A welcome change of plans

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tony Clark’s heart for community service nearly led him to the political arena.

“Frustrated by the direction I saw our community headed in many respects, and seeing the need for fresh thinking, I thought that holding an elected position would be the best, most direct way to have a positive impact on my community,” Clark said.

But then he got a call from Steve Stewart, publisher of The Tidewater News in Franklin, Va., suggesting a different course.

“Steve called and asked if I would be interested in joining his staff at The Tidewater News,” Clark said. “While I was truly flattered, I was also surprised. It was a nice offer, filled with opportunity to grow professionally and expand my personal experiences in different directions.

But what sealed the deal was when he told me — quite wisely, I believe — that I could conceivably serve my community in better fashion by working at the newspaper than by working in government.”

Soon after, Clark joined The Tidewater News as a marketing consultant and director of special projects. He is responsible for an advertising sales territory but also gets to write a regular commentary column for the newspaper’s Opinion page.

“I can give voice to my opinions about the direction our community is headed,” Clark said. “I can share the ideas and the feedback we get from our readers. I can shine a light on areas in which we can improve and, more importantly, on areas in which we excel.”

Before embarking on his newspaper career, Clark was an employee benefits consultant for Manry Rawls Corp. and a regional vice president for AXA Advisors. He holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

Clark and his wife, Mary Ann, have two children. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce and is Administrative Council chairman at Capron United Methodist Church.