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Rotary Reflections

February 27, 2014
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Michael Bird, publisher of the Westfield Republican/Mayville Sentinel, the Post-Journal, OBSERVER, and Times Observer in Warren, Pa., was speaker for the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club in January and spot-lighted the weekly Republican newspaper.

Ogden Newspapers, owner of our local papers, is a diversified media corporation that publishes 40 daily newspapers, several magazines, weekly newspapers and shoppers located in 12 states from Florida to upstate New York and as far west as Maui, Hawaii. The company has been headquartered in Wheeling, WV, since September 22, 1890.

Bird has been with Ogden since 1992, having several positions with the company that included publisher for The Salem News, Salem, Ohio, and the Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, MI. He was commercial printing sales/manager for the Post-Journal from 1992 to 1997 and publisher for the Republican/Sentinel from 1997 to 1999.

Article Photos

Michael Bird, publisher of the Post-Journal, OBSERVER, Westfield Republican/Mayville Sentinel and Times Observer in Warren, Pa., was introduced by Ann E. Weidman, Rotary PR/Publicity chair. Bird’s guest, right, was Jim Saxton, general manager of the Westfield office.

It might be said he "came home" again when he returned to become regional publisher of the four county papers.

Born in San Diego, Calif., he furthered his Northeast Texas high school days at a small college in Kilgore, Texas. His wife of 20 years, whom he met in Arizona, is from Frewsburg. Eventually, they moved back to Chautauqua County to be close to her family and raise their four children in the Town of Kiantone. His oldest son is married and has one child, which makes Bird a grandpa.

Bird oversees all the papers from editing to business concerns. He said he had to bring the weeklies in line with finances so decided not to fill the editor position. Since most of that person's time is putting together the publications, Jeremy Izzio paginates the papers from his office at the OBSERVER.

In addition to the weeklies, the Quality Guide, an advertising paper, is inserted each week. Handling that and making sure all goes well with the Westfield in-house papers is general manager is Jim Saxton, who was introduced by Bird.

Although the papers are limited to a certain number of pages each week, Bird said that "small weeklies survive because of the people in the community. We need your support and we want to know what you're doing. And, we would like to have more sports."

Bird noted that should anyone have questions, a call to Peggy in the office 326-3163 will give you an answer or lead you in the right direction to get one.

Pilot Joe Gugino, who was introduced by Phyllis Crockett. A graduate of Dunkirk High School, Alfred State College and SUNY Fredonia, he joined the Marine Corps in 1988 and served until 2000.

He then flew for United Airlines until Sept. 11, 2001 when he moved "back home" and joined the New York Air National Guard which he served from 2003 to 2009. Gugino is currently a major in the U.S. Air force and is admissions liaison officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy. He also maintains a full-time civilian job as a Certified Financial Planner in partnership with Dan Ryel in their Fredonia office.

Gugino has flown more than 12 different types of military aircraft and more than 50 missions in support of the war on terror (OIF/OEF). He lives in Fredonia with his wife, Jessica, and two children.

Having submitted his resume to the Niagara Falls base, Gugino was accepted and then flew for six years "in and out of Afghanistan" to give gas to other aircraft.



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