an interim editor before the position was made permanent. He left the Advance to pursue new opportunities in 2016.
During his time in Creston, Lawrence has been a valued volunteer, serving on what is now the Valley Community Services board, in various capacities with Footlighters Theatre Society and currently is a director of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, and is the president of the Creston Community Auditorium Society.
Lawrence has also been very active in performing and directing roles with Footlighters, as well as Bright Lights and Billboards, a group that performs Broadway music as a fundraiser.
“I am thrilled that Brian will be returning to the Advance and assuming my role as publisher,” retiring publisher Lorne Eckersley said on Monday. “We enjoyed an unique relationship at the Advance, with me working under Brian as a reporter, and at the same time supervising him in my role as publisher. It is remarkable that in all of our time working together I don’t ever recall a serious disagreement.
“I am also pleased that our new publisher has close ties to many parts of our community, and shares my commitment to being involved as a volunteer. The local business community will be well served with Brian in this dual role.”
Eckersley is retiring on June 7, at which time Lawrence will assume his management duties. Editor Jenneil Peters will move into a full-time role, taking on all reporting and photography duties.
“It has been a long search to find just the right person to oversee operations at the Advance,” Black Press Group Publisher Eric Lawson said. “I am pleased that Brian Lawrence will be assuming this newly defined position. He clearly has a special connection to the Creston Valley and a deep appreciation and understanding of this community.
“I would also like to thank Lorne Eckersley for his service to the Advance,” he said. “Forty years is a long time to be connected to any organization, and Lorne has earned the opportunity to retire and focus more on his family and many personal interests.
“I also wish to thank Dianne Audette, Jacky Smith and Jenneil Peters for their dedication and patience while this lengthy search for a new publisher/sales manager has played out. Brian is returning to a very strong team and the Creston Valley can expect great things from the Advance in the future.”