The Columbia Basin Herald is made up of local staff who work hard to keep the community informed of local issues and events. We value transparency, so we thought we’d introduce ourselves to our readers. Over the next few weeks we will be releasing inductions like the ones below for all of our employees. We want you to know who we are and why we care about the communities in which we live here in Counties Grant and Adams.
Our first introductions are for our leadership team and the people who support readers directly with sales and customer service.
Bob Richardson, Managing Director:
Bob Richardson, general manager of the Columbia Basin Herald, is a hometown boy who has worked his way up the corporate ladder. Bob began in the Herald’s distribution department and then spent nine years as an advertising manager at another Grant County publication before returning as editor of the Herald’s former sister newspaper, the Royal Register. Since then, Bob has served as advertising director, sales director, and editor of the Sun Tribune and Basin Business Journal, and held some of these responsibilities concurrently. In January 2022, Bob became the first graduate of Moses Lake High School in living memory to serve as director of the Columbia Basin Herald.
Bob serves on the boards of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Grant County Economic Development Council, and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. He has a son, two daughters and two grandsons and is very involved in coaching softball for the Washington Rage.
Dana Moreno, Director of Marketing and Audience Development:
Dana Moreno, a longtime employee of the Columbia Basin Herald, joined the staff in 1994. Dana grew up on the west side of the Cascades and attended Edmonds Community College, where she trained as an administrative assistant. Dana worked as an accountant for a local restaurant for a time when she and her family moved to the Basin, but it wasn’t really what she wanted to do.
She found her true calling when the Herald was looking for an advertising designer. She’s always been artistic, so she took a chance and applied, she said. Since then, she has served as the Herald’s Special Section Editor for several years before assuming her current position as Director of Marketing and Audience Development. In this role, she oversees the distribution department and grows the Herald’s readership in both print and online.
However, that doesn’t mean she’s given up on the artistic side. Dana continues to do limited advertising for the Herald. She has consistently received awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her designs, including first place in the state for the past five years. Dana has also received the Association’s Community Service Award for her work with the Moses Lake Senior Picnic.
R. Hans “Rob” Miller, Editor-in-Chief:
Rob Miller, or as readers may know him, R. Hans Miller, started at CBH last November and was promoted to managing editor on Valentine’s Day.
Born and raised in Montana, Rob comes to the Pacific Northwest from Texas, where he was a weekly newspaper editor, so he’s no stranger to the role of editor.
Rob has also held many other responsibilities throughout his life, working in banking, aerospace and even the Texas government. He also spent time as a tank turret technician for the US Army, gaining knowledge of electronics and hydraulics.
Rob put on his reporter’s hat later in life and graduated from Texas State University. He enjoys the adventure and education he receives through journalism, making sure the newspaper informs and builds the community
Rob lives in Ephrata with his wife Brandee and their three dogs, Draco, Cinnamon and Pepper. He also has a son, William, 19, who lives in Texas and helps his grandparents on their property.
Jeannie Austin, Receptionist:
The smiling face that greets visitors at the Columbia Basin Herald’s front desk belongs to Jeannie Austin, who joined the team in January 2022. Jeannie is from Oroville, a small town in Okanogan County right on the Canadian border. Jeannie came to the Columbia Basin seven and a half years ago, and she says it feels very different not seeing mountains.
Jeannie originally went to school to study nursing and spent some time in the field, but it wasn’t her cup of tea.
“You know, when I was little, when we were playing house, I was always the one pretending to be at the computer,” she said. “Now I’ll do it.”
In addition to being the first point of contact for visitors, Jeannie coordinates obituaries and legal notices. She also runs office events: parties, potlucks, and other morale makers that make the Herald a great place to work.
Outside of the office, Jeannie is active in the community through an online group called Moms Helping Moms. Today, the group Jeannie started has approximately 3,000 mothers and facilitates barter deals and giveaways, including a Christmas toy drive and fundraisers on the farm to help local mothers in need.
Heather Boen, Customer Service Representative:
Heather is the friendly voice you hear on the phone when you call to delay your paper, change your subscription address, or pay your bill.
A native of Ephrata, Heather worked in fast food in high school and became a store manager at 18. It was good work, she says, but the schedule was crazy and she decided she needed a change. She spent a few months at a retail store in Moses Lake and joined the Columbia Basin Herald in November 2021. Since then, she has served as district manager in the Herald’s distribution department.
Outside of the office, Heather enjoys swimming and spending time with friends and family.
Cecilia Johnson, Commercial Host:
Cecilia was born and raised in Othello. She attended Big Bend Community College after high school and originally intended to be a teacher before deciding it wasn’t for her. A friend encouraged her to apply to be a dental assistant and it grew into a 19-year career.
The Columbia Basin Herald hired her as a receptionist five years ago, and she says she’s never looked back. This job involved more than just sitting at the front desk; She also collected legal notices and obituaries and assisted with accounts receivable and circulation. As of last year, Cecilia has been the Herald’s commercial anchor. This includes planning, tracking and billing of advertising for both print and digital media, as well as coordinating with the advertising design department in Coeur d’Alene.
When not at work, Cecilia and her husband enjoy camping, spending time at the lake, and traveling.
“We always plan our next getaway,” she said.
In the next few days we will introduce you to our editorial team. Thank you for your readership and for being part of the wonderful Columbia Basin community.