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ROGER WATSON COLUMN: We are losing more than a sales manager

This coming week will be the culmination of a long goodbye for us here at the Stanly News & Press as we wish advertising manager Tracey Almond good luck on a new adventure.

After 17 years, Tracey will soon take on a new role at Crook Motor Company.
The good thing is, Tracey will remain in Albemarle and continue to be the strong part of this community she has become. The sad part for us is we will not be working with her and her bright smile and cheery laugh.

Tracey Almond

Tracey kind of grew up at the SNAP. She started in 2003 taking classified ads before moving to an outside sales rep position. She then worked for a time in the composing department before becoming sales manager in 2011. She even met her husband Jay here while he was working as a reporter.

She recently told about how hard they worked to keep their relationship a secret until he sent her flowers on Valentine’s Day with a blank card. Then in a traditional nosy newspaper way, the secret leaked out. They have been married for 12 years.

Tracey has been a really good sales manager and her contributions have been valuable to our organization. Although it will be difficult, we can replace that position and the duties she performs.

As good as she has been as a sales manager, she is a much better person. Her compassion, community knowledge and constant striving to do good things for others is what we will miss most.

I had been in Albemarle three days when Tracey asked me what I was doing one night. She asked if I wanted to go help her church feed some people at the Soul Food Ministries program.

After meeting with some of the most important people in Albemarle, I got a good look at where the work in the community most needed to be done. Tracey was and remains on the front lines helping to make life better for many of the less fortunate in our community.

Through the Love Thy Neighbor program at Palestine United Methodist Church, Tracey and her dedicated team has seemingly fed everyone in Stanly County at one point or another. They have prepared many, many meals and help anywhere they are needed.

In the six months I have been here, I have seen Tracey take a needy person out to eat on their birthday, organize a fundraiser to purchase furniture for a medical patient, hold clothing drives and help cook and serve meals for hundreds of people.

It has been a privilege to work alongside her. We will find someone who does the job duties, but we will be hard-pressed to find anyone as compassionate and caring for the needs of the community as Tracey Almond.

We wish great things for her and know she will continue to do wonderful things along the way.

Roger Watson is publisher of The Stanly News & Press.