The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 12, 2000


Ad manager steps down, makes her way to Town Hall

After 16 years as ad manager of the Carlisle Mosquito, Sylvia Willard has left the newspaper to assume the position of Administrator for the Carlisle Conservation Commission. Even before signing on as ad manager for the Mosquito in 1984, she had served as a reporter covering the finance committee and the school committee.

When she first started her job in the ad department, the Mosquito was located on South Street in the late Mary Diment's garage where we all worked together in one bay area, the ad department at one end of the room, typesetters at the other, and the editor or editors at the table in-between. There was lots of togetherness under those conditions and as Willard will attest, there were many heated debates on politics, school issues, parenting, overrides, books to read and the latest movie not to be missed, just to mention a few.

In those days the office had the crudest of equipment, compugraphic machines. Whenever the ad reps wanted to change the typeface or print size, they had to stop the machine, remove the film strip of a font of one size and replace with a different one.

There was no copy machine, so each week one of the ad staff had to run into Concord to the copy center. As Willard remembers, the office reeked of photographic chemicals, cigarette smoke and there was no air-conditioning.

Things have changed over the past two years. The Mosquito has moved to new quarters at the Carlisle Institute on Westford Street. Now the newspaper has five rooms, fully networked between offices and home, producing a paper up to 20 (even 24, once in a while) pages with $3,500 in advertising, due in part to Willard's hard work. That's a long way from eight pages and $400 worth of advertising, 16 years ago.

We, the staff at the Mosquito, who work together in the office, Mondays through Wednesdays, will miss our former ad manager who was always cheerful and caring. Who will provide us with the annual hot milk Valentine's Day cake so attractively decorated or the Hot-Cross Buns before Easter? Or who will remember birthdays and flowers for a special occasion? We'll miss the sound of classical music drifting out of the ad manager's office on Tuesday evenings when we start laying out the paper.

Willard was methodical and hard-working. She saw ad revenues increase from $400 in 1983 to $3,500 in 1999, which, in addition to annual donations, is the financial backbone of the newspaper. After completing her degree in environmental science last year, it was only natural for her to move out of the advertising business into work related to land and conservation issues. We wish her well in her new position. Her expertise will be a huge asset to the conservation commission as it works to preserve our precious resources, open space, wetlands and clean water.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito