Inyo County’s hometown newspaper will be heading into its 144th year with a new leader at the helm.
Rena Mlodecki has been appointed the new CEO/publisher of the Register effective March 3. She brings with her 36 years of experience in the newspaper industry, along with a commitment to excellence deeply rooted in the values of community journalism.
Mlodecki is settling in and enjoying getting to know both the area and its people.
“I am pleased to already have met a very friendly variety of business owners and residents,” she said.
Originally from Brighton, Ontario, Canada, Mlodecki cut her teeth in the newspaper business setting type at age 15 for the Brighton Independent – a paper she’d return to after high school for full-time employment. She took over as publisher at the young age of 26 – a goal Mlodecki set early on as she moved through the ranks of the production department, then editorial as a reporter and photographer and then moved into retail advertising sales and editing special sections.
“I felt my strengths were in business,” she said. “I always wanted to be a publisher.”
It was a title Mlodecki held and a role she excelled in at seven subsequent newspapers, two of which she owned and two she helped to start up in a competitive industry.
All the while, she set high standards for excellence in her markets – for both news reporting and sales – raising the bar for journalism even as she increased profits.
Mlodecki has operated and worked for daily publications and weeklies, in small towns and larger cities, for corporations and for herself, but according to Mlodecki, the experience has been the same: assembling or nurturing the best possible team to put out the best product possible for readers and advertisers.
“My experience has always been, ‘strong editorial newspapers build strong communities,’” she said.
In 2000, Mlodecki relocated from Canada to the states, where she worked as advertising director for the Coeur d’Alene Press in Idaho for three years. She was hired on as general manager/group publisher in Columbia Falls, Mont. in 2003, overseeing the Hungry Horse News, Whitefish Pilot, Bigfork Eagle, West Shore News, NW Advertiser and Lake County Reader.
Mlodecki took her business acumen and publishing skills to the general manager position at the Ruidoso News in Ruidoso, N.M. in 2010, and was promoted to regional publisher in 2011, working out of the Carlsbad Current Argus in Carlsbad.
Her genuine entrepreneurial spirit, strong focus on market share and proven ability to bring fresh ideas and apply tried-and-true ones made her the ideal candidate for The Inyo Register CEO position.
“We are excited to have a newspaper person of her caliber in Bishop,” said Leonard Martin, the regional publisher in charge of The Inyo Register. “She is talented, experienced and innovative. She’ll be a great asset to your community.”
The staff at the Register, many of whom have been there for 10 years or more, is similarly pleased to have a leader in place to guide Inyo County’s newspaper of record into the future.
It is especially heartening to have a publisher on board whose values align so closely with their own, and who is eager to help improve the product with her extensive experience, staff said.
When not bringing the news to the communities around her, Mlodecki can be found enjoying time with her dog and parrot, riding her motorcycle and taking in what nature has to offer.
“I enjoy all aspects of the outdoors and am impressed with my new surroundings,” Mlodecki said. “There will be a lot less trout with me around.”