Preparing for Progress

Published 12:03 pm Saturday, October 17, 2015

Make no mistake, I love the task we are charged with of putting out three editions weekly of The Tidewater News. But like any job, it can sometimes become routine and begs for a little variety. And that is why I so look forward to publishing our Progress edition each February.

For those of you who may be new readers, our annual Progress edition is a total departure from what we do on a regular basis. It is our largest annual publication, and is one that we spend months writing and designing before it goes to press. In recent years we have changed the format from a multi-section, month-long series into a single copy themed magazine. Some of the recent themes have been “25 Things We Love About Western Tidewater” and “Common Bonds,” which focused on fix or six cultural activities that many members of our community participate in. My favorite so far happens to be last year’s edition, which was “The 20 Most Significant Events in Western Tidewater History.” As a staff, we spent months generating the list of events and ranking them in what we felt was their appropriate order of importance. Everyone loves a list and debating its accuracy. We thoroughly enjoyed researching the events and internally discussing each event’s historical value.

This year’s theme will piggyback off of last year, and will be “The Most Influential People in Western Tidewater’s History.” We have yet to identify how many people will make the list, as the list itself is still incomplete.

This is where you come in.

This year, we would like to ask our readers to participate in the process of compiling the list. We will add your suggestions to the list we have already compiled, narrow the list down to a manageable number, and then rank those individuals based on the contributions we feel they have made to our community.

We eagerly anticipate hearing who you feel has had the greatest influence in shaping our community, then writing their stories and sharing them with you. It is a fun process for us and, based on reader feedback the last few years, is a publication that you thoroughly enjoy reading as well.

The process of submitting your ideas is simple. Email us at, or drop a letter in the mail telling us who you suggest and why. If you have any significant insight into the individual you recommend or any artifacts pertaining to their contributions, we would welcome you to share those as well.

We want our next Progress edition to be the best one yet, and we are confident that with your participation it certainly will be.

TONY CLARK is publisher of The Tidewater News. His email address is