‘The Progress’ Opens New Office In Mesquite
The new office is located in the Bank of Nevada building at 11 W. Pioneer Boulevard, Suite B on the second floor, adjacent to the office of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce.
Office hours will mirror the hours of the newspaper’s Moapa Valley office being open Monday through Friday 10 am – 4pm.
“We are excited to be opening an office in Mesquite, finally!” said Vernon Robison, The Progress owner/editor. “It has been a long time in the works. We have been laying the groundwork for this goal for the past five years or so.”
Robison said that The Progress is planning a grand opening celebration for the whole community at the new location. But the decision was made to hold that event for a bit later in the year, when temperatures come down a bit. Keep an eye on The Progress for further details.
The Progress has been in print since September of 1987. It was originally founded by Vernon’s uncle, John Z. Robison, and started out as a Moapa Valley newspaper.
But Vernon has had plans to expand the newspaper’s scope for several years. During that time, he has been slowly building a team to cover more Virgin Valley news and events.
“It just makes sense to cover both valleys in one paper,” Robison said. “There is so much that ties the two of us together and that we have in common. So I have long felt that our readership on both sides of the mesa would be better served with a broader coverage.”
This expansion effort went on, slow and steady, until March of 2020 when the COVID pandemic hit. At that difficult time the “Mesquite Local News” publication announced it was going out of print. Mesquite was suddenly left without a locally-focused print media outlet.
“We recognized that there were some needs at that point that really had to be filled,” Robison said. “For example, there was a whole graduating class of VVHS students that wouldn’t be recognized in a print paper if we didn’t step up. There was all kinds of public information and notices around COVID response that needed to get out. There was information about the senior center and recreational activities and athletics that wouldn’t be in print if we didn’t do it. We were more or less ready, so at that point we decided it was now or never!”
Within a week or two, the newspaper had changed its name and its branding, from being Moapa Valley Progress, to just “The Progress.” “That was what everyone called us anyway,” Robison said. “And it better reflected our expanded mission to cover both valleys. Since that time, the paper has balanced its content to include equal coverage for the two valleys. “We have increased our distribution as well,” Robison said. “And at this point well over half of our copies printed are distributed over here in Virgin Valley.”
With the new office for The Progress, Virgin Valley residents will now have a local office to submit items for publication. Residents can bring in society items like weddings, new baby announcements, anniversary celebrations, departing and returning missionaries and more, to be published in the newspaper. Obituary or funeral notices can be submitted through the local office as well.
Classified ads such as help wanted, for sale and real estate ads can be brought in to the Mesquite office, too, Robison said.
The Progress Mesquite office will be staffed by Tara Schenavar who has been working as the newspaper’s Advertising Consultant over the past year.
“Tara has a diverse and valuable skill set,” Robison said. “She is a talented graphic design artist and has worked with many local business-owners in her past work. She understands local small business and can consult with them on creating a first-class advertising campaign.”
Robison added that he wants to retain the small-town flavor of the local newspaper. In doing that, he is always looking for what he calls “local citizen journalists” to add unique local color and voice to the publication.
Those interested in writing news for The Progress can contact Robison by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Progress office at 702-397-6246.
To reach the Mesquite office directly call Tara Schenavar at 702-544-0403 or email her at email@example.com.
To aid with the initial transition, The Progress is teaming up with long-time business owner Mary Bundy. Bundy works as a Medicare Insurance consultant, has been helping clients in Mesquite for the past three years now.
“My goal has been to educate people on Medicare choices and then provide the best plan they can afford,” Bundy said.
Bundy added that she likes to meet with people who are age 64, just as they are about to sign up for Medicare. “A lot of misunderstandings can be avoided from the very beginning with those consultations,” she said.
In addition, Bundy has helped many seniors who are already enrolled in Medicare to improve their coverage. “The world of Medicare is a complex one,” Bundy said. “So many people who are already signed up are unaware of all the new choices available to them now. It is always a good idea to make an appointment so that we can review what they have and see if it reflects the most current offerings out there.”
Bundy is a graduate of Dixie State University in St. George where she resides. She has six children, most of whom are now adults. She is actively involved in rodeo and roping events. She and her husband like to travel throughout the region on weekends competing in those events.
“The past three years in Mesquite have been good and I have been pleased to help a lot of people,” Bundy said. “So I am expanding to the Moapa Valley as well.”
Bundy now keeps office hours every Monday at the Travis Pack CPA building at 280 S. Moapa Valley Blvd in downtown Overton.
“People are welcome from either community to come into either office and get a free review of your plan,” said Bundy. Appointments at either location may be scheduled by calling Bundy at 702-544-2295.