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Blain Fowler - Publisher

The Camrose Booster was launched by Blain’s parents, Bill and Berdie Fowler, in November of 1952. Within a few months, nine-year-old Blain was given a paper route and he has been with the business ever since. Promotions were not rapid but new responsibilities were assigned in a logical sequence. By age twelve, Blain worked after school and Saturdays, doing janitorial work and odd jobs around the shop, including the messy task of cleaning out five-gallon ink pails that were re-purposed as garbage cans throughout the office and shop. Remarkably, two of these pails are still in use in the back shop, some sixty-five years on!
Blain literally grew up in the plant, finishing commercial printing jobs, running the presses, working in the photo lab, opaquing and stripping negatives and burning printing plates, before moving into the front office to accounting and newsgathering, and finally venturing forth as a sales representative. This trade experience culminated in being offered the opportunity to join the company as a one-third owner in 1966, and graduating to 100% ownership, and the Publisher’s chair, ten years later. At that time, his dad chose to retire but his mom carried on as Editor of the Booster until her death in 2013, at the age of 93.
Although the company provides many products and services to its customers, our flagship offering continues to be The Camrose Booster, a community newspaper. From the very beginning, its role has been to build community spirit and provide a positive selling atmosphere for our advertisers. A unique feature of the Booster is that we devote our front page to a community event each week. The only qualifications are that this must be an event in the future and that the cover photo must include people. Regarding our editorial content, we publish only original local news and features that readers cannot get anywhere else. Because we know and understand our purpose, we do not venture into national or provincial reporting, which we leave to other publications.
Our strength has always been our loyal, well-trained and capable employees. Blain’s four-point strategy to build a winning team, is to employ the very best people available, provide each person with the proper training and tools to do the job, compensate and treat each person fairly and then stand back and let them go to work. This strategy has worked well for the Booster, as more than half of the staff has been with the company for over fifteen years, several members for much longer.
This continuity has allowed the Booster Team to function exceptionally well. Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well, and perfection is what the Booster Team has been delivering for years. We are members of two of the most respected publishing organizations in North America: The Association of Free Community Papers with headquarters in New York, and the Independent Free Papers of America, with headquarters in Tennessee. Both organizations hold annual competitions for excellence in graphic design in a variety of categories, cover design, photography, news writing, and other areas specific to newspaper publishing. The Booster has received awards in these international competitions consistently over the years. In the most recent AFCP competition, the Camrose Booster received no less than twenty awards and shared the “Best of Show” podium with publications from Florida, Arizona and Georgia.
Booster distribution is audited by the Circulation Verification Council in St. Louis, Missouri, a company that audits over 4,000 similar publications throughout North America. This company has awarded “Gold Standard” status to the top 1% of audited publications, based on receivership, readership and the publication’s ability to influence buying decisions. The Camrose Booster received this award for seven of the eight years that it was offered. This recognition reflects the loyalty of our readership and the dependability of our distribution system.
Our distribution system is accredited by the Alliance for Audited Media in accordance with criteria established by Flyer Delivery Standards of Canada. This is no small feat for a small publication in rural Alberta and an exceptional achievement for our Circulation Manager and our team of inserters, carriers and drivers.
Blain is very proud of each and every member of this exceptional group of people. The Camrose Booster is the most effective and economical advertising medium in East-Central Alberta and we are thrilled to be YOUR marketing partner!

Ron Pilger - Sales Manager and Associate Publisher

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Ron Pilger - Sales Manager and Associate Publisher
Go back in time, way back to August 1976, and you'll find a young, energetic, homegrown lad walk through the front door of The Camrose Booster, resume in hand. For the first ten years on the job Ron was the sales leader at the company. Working with dozens of existing clients and having the drive and keen ability to land many more, he worked with his growing client base on thousands of compelling and often award-winning advertising campaigns. In 1986 Ron became the company sales manager, a responsibility which continues today. On May of 2014, Ron began sporting a bigger hat as well, this one displaying the label of 'Associate Publisher.'

Jeff Fowler - Sales Representative

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Jeff is proud to be a third generation Booster man. As long as he can remember, he has wanted to be part of the Home Team. At the age of 10, he began coming down to the office with his dad on the odd Saturday morning, emptying trash cans for our graphic arts department, and tidying up around the production area – thus freeing up valuable time for other members of the team. Then as a teen, working regular afterschool hours on most weekdays, Jeff became involved in the production side of the business, particularly in finishing – perforating, stitching, cutting, manually collating multi-part forms, and wrapping packages of printed materials for delivery, along with other duties as needed. Later, working full time during summer breaks throughout high school, Jeff learned to operate a letterpress, and also became involved in circulation. Moving through the various departments, eventually led to a position as a sales assistant, when he began to have more contact with The Booster’s loyal customer base. Building friendships with our extended family among the Camrose business community is something he immediately became fond of. When an opportunity arose to join the sales department as an account executive in 1997, Jeff jumped at the chance.

Murray Green - Reporter

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After realizing that he wasn't going to make a living being a professional athlete or musician, Murray decided to do the next best thing, become a reporter. His first assignment at journalism school was to write a story on sports icon John Short. Since 1981, he has covered a variety of sports and entertainment events. He feels as comfortable being on the receiving end of a Gordie Howe elbow as he did with a conversation with Glen Campbell about country music. The beautiful city of Camrose came calling in 1984 and Murray has enjoyed promoting the wonderful people in the area ever since.

Lori Larsen - Reporter

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          Lori joined the Booster team in November of 2015 and is delighted to combine her passion for writing and photography with meeting new people and discovering their stories. She has her Masters in Education and Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and a diploma in Law Enforcement. She taught at Lethbridge Community College in the Law Enforcement Program, Northern Lights College in Business and Land Management and Red Deer College in Business and Hospitality. During almost 18 years of post secondary teaching she had the pleasure of meeting and working with hundreds of college students enabling her to grow and develop her own skills in classroom presentation, interviewing, curriculum design and research.
         Lori has been a hobby photographer for over 30 years with a focus on wildlife and closeups. She completed courses in both photography and advanced photography.
          She has been married to her husband John for 34 years and has two grown children – a son and daughter. In her spare time Lori enjoys spending time with her family including mountain trips with their four saddle horses, painting and gardening.
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Don Hutchinson - Comptroller

          As a long time member of The Camrose Booster team (going on 48 years all total), comptroller Don Hutchinson has gained a reputation around the shop for his financial prowess, organizational skills not to mention quirky sense of humour and infectious laugh. Don grew up in Camrose and, outside of being born in Edmonton and spending two years there for post-secondary education, has lived here all of his life.  He began working with The Booster when he was a mere 14-year-old lad doing bindary jobs after the paper was printed, which included padding, scoring, folding, stapling and cleaning presses. After completing high school Don took on a full time position with The Booster as the Circulation Manager responsible for hiring and training carrier staff. Upon returning to school at Camrose Lutheran College for the first two years of a four year Commerce Degree, Don relinquished his role as the circulation manager remaining part time on weekends and full time in the summer. He moved to Edmonton to complete the last two years of the degree program, driving back and forth from Edmonton to Camrose on weekends to continue work at The Booster and working full time during the summer break.
After graduating from the University of Alberta Don returned to his hometown of Camrose and full time with The Booster as the Comptroller responsible for helping regulate  financial matters as well as costing and pricing for the print shop. But as is the case with all those around the shop, Don picks up wherever and whenever the ball needs to be kept in play.
          He has been married to wife Nola for over 25 years. Together they have raised two daughters Emma and Marta who are both now pursing post secondary education, which he admits has been bitter sweet for both himself and Nola as they work through "empty nest syndrome".
          In his spare time Don enjoys running, cross country skiing, officating soccer games and is a member of the Churchmice Players board. He has also been spotted on stage as memorable characters in some of the Churchmice productions.

Kirby Fowler- Production / Circulation Manager

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Kirby began his long-time career with the Camrose Booster when he was in high school, spending after-school hours, weekends and summers assisting the Art Department with preparing the paper for press by converting pages to negatives and stripping and putting them on plates. This was a time-consuming process that tapped into Kirby's meticulous eye for detail. He was also responsible for faithfully ensuring the large distribution of rural readers did not go without their biweekly dose of local news, events, sales and promotion information.
          In 1992, he became a full-time member of the Booster team, assisting in circulation and in the printing end of the business. In 1997, Kirby trained to be the press operator, responsible for all in-house printing jobs. In the late 1990s, he took on the position of Production Manager, which entails organizing all the in-house printing, cutting and finishing of customer printing products, as well as being the liaison for out-of-house print jobs, receiving, quality control and distribution of customer promotional materials, while covering the rural aspect of circulation. In 2021, once again Kirby responded to the needs of the Booster by taking over the position of Circulation Manager for all distributions, ensuring the paper will always be in not only all rural residents', but also City residents' mailboxes and on newsstands. In his capacity at the Booster, he wears a variety of hats and continues to learn all aspects of the business.
          His dedication to the continual success of the Camrose Booster goes above and beyond, as seen by his very early arrival at the office, well before the rest of the team gets buzzing. Outside of juggling his duties at the Booster, Kirby is a self-proclaimed history buff, with specific interests in military and aviation history. Another source of entertainment and joy is his two-year-old husky/rotty-mix "granddog" Meeka, whom, he says, never ceases to amaze him with her incredible intelligence and zest for life.
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Pat Horton - Graphic Artist / Art Director

          Pat grew up on a farm in the Strome/Daysland area. As a youngster, she loved to draw – in school, Art was always her favourite class. After graduating from Daysland High School, she enrolled in the Advertising Arts program at Grant MacEwan College (now University). She took an intense two-year program in this field. Big city life was not for her, so she moved closer to her roots – Camrose. Back then, there were not many opportunities in Camrose in the arts field, but an ad for an artist in The Booster caught her eye, so she applied.  Co-founder Berdie Fowler gave her an interview, and after sending her home to work on her rather rusty typing skills, hired her a week or so later. So, at the age of 20, Pat became part of The Booster graphics team.
         Pat has grown along with company and has held the position of Art Director since 1988. In addition to designing ads, brochures, leaflets and all sorts of printed materials, she is responsible for allocating ads and news to pages, and is a liaison with IT services to ensure vital computer systems are kept updated and running smoothly. Although the principles of design has not changed over the years, the technology involved in printing a paper has changed immensely in the years since Pat first started. Embracing these changes and keeping on top of the best equipment and programs has enabled The Booster to compete and stand out among the top papers in North America.
         In her off time, Pat is a hobby photographer (some of her shots have been featured in The Booster). She loves animals and spending time hiking and camping with friends and family. Recently, she was bitten with the kayaking bug and hopes to explore the beauty of Alberta from the water.