Guedry, Barrett promoted to editor, group sales manager positions

Michael Tortorich
Charlotte Guedry

Group Publisher Glenn Stifflemire announced the promotion of two employees within the GateHouse Media Southern Louisiana Group, based in Gonzales.

Charlotte Guedry has been named Editor for the Gonzales Weekly Citizen, and Crystal Barrett has been named Group Sales Manager.

“Charlotte brings an array of editorial experience to the staff here and I’ve really been pleased with her efforts to improve the quality of the newspaper during her short time here,” Stifflemire said. “She’s taken the extra effort to improve both the quality of the newspaper and the public’s impression of their hometown newspaper.”

Stifflemire pointed to her efforts and direction as a factor in the Weekly Citizen’s recognition as one of only two company newspapers in Louisiana to qualify for the exclusive ‘Inner Circle’ recognition, an honor that GateHouse Media, owners of the local newspaper, “don’t give out lightly” for editorial content and design.

“She’s earned the right to be named editor and I look forward to her positive thinking and management ability to continue to help us improve the content quality of this newspaper and the other publications we produce,” the publisher said.

Stifflemire also praised Barrett’s efforts in the advertising department.

“Crystal brings a young and enthusiastic demeanor to her new position as Group Sales Manager,” he said. “Crystal did an excellent job for us overseeing the sales efforts in Plaquemine at the Post South, and she has earned the opportunity to lead the entire sales team at all of our group publications.”

Stifflemire added that the changing technological environment presents new challenges.

“Crystal understands the importance of the new and ever-evolving digital media and knows and understands that combining that new portion of advertising with the many print publications we offer will only help businesses succeed,” Stifflemire said.

The publisher concluded by praising both employees’ teamwork skills.

“These two ladies are just a small portion of the staffs of our group publications, but their experience, enthusiasm and desire to succeed are important aspects of our business as they help lead our team into the future,” he said.

A Baton Rouge native, Barrett graduated from McKinley High School and LSU with a degree in Elementary Education.

She and her husband, Michael, married in January and bought a house in Denham Springs.

Barrett said the sense of community stands out in Gonzales.

“It’s a lot of local business owners, which is, to me, a lot better when you’re working with sales than to work with large corporations,” she said. “Even though it is constantly growing, it still maintains a small town feel. Also, I love the great food and awesome places to eat.”

Barrett started in sales at the Plaquemine Post-South. She has worked for GateHouse Media for three years. In order to expand the sales area, she moved two months ago to the Gonzales Weekly Citizen.

She hopes to reach out to the community and make sure local businesses receive the attention they deserve.

“Our goal is to not only increase revenue for the newspapers but also for local businesses,” Barrett said. “We don’t succeed unless they succeed.”

Guedry has been a reporter for the publication since her hiring in December 2010.

A Gonzales resident, she emphasized the importance of community.

“I love Gonzales, and Ascension Parish,” Guedry said. “The people have been so welcoming. There’s a great sense of community here, and that’s something I feel is very important in local media.”

She also stressed the importance of service to the community.

“I’d love to see our paper go in a direction that encompasses everyone within the parish,” Guedry continued. “My approach to moving forward with the paper is that everyone in the parish know that what we put inside and online is all for them. We serve the people of Ascension, and need to continue to improve how we put in information that relates to each and every person who lives and works here. I want the paper to be inviting and welcoming.”

Guedry and her husband, Lee, who is from Gonzales, recently bought a home and settled in the area.

Born in Ipswich, England, she came to Louisiana while in middle school. She graduated from Lee High in Baton Rouge, then from LSU with a triple major in English, Political Science and History. After graduation, she moved back to England, and lived in London for about 16 years. She has been back in Louisiana for nearly three years.

“I always knew I wanted to be a writer, and worked in London writing speeches for the Mayor, and also for Amnesty International, while I worked as a teacher,” Guedry said. “I got the bug, and began freelancing for the press in England, as well as political and entertainment magazines throughout Europe.”

She added that the Citizen will continue to focus on happenings in the area.

“Of course, sometimes there will be bad news, but there’s nothing wrong with highlighting the good that goes on here as well,” she said.

“If I can get the people of the parish to think of us as their neighbors, then I’m doing something right. I live here, too, and want to make sure that everyone outside of the parish knows how wonderful a place this is to be. Ascension is my home, and I plan on being here a long time. I’m part of it, so I want everyone to be as proud of it as I am.”

Crystal Barrett