After working at The Advertiser-Tribune for nearly four decades, Janet Vallery, production manager, is heading into retirement.
Vallery, a 63-year-old Sycamore resident who started working at The Advertiser-Tribune when she was 26, is retiring Thursday.
"I feel like I've grown up at The Advertiser. ... I've thoroughly enjoyed working here," she said.
Vallery started working at The Advertiser-Tribune Sept. 9, 1975.
"I started as a key punch operator in the old composing department," she said.
Vallery also worked on pasting up pages before becoming the production manager 26 years ago.
"I (am responsible for) creative services, pressroom, mailroom and maintenance of the building," she said.
She said there have been a lot of changes at The Advertiser-Tribune. One change was the composing department became the creative services department.
"Everything is done through a Mac now," she said.
Also, the staff now uses a computer-to-plate system. The move, Vallery said, eliminated the darkroom. The process of making a plate now is done through a computer, and an employee is not needed for the task, she said.
In the pressroom, a tower was added about seven years ago and expanded color possibilities.
"It's four stacked units in our pressroom," she said.
The Advertiser-Tribune also added a stitcher-trimmer machine, which enables staff to make books, at least 15 years ago, and the mailroom has an inserter. People used to manually put inserts into the newspaper, Vallery said.
"Having the inserter has been a huge plus (and is) easier on people's backs," she said.
Vallery said she will miss the people at work, and she has seen co-workers' families grow up.
"Their children are now having children," she said.
Vallery said The Advertiser-Tribune has been a good place to work.
"I've always been treated fairly," she said.
Vallery said she thinks it's time for her to retire. She said she has been at The Advertiser-Tribune long enough and thinks it needs a change.
Her immediate plans include getting through the holidays. After that, she plans to take a trip to pick up her sister from Florida in February.
"That'll be a nice little trip. ... That'll be fun," she said.
Vallery said she also plans to keep attending her grandchildren's activities.
"I'll just have to wait and see, see what comes up," she said.
Publisher Chris Dixon said Jay Sigler will continue to serve as The Advertiser-Tribune's commercial print salesman but is adding production manager duties.
It will be a smooth transition, Dixon said.
"(Janet) has volunteered to be there for us," he said.
Dixon - who always has been helpful and supportive, according to Vallery - said she will be missed and has been a wonderful leader in her department. He said he told her she is going to be on his speed dial.
"I'm sure she's already on Jay's," he said.