The Columbia Basin Herald is staffed by local employees who work hard to keep the community informed of local issues and events. We value transparency, and with that in mind, we thought we’d introduce ourselves to our readers. Over the next few weeks we will be posting presentations like the ones below for all of our staff. We want you to know about us and why we care about the communities we live in here in Grant and Adams counties.
Our first series of presentations are aimed at our management team and staff who directly support readers in distribution and customer service.
Bob Richardson, General Manager:
Columbia Basin Herald general manager Bob Richardson is a hometown boy who has risen through the ranks. Bob started in the Herald’s broadcast department, then spent nine years as an advertising manager at another Grant County publication before returning as editor of the Herald’s former sister paper, the Royal Register. Since then, Bob has served as advertising director, circulation director, and publisher of the Sun Tribune and the Basin Business Journal, simultaneously wearing some of those hats. In January 2022, Bob became the first Moses Lake High School graduate to head the Columbia Basin Herald in living memory.
Bob serves on the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Grant County Economic Development Council, and the boards of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. He has one son, two daughters, and two grandsons, and is heavily involved in coaching softball for the Washington Rage.
Dana Moreno, Director of Marketing and Audience Development:
Dana Moreno, one of Columbia Basin Herald’s longtime employees, joined the team in 1994. Dana grew up on the west side of the Cascades and attended Edmonds Community College, where she studied to become an administrative assistant. When she and her family moved to the basin, Dana worked as an accountant for a local restaurant for a while, but that wasn’t really what she wanted to do.
She found her true calling when the Herald advertised for an advertising designer. She’s always had an artistic bent, so she took a chance and applied, she said. Since then, she has spent several years as the Herald’s Special Features Editor, before moving into her current role as Director of Marketing and Audience Development. In this capacity, she oversees the circulation department as well as the Herald’s readership growth in both print and online.
This does not mean, however, that she has abandoned the artistic side. Dana continues to design advertisements for the Herald on a more limited basis. She has won consistent awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her creations, including first place in the state for the past five years. Dana also won the association’s community service award for her work with the Moses Lake Elders’ Picnic.
R. Hans “Rob” Miller, Editor:
Rob Miller, or as readers may know him, R. Hans Miller, started with CBH in November of last year and was promoted on Valentine’s Day to editor.
Rob was born and raised in Montana, but hails from Texas in the Pacific Northwest where he was a weekly editor, which makes him a regular in the role of editor.
Rob has also worn many other hats throughout his life, working in banking, aerospace, and even the government of Texas. He also spent some time as a tank turret technician for the US Army, learning skills in electronics and hydraulics.
Rob put on his journalist hat a bit later in life, graduating from Texas State University. He enjoys the adventure and education he receives through journalism and ensures the paper informs and builds community
Rob lives in Ephrata with his wife, Brandee and their three dogs, Draco, Cinnamon and Pepper. He also has a son, William, 19, who lives in Texas and helps his grandparents take care of their property.
Jeannie Austin, Receptionist:
This smiling face that greets visitors at the Columbia Basin Herald reception belongs to Jeannie Austin, who joined the team in January 2022. Jeannie is from Oroville, a small town in Okanogan County just across the Canadian border. Jeannie came to the Columbia Basin seven and a half years ago, and she says it’s very different not seeing mountains.
Jeannie first went to school to study nursing and spent time in that field, but it wasn’t her cup of tea.
“When I was little, you know, when we played at home, I was always the one pretending to be sitting in front of a computer,” she said. “Now I do this.”
In addition to being the first point of contact with visitors, Jeannie coordinates obituaries and legal notices. She also organizes office events: parties, potlucks, and other morale-boosting factors that make the Herald a great place to work.
Outside of the office, Jeannie is active in the community through an online group called Moms Helping Moms. The group, which Jeannie started, now has about 3,000 mothers and facilitates swaps and giveaways, including a Christmas toy drive and fundraising garage sales, to lend a helping hand to local mums in the need.
Heather Boen, Customer Service Representative:
Heather is the friendly voice you hear on the phone when you call to say your newspaper is overdue, change your subscription address or pay your bill.
Originally from Ephrata, Heather went to work in fast food in high school and became a store manager when she was 18. It was good work, she says, but the schedule was crazy and she decided she needed a change. She spent a few months in a retail store in Moses Lake and arrived at the Columbia Basin Herald in November 2021. Since then, she has been a district manager in the Herald’s circulation department.
Outside of the office, Heather enjoys swimming and spending time with friends and family.
Cecilia Johnson, Publicity Animator:
Cecilia is from Othello, born and raised. She attended Big Bend Community College after high school, originally planning to be a teacher before deciding it wasn’t for her. A friend encouraged her to apply for a job as a dental assistant, and it turned into a 19-year career.
Five years ago, the Columbia Basin Herald hired her as a receptionist, and she never looked back, she says. This job included more than sitting at the desk; she also typed in legal notices and obituaries, in addition to assisting with accounts receivable and traffic. Since last year, Cecilia has been the Herald’s publicity host. This involves planning, tracking and invoicing advertising for print and digital media, as well as coordinating with Coeur d’Alene’s advertising design department.
When not at work, Cecilia and her husband enjoy camping, spending time on the lake and traveling.
“We are always planning our next getaway,” she says.
In the next few days, we will present our writing to you. Thank you for your readership and for being part of the wonderful Columbia Basin community.