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Community farewell set for longtime Record publisher

A community farewell reception will be held from 4-7 p.m. at The Erwin Record Tuesday, March 8, for Mark A. Stevens, who is leaving The Erwin Record after serving more than 13 years as executive editor and publisher.
Stevens is moving to Lafayette, La., where his wife, Amy, has accepted a job with LHC Group Inc.
The reception, which is open to the community, will provide the opportunity for readers to stop by to enjoy light refreshments and greet Stevens before he leaves.
“I leave the town of Erwin and The Erwin Record with a heavy heart,” Stevens said. “My departure is bittersweet, but I leave knowing it’s the best thing for my family.”
Stevens, who took over The Erwin Record as executive editor and general manager in 1997, has led the staff to years of accolades for the newspaper. Beginning in 2003, The Erwin Record was honored by the Tennessee Press Association with the Sweepstakes/General Excellence Award, a tradition of excellence that has continued for eight consecutive years, a feat unmatched by any other newspaper in Tennessee.
During the 13 years Stevens has headed The Erwin Record, the publication has amassed nearly 400 awards for journalism and advertising excellence.
Stevens, himself, has also earned many accolades as a journalist and editor. He has won top honors for his news reporting and hard-hitting editorials, as well as his humor columns. He is a two-time winner of the Edward J. Meeman Award. In 2004, Washington, D.C.-based Presstime Magazine named Stevens as one of the nation’s up-and-coming newspaper executives in its annual 20 under 40 honors.
He was also inducted into East Tennessee State University’s Department of Communications Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Walter B. Garland Annual Historical Preservation Award from the Unicoi County Historical Society.
He is the author of “Then & Now: Unicoi County,” a pictorial history book released in 2008 by Charleston, S.C-based Arcadia Publishing.
Stevens has also been active in the community, currently serving as president of the Rotary Club of Unicoi County and as a board member of the Harmon and Mary Monroe Foundation and the Unicoi County Habitat for Humanity.
He is a former two-term president of the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce and served one term as chairman of the board. He is also a member of the Erwin Kiwanis Club.
Stevens describes his employment at the publication as “a dream come true,” and says it has been an honor to serve the people of Unicoi County.
“My family has lived in Unicoi County for seven generations,” he said, “and Amy and I have called this place our home for nearly 16 years of marriage. I will deeply miss my family, neighbors, friends and, of course, the many readers of The Erwin Record. I love what I do, and I am proud to have served the people of Unicoi County.”
For more information about the reception, call The Erwin Record at 743-4112.