Changes ahead for Lambton Shield

Decades of business writing has lead to a 'refocus'

Several years ago, I was reading a history of Sarnia-Lambton and came across a mention of the very first newspaper in our area, which was launched by Alexander Mackenzie, then a 30-year-old stone mason who later became Canada’s second prime minister.

Mackenzie had moved here from Kingston after immigrating to Canada from Scotland and was assisted in the newspaper by George Brown, who had previously launched the Globe, the newspaper that ultimately became the Globe and Mail. Sadly, the Lambton Shield lasted only two years, but it remains an interesting part of our history.

I remember thinking that if my dream of starting my own publication were ever to come together that it would be a great name to use.

That came together in November 2010 and nearly eight years later, there are some new changes in the wind that I want to share as part of my journey here in the community that I’ve called home since 1985.

We—my wife Lynne and our two now adult sons—came here in 1985 when I accepted a communications job with Dow Chemical. Sarnia was attractive mainly for one reason, that being that it was close to my brother and sister and my parents, who live in the Detroit area.

I love this community and want to leave it in better shape than it was when we moved here more than three decades ago. By exercising my gift of storytelling, I hope to fulfill a lifelong passion that gets stronger every year.

As a teenager, my parents had moved from Canada to Dearborn, where my Dad worked as an engineer for Ford.

Several years after I returned to Canada and began raising my own family, I knew we needed to be closer if our kids were ever to have a relationship with their cousins and Sarnia fit the bill.

Here to stay

While it’s now been 25 years since I left Dow, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

From my downsizing in 1993, I spent many years continuing to hone my writing skills as a freelancer, including more than four years as the editor of a monthly business publication in the area.

For sure, I’ve continued my business writing, with various projects taken on locally and as senior editor of a business magazine based in Michigan.

Over that time, I’ve come to the obvious conclusion that it’s really topics related to business that are most attractive to me as a writer.

With that in mind, I’ve made the decision to focus Lambton Shield in that direction.

Practically speaking there aren’t going to be any “dramatic” changes to be seen immediately, although one of the first changes has already been made in the “retirement” of the local obituary listings that we’ve been posting from local funeral homes for several years.

And Lambton Shield will no longer be the place sports enthusiasts go to get their fix. Let’s face it: there are other spots locally and you know where to find out what’s going on in that passionate community.

What I believe Lambton Shield will ultimately be able to offer is a uniquely positive source of business news for the entire Lambton County community.

Lots of business stories to tell

You can look to Lambton Shield for the kind of features of area businesses and organizations that add value to our community while catching up, in regular “business briefs,” on what’s going on in our community, including the happenings related to the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and other business-focused organizations.

The changes we foresee are exciting for us and, I hope, for our readers as well.

I love this community and want to leave it in better shape than it was when we moved here more than three decades ago. By exercising my gift of storytelling, I hope to fulfill a lifelong passion that gets stronger every year.

If you’d like to talk about how we can work together (I’m reaching out to those of you with an interest in a freelance writing career), I’d love to hear from you.

We’re also interested in hearing from business experts who have valuable insights they’d like to share with our audience.

These are exciting days in Sarnia-Lambton and we believe Lambton Shield can play an encouraging, inspiring and uplifting role as our community prospers.

I’d love to hear from you: call anytime at (519) 466-2811 or email me (jd@lambtonshield.com).


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