Mvp group picture
We asked them: “What do you hope to get out of the MVP program?” 

Ashley Huisman
New Century Press located in Rock Rapids, IA.
Graphic Designer
Years in the industry: 7 Years
Publications I lay out weekly for NCP include The Lyon County Reporter, The Republic, The Special and The Minnehaha Messenger.  I also design ads and work on various other projects throughout the year as a part of the graphic design team. I have been with New Century Press for almost 7 years now, some being part-time and some being full-time. I’m excited to get started with the MVP group, hoping to learn more about the industry and how everyone’s day to day processes work. I’m looking forward to bouncing ideas off each other, coming up with solutions to workplace issues, learning new tips and tricks and learning more about myself in the process. It’s great to be a part of a group of individuals like myself to be able to communicate with learn together.

Desiree Whalen (Dez Whalen)
Woodward Communications/Wisconsin-Iowa Shopping News
Account Executive Inside Sales
Years in the industry: 2 Years
MFCP’s MVP group has been invaluable to my growth in the publishing industry the last year. I appreciate the opportunity to get to know peers and leaders, alike, in the Midwest Free Community Paper network.  The mentorship, professional skills training, networking, tips and tricks, triumphs and challenges that are shared within this group and at conferences has been a game changer for me. My confidence in this industry and in myself has grown exponentially in my time in the MVP group. 

Melissa Bomkamp
Richland Center Shopping News
Account Executive Outside Sales
Years in the industry: Almost 2 years with the Richland Center Shopping News. I have been in sales for most of my working career.
I would love to get more ideas and tips on how to approach certain things we offer.  I'm always up for new ideas!

Amy Kyllo
Dairy Star
Staff writer
Years in the industry: 1
I am excited to grow my network through this group. I work remotely, so making connections with colleagues is something I treasure. I look forward to getting to know the people in this industry that otherwise I would be unable to connect with. In the growth aspect, I want to learn increased self-awareness and be better able to create quality work. At free community papers, I know every employee plays a role in the viability and success of the company, and I want to become better to bring more value to my company, myself and the industry as a whole.

Taylor Smith
Fillmore County Journal
Graphic Designer
Years in Industry: 3
I hope to gain a deeper understanding of current trends and practices that will enable me to stay ahead in a competitive business environment. The opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and industry leaders is extremely valuable, and I look forward to the insights and mentorship that this program offers.

Amanda Thooft
Star Publications
Production Manager
Years in the industry: 13 years
I am hoping to expand my knowledge by learning from others in the same industry. In the year I have been in MVP it has been great to get to know others victories and struggles with the newspaper industry and how we can grow and overcome any obstacle in a very vital industry.

Julia Merten 
Star Publications - I work with the Dairy Star and Country Acres South publications.
Territory Marketing Advisor 
Years in Industry: 2 
Being that I am a young professional who is new to the Print/News Industry I am hoping to use this opportunity to grow and learn. Already, I have been impressed by the amazing connections I have made within the industry while attending the MFCP Conference. I look forward to taking the knowledge I gain from conferences and monthly meetings back to my company and the projects that I am working on.