The Citizen Newspaper, founder, ad manager to retire

By David Fleet
Ortonville — After nearly 1,400 editions a local newspaper icon whose diligence, foresight and friendliness drove a weekly publication for 27 years to the pinnacle of success will retire July 1.
Advertising Manager, Jackie Nowicki, who along with then publisher Jim Sherman of the Oxford-based Sherman Publications, started The Citizen newspaper with a plan in the summer of 1994.
“When we started almost 27 years ago our goal was to be ‘the community newspaper’ for the Ortonville and Goodrich area,” said Nowicki. “The business owners were asking for a product that would be read cover-to-cover with local faces, milestones, and community news including churches, schools and service organizations, all the local happenings and events that make the newspaper the ideal platform for their ads to be read.”
On Aug. 25, 1995, the first edition of The Citizen hit the mailboxes.
“We had to assure our readers and advertisers that each week the local connection to the community was solid,” she said. “Everyone has a story to tell and it’s been our goal to reflect that in our pages.”
Sherman said the community continues to benefit from Nowicki’s vision for The Citizen.
“Ortonville and Goodrich owe Jackie for bringing The Citizen Newspaper to town,” said Sherman. “Jackie and I walked into every business in town and asked for their advertising budget.”
He figured the company needed $250,000 to start the paper in 1995, he said.
“Jackie made that happen,” recalled Sherman. “The next thing I knew Jackie sold the Bueche Family. A grocery store advertisement in a newspaper is a big deal because the supermarkets abandoned the locals when they got too big to be local.”
“Jackie knows what local support for the news is and she has sold that value everyday for 28 years. Because of the success Jackie brought to The Citizen, she made it possible to hire several great editors and writers, but none were better than the current team of David Fleet, Shelby Stewart-Soldan and Patrick McAbee. Year after year, The Citizen is one of the top three newspapers in the Michigan Press Association. Everyone should thank Jackie Nowicki.”
Over the years the area has grown and businesses continue to thrive thanks to Nowicki’s work.
On April 1, 2022 The Citizen along with the other publications in the Sherman Newspaper group was purchased by the View Newspaper Group.
Rick Burrough, is the  View Newspaper Group president and owner.
“To say she will be missed in our business is an understatement,” said Burrough. “She set the bar for The Citizen, and we will endeavor to follow her example. We wish Jackie the very best in a well-deserved retirement.”
Wes Smith, View Newspaper Group, publisher has worked with Nowicki for several years printing The Citizen.
“Jackie has been an exemplary leader for both The Citizen and the Ortonville community for nearly three decades,” said Smith. “Just as important, she has been an advisor, mentor and friend for the team at The Citizen and many of her clients and colleagues through the years. I am proud to be counted as one of those colleagues who has had the pleasure to work with and the opportunity to learn from Jackie.”
In retirement Nowicki plans to not have any deadlines and spend time with family.
“We have accomplished what we have set out to do,” she said. “Along the way we have built many relationships. Thank you all for shopping local, and supporting The Citizen. I love this community, and will miss the relationships with the advertisers, they are friends not just clients.”
Stop in to wish her a happy retirement before June 30, 12 South Street, Ortonville.

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