Valley Record makes room for new editor

The Valley Record welcomed its new editor, Leif Nesheim, last week.

"We feel very fortunate to have Leif join our newspaper," said Valley Record Publisher Jim McKiernan. "His combination of experience, technical skills and education are qualities that have been hard to find for quite some time."

A native of Wisconsin, Nesheim came to Washington state in 2001 on the suggestion of a friend who lived in Olympia.

"She raved about the area and I wanted to try living here," said Nesheim, who took about five months to tour the United States on his BMW motorcycle around that time. "It turned out pretty well."

Since 2003, Nesheim has worked at the Sequim Gazette in Port Angeles, first as its county reporter and then as its entertainment and arts editor, during which time he also continued as a reporter.

"Part of being an editor is trying to make sure you get as much of the community represented as you can," he said about his new role in the Valley.

Nesheim has also worked as a general assignment reporter, photographer, copy editor and journalism instructor.

He completed a master's degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin, where he also earned his undergraduate degree in English and theater arts.

Nesheim said he always had a passion for writing and that journalism offered him the opportunity to make a career out of it. Initially he thought about going into the magazine industry, but said newspapers turned out to be more fun.

"You can tell by talking to him and watching him work that he loves the newspaper business," McKiernan said.

Now living in Snoqualmie, Nesheim rides his Harley motorcycle to work and said he most looks forward to becoming a part of the community and getting to know its residents.

"Being a part of everything that's going on where you live has become the most important part of it over the years," he said. "I'm really looking forward to getting to know the area and being a part of the community."

In his spare time, Nesheim said he enjoys hiking, camping and reading, as well as spending time with his girlfriend, Mandy, who is currently living in Olympia working as a part of the service organization AmeriCorps. Together, they have a cat named Jazz.

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