Cheryl B. Wormley
For Wormley, who turned 58 in 2002, the question of family ownership is not theoretical. She is trying to figure out what to do with her little paper. Although thriving, she is surrounded by chain-owned dailies and weeklies who would be happy to acquire her paper. Her children are not interested in taking on the business and her husband hopes she will retire soon. Wormley is exploring ways to find another independent buyer, or to turn over the paper gradually to its employees.
Excerpt from a a 2002 report on a family-newspapers conference at the University of Illinois
Photo Linked From: http://www.illinoisfirstamendmentcenter.com/images/wormley.jpg
On Aug. 6, 2001, Wormley received the Amos and McKinney Award for community journalism from the National Newspaper Association. Here's the citation:
"Ms. Wormley, whose background is in education [teaching home economics], entered the newspaper profession only 14 years ago (in 2001). She and her associate started The Woodstock Independent in 1987 after the corporate buyout of the existing community newspaper. Through hard work, determination and talent, Wormley and her partner grew the paper into an award winning newspaper.
According to Illinois Press Association executive director David Bennett, Wormley and her staff put a "high premium on the newspaper basics." This has paid off not only for the paper, but for the community served by the newspaper.
Denise Graff Ponstein, co-owner of The Independent, said, "I am most fortunate to have Cheryl as a business partner. Her truth, honesty and positive attitude are the reasons The Independent continues to win top awards for non-daily newspapers."
According to Lisa Tashjiian, executive director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry, "She will never shy away from a righteous fight,she is more likely to use the paper to remind its readers about what is going well in the community. The Woodstock Independent is full of good news about the accomplishments of city residents ? young and old."
Wormley recently completed a term as president of the Illinois Press Association and has served on boards and committees of the Challenger Learning Center for Science and Technology, the Centegra Health Systems Foundation, and the McHenry County Community Foundation, among others. She is the co-founder of Woodstock?s "Dick Tracy Days" and "Groundhog Days." It has been said that Ms. Wormley puts children first. Many of her community activities center around children and their needs; she is a tutor, 4-H volunteer, a mentor to the youth who work at the newspaper and a Sunday school teacher."