Community Media Group Vice President Banks Dishmon has announced that Amanda (VanDyke) Dodge of Shelby has been named the managing editor for both Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon, effective Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.
Dodge has worked part-time at the Herald-Journal office since 2016, and as the editor of the popular summer magazine, Pentwater This Week, since 2018. She was recently named editor of the new seasonal lifestyle magazine, LakeStyle, that will begin in 2021. Dodge has also assisted with page layout and proofreading at the White Lake Beacon since this past summer.
“I am pleased that Amanda has accepted this new position and the opportunity to lead our weekly news teams. Her skills and experience will be seen in our news coverage and features in print and online,” Dishmon said. “I appreciate that I can give Amanda a vision of what we need to do, and then I get out of her way. She will make it come to fruition.”
Dodge interned at the Herald-Journal for two summers during 2006 and 2007 under former Editor Mary Sanford and long-time staff writer John Cavanagh. A 2005 Shelby High School graduate, Dodge has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, with a minor in intercultural communications and family studies, and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, with an emphasis in graphic design. Since graduating, she was an OHJ freelance writer for several years, and also had a column for a short while.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve these two communities, and am excited about the many new projects we have in the works, along with the revitalization of our newspapers,” Dodge said. “I truly enjoy working alongside this team, and am dedicated to the importance of local news.”
Dodge will continue to work closely with Cavanagh, and Jared Leatzow of the Beacon.
“I’m really happy for Amanda,” Cavanagh said. “She’s well-deserving and has a lot of fresh ideas for the newspaper. She has lived in the Oceana community most of her life and knows the community well. I look forward to working with her in her new role as I wind down my career.”
“Amanda is the hardest working person I know, not to mention, one of the most supportive,” Leatzow said. “I’m happy for her, and I can’t wait to see what sort of ideas she comes up with for the paper.”
Originally from Indiana, Dodge’s parents are both Air Force veterans, which has given her very close ties to the veteran community across the county and beyond. She and her husband, David, who works for Excel Propane, live in rural Shelby, and have two school-age sons and a two-year-old daughter.
Dodge served as the 2013 Asparagus Queen and has appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. She has been an adjunct professor since 2009, teaching at Baker College, and more recently, its Culinary Institute of Michigan. She is also a certified advanced catechist, and has taught almost all grades K-12 in this capacity since 2004. She currently teaches sixth grade catechesis at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Shelby, where she is a parishioner. Dodge has also volunteered with the former Hart Main Street program, as editor and designer of their Spotlight newsletter.
“I have always loved to hear and read other’s stories, as those are something that we can all learn valuable lessons from,” Dodge said. “I am looking forward to what this new position entails, and hope to be as helpful as possible to all those around me.
Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon are two of the weekly newspapers owned by Community Media Group of West Frankfort, Ill.