BY STAFF WRITER –
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As a young man growing up in the Newtown community, Johnny Hunter Sr. always had a mind for business. He has the quality of insight and the ability to effectively communicate with people from all walks of life. These attributes have done him well over the past 25 years. Last week, he took time to recognize and thank his supporters and those who have helped him along his journey.
The First TEMPO News Annual Christmas Party was held on Thurs- day, December 16th at the Stevens-Hunter
Building in Sarasota. Current and former staff, advertisers and supporters were among the 40 people who attended the event. “The Christmas season is a time of great joy,” Hunter said,” and I wanted to take this time to thank those who have supported me over the years.” Attendees enjoyed a dinner with all the trimmings prepared by Inez Hunter.
Hunter recognized advertisers who have been with the paper for 25 or more years: the City of Bradenton and City of Sarasota; 20-24 years: Publix, Richard Ellis, Esq., Children First, State College of Florida, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Jackson Dental Center, Manatee County Rural Health Services, Westside Funeral Home, Sarasota Ford and Manasota Goodwill Industries; 15-19 years: Smitty’s Bail Bonds, Edward Bailey, Manatee County Crime Stoppers, Jones Bail Bonds and Sarasota-Bradenton Airport; and 10-14 years: Firkins Nissan and D&D Restaurant. The highlight of the evening was presentation of the paper’s first Citizens of the Year Awards, which went to Gwendolyn Atkins and Valarie Buchand, for their many years of service to the Newtown community. The Unsung Hero Award was presented to Rosalind Hill for her spirit of giving back and helping others. Also recognized were TEMPO’s freelance writers, C.S. Howard who has been with the paper for 25 years and Rita Smith for 22 years, and production manager, Johnny Hunter Jr, who has worked with his father for the past 22 years.
TEMPO News began its journey in 1960 with the late William Fred Jackson when he found- ed the Weekly Bulletin, which was created with a focus on the African American community. Jackson began a legacy deep in the history of this community, which has continued for the past 56 years. After a change in ownership, the paper became known as The Bulletin, and in 1987, because of legal ramifications, Jackson started Tempo Magazine. Hunter, who worked as the Advertising Manager for the paper, took ownership of the paper in September 1990, changing it from a monthly publication to being published twice a month. He made a bold decision in 1993 to change TEMPO to a weekly publication.
“We, as a people, have always had a great sense of pride in our newspaper,” Hunter said, “and I want to continue that rich tradition. I also want to take TEMPO News to the next level, which is very important in this era of social media with Facebook, Twitter and other communication. We have to remain relevant and conform with the times. That’s our goal and that’s how we plan to serve our readership.”