I am really excited for today’s #MediaMonday blog post as I connected with Raquel Hendrickson via the work that HMA Public Relations does with two of our clients in Maricopa, the Ak-Chin Indian Community and Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino.
Raquel is the new editor of InMaricopa News and for the 16 years prior was on staff at the Verde Independent, becoming the managing editor of its subsidiary publication, the Camp Verde Bugle, part of the Western News&Info family of newspapers. That included being co-editor of Kudos magazine, an arts and entertainment publication in Sedona. Raquel also spent eight years as the sports editor of the Mountain Grove News-Journal.
Raquel, originally from Snowflake, Ariz., grew up mostly in Hartville, Mo., and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1990 with a degree in communications. After college she went back to Missouri to write sports and then returned to Arizona in 1998 to be closer to family and explore new facets of the news business.
In her free time Raquel enjoys reading, hiking, the arts, astronomy and history.
So, Raquel, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
I’ve always loved a good story. It’s how we relate to each other and gauge our human experience on this planet. I started writing epic fiction when I was a little kid. So being able to write stories (shorter and factual) for a living is just a great privilege. Being able to learn and relate the amazing stories of others has been the greatest education in the world.
I’m a sixth-generation Arizonan, coming from a long line of resilient, tough, colorful characters, many of them cowboys. That informs a lot of my perspective of the world. There is also a strong love of sports that threads through the generations. My mother is a big baseball fan. Her mother was addicted to the Phoenix Suns. My father is a big college football fan. His father was a coach, school superintendent and eventually the first executive secretary of the Arizona Interscholastic Association. So it was natural for me to go into sports writing in college and afterward.
Just a few interesting tidbits:
- My first “big” interview was with Whitey Herzog, then manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.
-I’ve always been a community journalist, which means covering the gamut from local government and business to crime and construction, frequently on the same day.
-First lesson learned: Being in a position to ask important questions of people in power is a huge responsibility that can make all the difference in a community’s future.
-My toughest day on job was covering a deadly car crash on the scene only to learn the victims were people I knew.
-Best day on the job was accidentally meeting what is still my favorite interviewee, a WWII vet who spent the entirety of America’s involvement in the war in a Japanese prison camp.
-I love talking to creative people. Whether they are artists, CPAs or fifth graders, when they are trying to do something new they always have great stories.
-Trivia: I was a percussionist in my high school band and still own a bodhran.
-Travel history: Outside of North America, I have vacationed in Italy, Ireland and China.
-I tend to quote one my favorite movie lines (from The Insider) to officials I know are lying to me: “I’m getting two things – pissed off and curious.”
Have a story idea that is relevant to the residents of Maricopa? Email me at Raquel@InMaricopa.com.