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Parks retiring from Enterprise, Keute named publisher

Candy Parks, advertising manager for the Park Rapids Enterprise, will retire at the end of January. Todd Keute will assume publisher and advertising director responsibilities at the Enterprise.

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Candy Parks announced her retirement at the end of this month. She has worked at the Park Rapids Enterprise for 40 years.
Kathy Dennis / Enterprise
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Candy Parks, advertising manager for the Park Rapids Enterprise, will retire at the end of January.

“Her 40 years of dedication to Forum Communications Company, the Park Rapids Enterprise, and the Park Rapids community is greatly appreciated,” said Aaron Becher, vice president of FCC newspaper operations.
Todd Keute will assume publisher and advertising director responsibilities at the Enterprise. He currently serves in the same roles for the Blackduck American, Bemidji BuyLine Shopper and Bemidji Pioneer.

“Todd's extensive experience as a publisher and advertising sales leader will ensure the Park Rapids Enterprise will continue to be highly successful,” Becher said.

As a result of these changes, a full-time advertising sales representative position has also been posted.

A moment on memory lane

Parks reflected on her 40-year career.

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“I could have never in my wildest dreams thought, when I was hired in the early summer of 1981 by Doug Hirsch, that over 40 years later I would be starting a new journey of retirement,” she said.

Parks witnessed many technological advances in newspaper production.

“In those days, everything had to be written and then go to a typesetter, then to the layout artist. She or he would cut and wax and design the ad, put a border around it with border tape, cutting it with an X-Acto blade, rolled it down and it was ready to be waxed again and put on a page at layout time. The same was done for editorial on layout day. Then the pages were boxed and driven to Hawley, Minn., where plates were prepared and put on the presses for the paper to be printed,” Parks recalled.

Today, work is completed online and with a desktop computer.

“It is amazing what technology has done. The big tin plates that were used that went on the presses have been replaced with technology that is more efficient,” she said.

The newspaper reaches an ever-increasing audience as well.

“Not only is the Park Rapids Enterprise delivered to mailboxes, but also it is read by another audience online, readers from everywhere. Then there is the Enterprise website, another audience. I would have never thought that back in 1981,” Parks said.

Parks says she was fortunate to find her calling accidentally and again when Hirsch hired her.

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“As Confucius said, choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life,” she said, adding that, when Forum Communications purchased the Enterprise from Hirsch, they demonstrated their commitment to the Park Rapids community and the local newspaper.

“I have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people that will always have a special place in my heart. This is a bittersweet moment in my life. I am sad as I am leaving something I have loved doing for so long; however, I’m excited for my new journey,” she said. “I shall miss and thank my coworkers and the many clients I have worked with. Your friendship has always been valued. I will not be leaving the area, so the next time you see me I will be a retiree running an errand with time for coffee and a life catch-up.”

Todd Keute Picture.jpg

Keute continues focus on local journalism

Keute said, “The name Candy Parks has been synonymous with the Park Rapids Enterprise for 40 years. Her commitment to not only the Enterprise but also to the communities we serve has been unrivaled over those years. We will miss Candy and wish her all the best in a long, relaxing, well deserved retirement."

On his new role at the Enterprise, Keute said, “I look forward to being part of the Enterprise team with a continued focus on local journalism and marketing, using both our print and digital platforms. It's an exciting time at the Enterprise as we are just about settled in our new location and will be planning an open house in the future."

Karen Holtan will continue in her role as operations coordinator. She will work day to day with the Park Rapids team and in close collaboration with Keute.

Related Topics: PARK RAPIDS
Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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