A man whose dedication to this community has been lauded multiple times over the past 30 years takes over the helm of The TIMES next week.
After a few years of semi-retirement and travel, Spencer Levan admitted to missing the newspaper business. And he's excited to accept an invitation to lead the premier community newspaper in his hometown of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Effective Monday, June 11, Levan takes over as publisher of The TIMES.
He's replacing Ryan McAdams, who will shift all of his attentions south of the Fraser River, to The TIMES' sister paper the Langley Advance and the Lower Mainland Publishing (LMP) ad centre.
McAdams has been publisher of both the Maple Ridge and Langley papers since 2008.
"We thank Ryan for all his work in regards to The TIMES and wish him good luck in his new, expanded responsibilities," said Peter Kvarnstrom, vice-president of Glacier's B.C. operations.
LMP was purchased from Postmedia by Glacier Media six months ago. One of the priorities of the new owners has been to focus on supporting its staff at each of the papers, to enable them to produce the best community papers possible.
Towards that end, a decision was made to return to a full-time publisher at The TIMES.
The obvious choice for the job: Levan.
"Spencer has a long history in the publishing industry, spanning more than three decades," Kvarnstrom said, explaining that, most recently, Levan had served Postmedia as president of VanNet distribution.
"As a long-term resident and active member of the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows communities, Spencer is a perfect fit as publisher at The TIMES," Kvarnstrom said. "Spencer looks forward to rekindling the many connections he has within our organization and our industry."
Levan's career in newspapers began in Sarnia, Ont., in 1981, when he was asked to join the London Free Press. Within eight months of joining the team, he was being moved west to launch a PennySaver publication in Vancouver.
Levan and his young family immediately settled in Maple Ridge, and he began to build not only a successful career focused primarily in the distribution end of the newspaper world, but he also started building an unshakable reputation as a devoted community volunteer - offering up most of his spare time to minor sports.
He coached and served on boards for baseball, lacrosse, soccer, and hockey through the years.
And despite the fact that their three children have long since grown, Levan remains active.
In fact, he's still coaching AAA hockey, now working on a coaching team with his youngest son Mathew, a commitment that just over a year ago garnered him his second coveted Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellowship for community involvement.
Levan has also enjoyed strong ties to this newspaper and community, both from the distribution end that saw him engage in the local market in the early 1990s, and later in a management consultation role about 15 years ago.
It's all that he's learned about this community through the years, along with the relationships he's developed, that has Levan charged about his new job.
After a hiatus that saw him and wife Laura visit Spain, South America, Chile, Mexico, and Hawaii, Levan was anxious to get back to work. But given that Laura has early-onset Parkinson's, he wanted a job that kept him close to home.
This, he said, was "perfect." He shared a taste of his long-term vision for The TIMES, vowing to continue growing strong relationships with the community that are based on openness, honesty, and integrity.
"I don't care about being the voice for B.C., the Lower Mainland, or Greater Vancouver," he said, adding that he is committed to keep to the paper's existing philosophy of being the voice for "this community."
"We do need to be the place where discussion about our community begins- we need to create and lead those discussions," he said, inviting readers to seek him out with their ideas and views.