PORT ANGELES — Steve Perry, the general manager and advertising director of the Olympic Peninsula News Group and the Kitsap News Group, is retiring after more than 39 years in the business and 17 years on the North Olympic Peninsula.
Perry’s last day will be Oct. 31.
“I’m ready to take on other challenges and opportunities and relax,” he said.
Terry Ward, publisher of both the Olympic Peninsula News Group — made up of the Peninsula Daily News (PDN), Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum — and of the Kitsap News Group, said that Perry’s experience and expertise will be missed.
“Steve has been a great partner in business, both for the many clients he interacted with regularly and me,” Ward said. “His work ethic is unparalleled.
“Steve’s been passionate about mentoring and coaching his team toward success. His dedication to ensuring the business community on the North Olympic Peninsula is well cared for will be a legacy that will last for years to come.”
A long career
Perry, 60, is a 1981 graduate of Washington State University, where he majored in political science with a minor in communications.
He started his newspaper career with the Skagit Valley Herald, where he worked for seven years, and later moved to Bainbridge Island, working at the Kitsap Sun for 12 years.
He then served as advertising manager for three years at the Peninsula Gateway, a weekly based in Gig Harbor.
In June 2002, he joined the Sequim Gazette, leading the weekly’s advertising sales team.
Six years later he was named general manager of Olympic View Publishing.
Perry held that role until the PDN, Gazette and Forks Forum joined Sound Publishing in 2011, when he took the reins of the sales department for all three publications.
In 2016, he was named general manager of the Olympic Peninsula News Group. His role expanded to include the Kitsap News Group in 2018.
“I’ve really enjoyed working hard and facing challenges in our business,” Perry said. “I’m very passionate about our ability to provide a platform for news that impacts our lives on a daily basis.”
Former Gazette owner Brown Maloney hired Perry for his first job on the Peninsula.
“Steve’s enthusiasm for our business was apparent, as was his understanding of how an effective marketing plan could greatly build a local business,” Maloney said.
“And Steve did not just want your business; he wanted to bring each business owner results, something I greatly appreciated.
“Even today a customer does not know Steve through emails only, but each works with Steve direct and with a handshake.”
Perry said that he looks forward to retirement but leaves with some sadness.
“The biggest thing I’ll miss are the people,” he said. “The relationships with people outside of the workplace have been just as fulfilling as those with the people I have worked with.”
Perry and his wife, Karen, live on Bainbridge Island, from which he has commuted during his tenure working on the Peninsula.
The couple have three grown sons.