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A B O U T    U S

The West Valley Star was created to introduce readers to businesses they may not have discovered yet...to help the reader’s search for goods and services; and to help promote the businesses who advertise with us. With a circulation over 17,000, West Valley Star is a locally-owned publication that is direct-mailed nine times a year to businesses and the more affluent homes in the Southwest Valley which include: Litchfield Park, Pebble Creek, Palm Valley, Verrado, Russell Ranch and a portion of Estrella Mountain Ranch.


BILL ARMSTRONG, Publisher and Sales
Bill ArmstrongBill’s first mark in publishing came as a high school senior, editing the West Valley’s Agua Fria Union High School newspaper, The Desert Howl. The new editor soon forged an after-graduation plan: to create his own newspaper in Goodyear, the West Valley News, which officially launched a lifetime career. Opportunities also propelled him to Colorado, Texas and New Mexico. Bill became a partner in Denver’s metroplex of Sentinel Newspapers, and in Albuquerque, the seasoned publisher and his wife LaDonna started, built and sold a publication that now has the largest circulation in New Mexico. The intended pursuit of retirement eventually brought the couple full circle. They journeyed back to the West Valley—where they AGAIN released community and world news, by debuting the Grand Season in their leisure time. By 2007, when this latest periodical was sold, they stayed on as “staffers” of the today 70,000+-circulation magazine. Within three years, but promising a last-time start-up, the two dedicated their work to Bill’s Southwest Valley publishing roots and birthed the West Valley Star. Even now, with double-publication deadlines always looming, Bill believes it is an honor to finish his career where he most feels at home.

 

LADONNA ARMSTRONG, Editor and Production
LaDonna ArmstrongAs a paralegal, with an aptitude for computer technology and an eye for creative design, LaDonna later retooled her livelihood to fit within a new partnership. More than 30 years ago, she became a principle in Bill Armstrong’s life and in his publishing endeavors. Her experience and ambition quickly matched Bill’s drive, enabling the team to craft a solid foundation for the new titles they evolved. Each July since 1994, however, LaDonna asks for a month off, for yet another passionate pursuit. She trades her place behind the publishing desk for travel with a medical mission into the Zambian bush of Africa. In only six days of clinics, the group of approximately 250 treats from 16,000 to 19,000 people, offering free medical care and free medicine. Surgeries are performed in a base hospital, but LaDonna’s work is done in the bush, all without the aid of electricity and running water. Most patients have never seen a doctor. The medical, dental, optical, wound care, HIV testing and counseling, and cataract surgeries are conducted in the name of Jesus Christ, helping to allay patient fears. Additional information about these impassioned tasks are available by visiting www.zambiamission.org.


O U R S T A F F

CAROLE HELLAND, Assistant To Publisher
Carole HellandCarole is almost an Arizona native coming here when she was 7 years old from Detroit. Her mother, Faye Brittenham, was a beloved teacher at Buckeye Union High School for over 30 years. Carole graduated from Agua Fria Union High School, and studied Business at Arizona State University. For many years, she owned and operated White Shears Flower Shop in Goodyear. Carole believes in giving back to her community. She served as President of the Tri-City West Chamber of Commerce 1988-1989 (which is now the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce); is a member of the Three Rivers Historical Society; volunteers with the Southwest Valley Literacy Association; and is active with her church.




STORMIE STARK-MARINO, Sales Assistant
Stormie Stark-MarinoOriginally from Kirksville, Missouri, she was born during a tornado warning. So, yes, that is her real name. If she were to be named for her personality, it would be Bubbles because she is so effervescent! But Stormie could be considered an Arizona native since her family moved to Phoenix when she was 4 years old. Sales and Customer Service are her strong points. She owned and operated a successful residential/commercial cleaning service (Dustbuster’s) here in the Valley for about 10 years. Stormie worked for AT&T Phone Centers for almost 12 years and at one time was Number 3 nationally in business equipment sales and service.




TAMMY SINTERY, Production
Tammy SinteryTammy comes to us with over 20 years experience in Printing and Graphic Design. She designs visually engaging promotional materials from large to small businesses. Living in the Detroit Metro area, St. Louis and now Phoenix has given her extensive experience in all aspects of the printing industry.







KELLY CASTILLO, Production
Kelly CastilloKelly relocated to the West Valley about a year ago from Benicia, California, a small city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experience with graphic design began 12 years ago. Then she jumped from the frying pan into the fire; and for over 10 years she was the owner and publisher of Weekender Magazine. The publication listed events throughout the Bay Area.







NANCY BRANDT, Editorial
Nancy BrandtNancy has had a love affair with Arizona history since her teens. In high school she was privileged to study under a prominent archeologist and became hooked. She wrote her first documentary while a student at the Tucson High School Radio Bureau. It told the story of the five flags that have flown over Tucson. Later she was the executive producer of a series called Arizona Album. Throughout her career she has continued to produce programs and articles on the state she grew up in and loves. Her credits include: several Arizona newspapers, Desert Magazine, Sunset, The Ketch Pen (Rodeo Historical Society), Grit, Outdoor Arizona, Sun Cities Life, Young Life, Lovin’ Life and the West Valley Star.




PAMELA HOLECHEK, Editorial
Pamela HolechekDenver-born journalist Pamela (Heck) Holechek is an Arizona State University graduate. After more than four decades, she still intermingles writing, editing, graphic design and photography to foster an Arizona freelance career. Half those years were also spent full time in magazine publishing, journeying from a volunteer directories writer in the mid-1980’s to serving as Editor-in-Chief through the 1990’s for Highroads magazine. Pamela has won state and national writing awards from the National Federation of Press Women.