The Team Behind the Christmas Magic
Vince Bodiford is the President and Publisher of the Monroe News in Monroe, Michigan. Vince has more than 34 years in the newspaper, media and marketing business. He started his career as an advertising executive for the Needles Desert Star in California. His ambitions led him to acquire and operate several newspapers in Texas, Colorado and Nebraska. He spent five years working for Cabela’s, helping them with marketing and branding before accepting a position at The Arizona Republic, where he was the strategic advertising sales manager. Most recently, Bodiford served as the group publisher for the Orange County Neighborhood Newspapers in Orange County, California.
Seth Eaker has been involved in event production since he was a child with his mother’s dinner parties. After becoming a chef through the Marriott Management Services training program while he was an undergraduate at the University of the South, he professionally produced events for clients. After forming his own consulting firms, he has produced weddings, major fund-raising weekends for the LGBT community, bar mitzvahs and sundry other events. As a huge fan of Disney and parades, he has co-chaired or chaired a number of Christmas parades, most notably the Seal Beach Christmas parade for the last five years. Big or more modest, Seth’s desire is always to make events better, not necessarily bigger. He has been producing events and parades since 2004 as one arm of Black Marble Consulting, LLC with offices in Seal Beach, CA; Macau, China and now Monroe, MI.
Michelle Dugan is a Monroe native. She has served as the Executive Director of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce since 1996. She and her husband are parents to an eight-year-old daughter and two retired greyhounds. Her most Magical Christmas gift was a canopy bed that she awoke in, assembled by Santa – while she slept in the room.
Jeanine Bragg is working on event marketing, and publishing revenue projects. She has worked for The Monroe News for more than 23 years, prior to that she was the marketing director for a major shopping center in Toledo. Her favorite Christmas gift as a child was BB Gun, which she promptly shot her eye out with.
Blair has been tasked with digital and social media promotions & project management for Christmas Magic in Monroe. Blair has been with Monroe Media Group for over three years, and is the resident music and Christmas junkie. His Sufjan Stevens Christmas albums are dusted off in early November, and play on repeat throughout the holiday season. He has so many favorite Christmas memories & gifts growing up because his parents always made Christmas such a special experience (and he’s an only child).
Dori Hudson provides administrative and organizational support for the Christmas Parade. She began working at The Monroe News in 2016 and is the Assistant to the Publisher. She looks forward to this Christmas, in particular, as her first grandchild is due during Christmas week.
Holly Laginess is the Creative Director for Christmas Magic in Monroe Parade and Winter Wonderland. She has been with the Monroe News for one year. One of her favorite family traditions is when her family goes to the tree farm and cuts down a Christmas tree. They would bring it home and decorate it all while watching some Christmas movies and drinking hot chocolate.
Karen Micheaux is the onsite Marketing Coordinator for Christmas Magic in Monroe. She has worked for Monroe News since 2014, initially as a Customer Service Representative; and most recently as the Global Digital Printing Office Manager, for over a year. One of Karen’s favorite Christmas memories is helping her daughter, as a little girl, make homemade gifts for family members.
Jill Nevels-Haun is the executive editor of The Monroe News, where she provides leadership to the newsroom. As part of the Christmas Magic in Monroe committee, she is tasked with editorial and public relations support. Before taking on her current position, she was the managing editor of two Gannett newspapers in northwest Ohio. One of Jill’s favorite Christmas gifts growing up was a designer pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.
Jim O’Hara is handling the logistics and several other projects for this year’s parade and winter wonderland. Working as a District Manager in circulation, Jim has been with us for over a year. He has many years of event management and charitable fund raising. Christmas magic is about the children and seeing the grand children’s faces on Christmas morning. That’s always the joy of the season!
Shelley Taylor calls Monroe home having moved here over 25 years ago. She’s the Executive Director for the Humane Society of Monroe County. One of Shelley’s Magical Christmas gifts was a Barbie Townhouse-delivered all put together by Santa!
Kendra Wall is a lifelong resident of Monroe. She is married to JD, and has two children, Dawson and Garrett. Kendra brings over 16 years of print and digital media experience to the Monroe News, and is currently tasked with securing business sponsorship’s for the Christmas Magic in Monroe event. Some of Kendra’s favorite Christmas times are hosting Christmas dinner and listening to her father, Ken, recite lines from the movie “The Christmas Story” as it plays in the background. Her favorite childhood Christmas gift was a Cabbage Patch doll named Henrietta Petunia.
Paula Wethington is tasked with social media, media relations and other publicity support for Christmas Magic in Monroe. She has worked at The Monroe News since 2000, where she is the newsroom digital team leader and one of the reporters. Before moving to Monroe, she worked at two Gannett newspapers in northwest Ohio. One of Paula’s favorite Christmas gifts growing up was a Superstar Christie, friend of Barbie doll