Written by The Business Journal Staff
Donna Melchor, Publisher
What we do: Clovis Roundup was born of necessity. After my husband had thankfully recovered from major illness and heart surgery I found myself looking for employment. At the same time a local Clovis business owner and board member of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, Rod McKinney, presented my husband and I with a challenge. Why don’t we start up and establish a local paper. His suggestion was a “Thrifty Nickel” type of classified paper. The Clovis Independent had ceased to exist and Clovis had a need for something in print.
Well, we are big fans of those small community papers that you pick up when traveling though small towns and communities, for example the “Pine Cone News” in Carmel, and the thought of creating something similar appealed to me. Trouble was we had no start up investment. The economy was bad and banks were not granting Small Business Loans to start ups. We then went out into the Clovis community and asked small business owners if they felt there was a need for a community paper and if they would support it. It is this support from the Clovis business community that has made it possible for us to grow to where we are today.
Education: I attended Fresno City and Fresno State and received a degree in early childhood education administration.
Age: Old enough to have learned many of life’s lessons
Family: Husband Ken Melchor works with me. We have two daughters. Gina Sellers lives in Fresno and is a wife and the mother of our three grandchildren. Catherine Reeg is a full-time student who is majoring in civil engineering at Willow International.
How did you get into journalism, Donna?
I have lived in Fresno and Clovis most of my life and became involved in journalism by accident. I had experience in print advertising sales and had seen what did or did not work for different print media. I had my own opinions of what would make for a great community paper. So when we started The Clovis Roundup, I got to put those ideas to the test. So far my instincts have served me well.
Is the need for community reporting strong in the local area, Donna?
Yes, community reporting is important to any area. It is very important for communities to be aware of what is going on and what is needed in their own area. World and national news is everywhere and in every part of our daily lives. From the time we get up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, we are hit with images from around the world. But what is happening in our hometown next weekend or what just happened a block from home is often much harder to find out about.
What is your key business strategy, Donna?
Take care of your community and it will take care of you.
What was the best advice you received, Donna?
Life is too short to be unhappy, so don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure that you enjoy whatever you choose to do in life. Surround yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you and choose your battles wisely.
Was there someone who inspired you and if so, how?
My husband Ken inspired me with his ability to sell enough advertising to support the business from the time we began publication. He also gave me the confidence and motivation to accomplish my goals and pursue my dreams.
My business mentor was Lenee Willems, owner of Willems Printing. Lenee is from Clovis and understands the Clovis market. She took me under her wing and taught me how to produce a community paper. She was instrumental to my success and without her guidance, I could not have accomplished what I have thus far. A couple of my biggest supporters have been Fran and Mark Blackney with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce and Shawn Miller with the City of Clovis.
What was your first job, Donna?
Working for one of the Federal Reserve Banks encoding checks and balancing bank deposits.
How does Clovis Roundup give back to the community it serves, Donna?
We strive to honor our community leaders and their work fund raising for nonprofits with articles and donated advertising for their events.
What do you like to do in your spare time, Donna?
I don’t have a lot of spare time and the paper is my hobby. I do however enjoy camping and traveling with my family and friends. I also enjoy reading and learning about history. Antique shopping. I also love to sew and craft