Reflecting on the year gone by and a happy New Year!

A message from Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall

Bergen fireworks

Photo: Robin Strand
Fireworks over Bergen’s “Lake.”

Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American

The year 2019 was a time of transition in many respects for us at The Norwegian American, with a change of leadership and new staff coming on board. As reported earlier, this transition has gone smoothly, as we have worked to improve and grow our publication. We are thankful for the support that we have received from the greater Norwegian community along the way, on a road that is not without challenges. 

One of the greatest challenges has been making necessary budget cuts, while at the same time not sacrificing the quality of our publication. To do this, we are working to reduce operating costs, which has included moving to a smaller shared office space and conducting more of our work as a virtual team. 

Many long hours of hard work went into the move, including the schlepping of boxes up and down stairs. Our business manager, Deborah Stoner-Ma, was integral in organizing everything, and the two of us even enlisted our husbands to help out with the heavy lifting. It is this type of volunteerism and esprit de corps that makes things work. 

So many of us put in extra unpaid hours, and then there are all our incredible contributors, who give so much of their own time. Every other week when we publish a new issue, I am truly in awe of what everyone has done to make it happen.

Additionally, we are taking significant measures to improve our bottom line. We are working on our website to create a better user experience and automate various features to save both time and money. Overall, we are finding ways to streamline and automate as much of production as possible to free up our resources to work on the creative and strategic aspects of the newspaper business, including marketing and community outreach. We are looking for smarter ways to do business, and we are already seeing good results.

Finally, we are working on restructuring The Norwegian American to a non-profit organization, which will make it easier for us to solicit donations from our supporters. In the interim, we will be launching a giving campaign called “The Road to Valhalla.” Many of you have already made contributions, for which we are very grateful. Your generosity will help us through this time of transition and ensure that The Norwegian American will continue to be there, not only for today’s community of Norwegian Americans but also in the future.

In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a majestic, enormous hall located in Åsgard, ruled over by the god Odin. It’s a glorious journey there for all true Vikings, and we would like to take you along with us, as we reach new heights. We invite you to please come and join us on this exciting journey with our 2020 campaign and wish you all a very happy New Year!

This article originally appeared in the December 27, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.