Q&A: Phoenix publisher Amy Ellsworth finds a home in Gilbert, Arizona

When Community Impact Newspaper launched operations in Arizona, Amy Ellsworth enthusiastically signed on to serve as the Phoenix metro publisher. 

What do you want Gilbert readers to know about the newspaper's presence in town?

Community Impact Newspaper is committed to being involved in the community in a meaningful way. You will see our team engaged at city, school, chamber and community events. We will attend and report on activities at Town Council and school governing board meetings. We will get to know the residents who have made Gilbert home.

How did you first learn about CI, and what made you decide to start a career in creating newspapers? What do you love about the company’s culture?

I learned about Community Impact Newspaper when John and Jennifer were starting the paper back in 2005. I was a communications director and would send story ideas to the writers. I then moved to Central Texas in 2007 and started getting it in my mailbox and had a whole new appreciation for how valuable this newspaper was for residents.

I have made a career of informing people about activities impacting their lives, so when I had the opportunity to do that with CI, I jumped at the chance. We all deserve to know what’s happening in our communities, but we’re also busy with our families, jobs and hobbies. Community Impact Newspaper brings the most important information to your mailbox in a great format that’s easy to digest.

There are so many things I love about CI. Our mission statement and core values keep us focused on passionately serving our communities. Further, our culture is one of doing the right thing every time, whether that’s working harder to get the complete story in front of readers, helping a co-worker with a difficult issue or guiding a business through their marketing plan.

What influenced your decision to take on this new role in the Phoenix area? What experiences have prepared you to be the publisher?

Our family loves this area and all it has to offer, from the culture to the baseball, golf and hiking. When Community Impact Newspaper made the decision to expand, we were enthusiastic about seeing it expand to this area. I led the newspaper’s flagship edition for more than five years, gaining valuable experience for my new publisher role. I have the ability to bring a team together to accomplish great things, and I am dedicated to helping our community.

Where can Phoenix-area residents and community leaders expect to meet you as you establish your presence in Gilbert and beyond?

I look forward to meeting people throughout the community. You’ll find me at various official meetings of the town, school district and chamber but also at Gilbert Days, at the local parks or out on the golf course with my family as well as eating at one of the many locally owned restaurants in town.

What is your favorite thing about Gilbert so far? What has surprised you?

My favorite thing about Gilbert is the people. As a new resident to the area, the interactions you have with others really affect how you feel about a place, and everybody we’ve met in Gilbert has been so friendly and welcoming.

Amy Ellsworth 
Phoenix Publisher
By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.