It’s big announcement time

Emily Bialkowski
Managing Editor

Activist and writer Mimi Wuest, upon receiving a lifetime achievement award, said, “Thank you so much for honoring me before I’m dead.”

Doesn’t that ring true? Shouldn’t we all try harder to appreciate the those around us who go above and beyond each and everyday to make work, school, church and life in general better.

With that in mind, I want to laud longtime Argus Office Manager Jill Hahn, who has tendered her resignation. Jill began her career with the Argus in 1990 when Tom Murphy still owned the newspaper. Her friendly disposition, reliability and intellect have served the paper well for decades.

When bestowing a few sage words of wisdom to this newbie in Caledonia, Larry Werner, director of news for ECM Publishers, said Jill will be a wealth of information and know-how beyond any other resource available in town. He was right.

Jill executes an almost immeasurable amount of newspaper functions each week and makes sure that everything from name spellings to advertising messages are spot on. She greets each and every customer with enthusiasm and support. She volunteers, spends time with her granddaughter, offers a shoulder to lean on and has a way of making people feel good. She’s gifted.

Perhaps that’s why she caught the eye of her new employer, Caledonia Haulers, whom she has accepted a position with in accounting.

The announcement was a bit shocking, but makes sense. Over the years Jill’s job description has changed dramatically and her true love of number crunching took a back seat to the needs of the newspaper. When extended the offer from Haulers, Jill told me she experienced a few sleepless nights over the decision before her.

But how exciting and inspiring. Torn between the chance to continue to support the Argus as she always has or accept a position that better fits her heart’s desire, Jill decided to take the big leap, or haul, as the case may be.

The transition to a new office coordinator will not be easy for the Argus. Institutional knowledge is not something you pass on in a few days of training, especially in the complex world of newspaper production. What we do here is expensive, time consuming and completely and utterly important. From making sure the Alco circular is inserted in time to making sure Betty Schmitz knows her newspaper subscription is due, there are a lot of processes to learn.

In that light, The Argus is excited to announce that the position has been filled internally by advertising sales representative DeAnna McCabe of Caledonia. DeAnna started with us in June and quickly demonstrated she has what it takes to navigate this weird, jargon-filled world.

Despite all DeAnna brings to the table, it’s darn close to impossible to fill Jill’s shoes. To honor her time with The Argus, the newspaper is hosting an open house on Tuesday, Nov. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. Join us at our location on West Lincoln Street for cake, coffee and punch, and let Jill know how awesome she is.

I’ve choked up several times since the announcement. Who else is going to entertain my talk about ballet and propensity to break out in goofy dance moves every time something good happens? I’ve already threatened to toilet paper Jill’s new workspace if ever given the opportunity. We’ll miss her, we love her and we wish her the very best in her new adventure!

Please join us in our congratulating this very deserving, giving, friendly, kind-hearted colleague.


You can contact Emily Bialkowski at