Tommy Millsaps | The Advocate & Democrat
Emcee Paul Willson, right, gives the needle to The Advocate & Democrat Publisher Tommy
Wilson Thursday night during a roast/retirement party for the outgoing publisher. Wilson is
retiring from a distinguished newspaper career Sept. 27.
|Published: 9:18 AM, 09/23/2013
||Last updated: 9:19 AM, 09/23/2013
Author: Tommy Millsaps
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
MADISONVILLE-Lots of laughs and even a
few tears were shared Thursday night at Hiwassee College when
retiring The Advocate & Democrat Publisher Tommy Wilson and wife
Jill were "honored" with a roast and retirement party.
Wilson is retiring Sept. 27 after a
distinguished nearly half-century career in the newspaper business
that includes 23 years with Jones Media Inc., the owner of The
Advocate & Democrat. Wilson has spent more than 13 years of his
Jones Media career as publisher of The Advocate & Democrat and
four of those years as publisher of The Daily Post Athenian, where he
also served as vice president of Jones Media's Valley Papers.
It seemed no subject was off limits
during the good-natured roast. A host of roasters--Paul Willson,
Citizens National Bank; Joe Tolson, Monroe County Chamber of Commerce
president and CEO; Tommy Millsaps, The Advocate & Democrat
editor; Shan Harris, economic development director for Monroe County; Dr. Robin Tricoli, Hiwassee College president, and her husband Dr.
Anthony Tricoli, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of
the Monroe Area; Ralph Baldwin, chief operating officer of Jones
Media Inc.; State Sen. Mike Bell, State Rep. Jimmy Matlock and
finally County Mayor Tim Yates--took turns poking fun at Wilson.
Baldwin showed a box full of items and
replicas, ranging from door facings, phone books and cell phones,
that Wilson had destroyed or damaged when his temper occasionally got
the best of him over the years.
But in the end, everyone paid tribute
to Wilson's career.
"He is a man of his word," Tolson
"I hope our friendship continues
until we are too old to recognize each other," Baldwin said.
Many spoke openly of how Wilson had
helped them or their agency over the years. Bell and Matlock read a
state proclamation from the governor honoring Wilson, who grew up in
Alabama and led numerous newspapers during his career.
"We love all of you," Wilson said
to the crowd.
Numerous state and local officials were
joined at the party by employees, former employees, friends and
family of Wilson and his wife, who are moving to Florida to be close
to family there.
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