Lee Enterprises Promotes Astrid Garcia to VP of HR

DAVENPORT, IA–(Marketwired – Nov 26, 2013) – Astrid J. Garcia, vice president of human resources, labor and operations at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has been promoted to vice president of human resources for Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE).

Mary Junck, Lee chairman and chief executive officer, said Garcia will be based at the corporate headquarters in Davenport beginning December 2.

“Astrid brings a stellar record of achievement in all facets of human resources leadership,” Junck said. “She also brings impressive legal experience and keen expertise in print and digital operations and production. She is a terrific executive, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the Lee management team.”

Garcia joined Lee at the Post-Dispatch in 2006. Her career includes top leadership positions in human resources and operations for the former Knight Ridder Inc., serving at The Miami Herald, St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News. She also served as vice president for human resources and operations at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She began her newspaper human resources career in 1985 at the Hartford Courant. From 1981 to 1985, she served as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Connecticut and New York. She also previously was an attorney for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School.

In St. Louis, she is a member of the board of directors of the Urban League, the YMCA and United Way. She is a past president of the National Association of Minority Media Executives. Her husband, Bob Gillespie, is a psychologist. They have two sons who are graduates of the University of Iowa.

“I am delighted to be joining the corporate HR team and look forward to working with so many terrific professionals across the company,” she said. “I love this industry and welcome the opportunity to help advance our exciting future.”

Garcia succeeds Vytenis P. Kuraitis, who is retiring this week after an extensive career in human resources, including 19 years in Lee.

In relaying his decision throughout the company in September, Junck said:

“We’re going to miss him very much. As our vice president of human resources since 1997, Vito has recruited and nurtured outstanding leaders and key personnel throughout the company, and he has developed industry-leading policies and programs that benefit us all. Equally significantly, he has continually helped guide the direction of Lee by providing creative thinking and wise counsel. From a personal standpoint, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Vito and have treasured his fellowship. He has been a dear friend to so many of us, and I am counting on that fact not to change when he wraps up his career to begin spending more time with Joan, his daughters and their families.”

Kuraitis joined Lee in 1994 as director of human resources and became vice president in 1997. Before joining Lee, he was national practice director for executive compensation at Godwins Inc., a former international human resources consulting firm. He previously was a principal and practice leader for human resources consulting at the former Arthur Young and Co. Before beginning his consulting career, he was manager of personnel planning and development at Leaseway Transportation Co. and director of compensation, benefits and international personnel for Nordson Corp., an international manufacturing company. He also has an extensive background as a human resources generalist. He is co-author of “Executive Compensation Answer Book” and author of several dozen compensation and training articles. He is a past member of the American Press Institute board of directors and is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, in its markets, with 46 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 22 states. Lee’s newspapers have circulation of 1.1 million daily and 1.5 million Sunday, reaching nearly four million readers in print alone. Lee’s websites and mobile and tablet products attracted 23.2 million unique visitors in September 2013. Lee’s markets include St. Louis, MO; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; Billings, MT; Bloomington, IL; and Tucson, AZ. Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE. For more information about Lee, please visit lee.net.

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Lee Enterprises Promotes Astrid Garcia to VP of HR
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Town of Bluffton taps new human resources chief

The town of Bluffton has hired an Indiana native with 20 years experience as its human resources director.

Katherine Robinson, an Indiana-native who lived in the Sarasota, Fla.-area for more than 30 years, started Monday, according to a town news release that billed her as a “human resources expert, life-purpose coach, a speaker and an author.”

“Katherine brings extensive human resources experience from the public and private sectors and we are pleased she has joined us in Bluffton to coordinate the human resources programs and projects for the Town’s more than 100 employees,” town manager Anthony Barrett said in the release.

Robinson was most recently the human resources director for Manatee Glens, a private behavioral-health hospital with more than 430 employees, according to the release. Robinson formerly held human resources leadership roles for the Florida municipalities of Cape Coral and Longboat Key. Robinson also spent years in the banking industry as a human resources professional with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Jacksonville, Freedom Bank in Bradenton and the First National Bank of Florida in Sarasota.

Robinson is active in support groups for acoustic neuroma. Robinson is a survivor of the form of brain tumor and wrote a self-published a book, “Expect the Best…There is Always Hope on the Horizon,” about her experience.

“Human resources are each organization’s best assets and it is my honor to work for Bluffton, a town that is proactive, forward-leaning and ready for its next chapter,” Robinson said in the release.

She has a degree in business management from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and earned her certification in human resources management from the University of South Florida.

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