A final farewell from a very grateful black tie reporter-turned A&E managing editor.
Not goodbye, see you later
To my dear Black Tie friends,
This is my last Black Tie & Tales column, and I have a lot of feelings about it. But the one feeling that overpowers the others when I reflect on my experience with this beat is most definitely gratitude.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for your warm smiles, even before you knew who I was. Thank you for the compliments on my nowhere-near glamorous outfits. Thank you for being patient with me (I was still learning to use a DSLR camera, but I pretended I was an expert — wink wink). Thank you for forgiving my errors (including this last one that’s unfortunately attached to this column — no one is perfect). Thank you for guiding me through a scene and a city that were completely unfamiliar to me. And most of all, thank you for believing I could do a job that I often didn’t believe I could do.
This was my first job out of college, and to be honest, it’s not what I ever imagined myself doing. I think it’s fair to say most journalism students don’t graduate with dreams of becoming a Black Tie reporter (nor do most of us know that’s a job title that exists), but I can’t imagine the past year and a half any other way.
I’m a writer at heart, so putting that on the backburner and focusing on mainly photography was a challenge for me, but I wanted a challenge. I’ve never been one to take the easy route, and I didn’t feel like I got enough photography experience in college, so this job pushed me to become a more well-rounded journalist.
But I’m also exiting this position a more well-rounded individual as a whole. I’ve learned the true meaning of giving by getting to know so many of you. This community is full of people who truly care about the nonprofits they support — most don’t just write a check and never think twice about it. Instead, they follow up and volunteer and join committees and plan events and become board members and do everything they can to make sure that organization thrives.
I feared I wouldn’t fit in among a community of such fashionable, poised individuals, but you’ve been more than welcoming. I’ll miss running into you (and sometimes running after you to get that chair photo), but I’ll be around as managing editor of A+E (I’m just changing positions, not employer!), and I’ll be the first person to fill in when our new reporter needs help.
Which brings me to my final point. This position is in more than capable hands with our new black tie reporter, Kayleigh Omang. You’ll learn more about Kayleigh in our next issue, but for now, you should know that she’s a recent photojournalism school graduate from Fargo, N.D., who owns her own wedding photography business. She knows her way around a camera — aka she’s very talented (and way more prepared for this job than I ever was), so I can’t wait for all of you to meet her.
Well, I guess this is it. Thank you for everything. Stay classy, Sarasota.
In the Dec. 7 issue, the Black Tie & Tales entry about the return of Pique Nique Sur La Baie listed the incorrect beneficiary. The event will benefit charities chosen by the board of directors after getting recommendations from the Florida Winefest & Auction grants committee. Winefest will also make a $10,000 scholarship donation to New College.