The Pine Bluff Commercial welcomed a new publisher on Monday. Teresa Hicks, who prefers to go by "Tee," was born in Los Angeles but hails from Las Vegas. She joins the paper as senior group publisher for Southeast Arkansas, which includes the Stuttgart Daily Leader, the Newport Independent, the Arkadelphia Daily Siftings Herald, the Hot Springs Village Voice, the Hope Star, the White Hall Journal, the Heber Springs Sun-Times, the Helena Daily World, the Van Buren County Democrat and the Bastrop News, among others.

Matt Guthrie, vice president of GateHouse Media's Southwest Region, said, "I can't tell you how happy I am to have Teresa join the team here in Arkansas. Her energy and enthusiasm coupled with her knowledge of the business will make a huge positive difference I think everyone will see."

Tee grew up in Denver, Colorado, where she received most of her formal education. Her parents moved to Texas just before her junior year of high school. Tee graduated from A.Maceo Smith High School in Dallas, Texas. She received her B.A. from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and holds an MBA from University of Texas, Dallas.

Tee has a steady background in the media space, beginning her career at KRLD Newsradio in Dallas, Texas, in the newsroom. Soon after, she was a sports editor at the Dallas Morning News. However, Tee says she quickly realized she could improve her community by being in sales, so she made the switch.

Tee held sales and leadership positions at The Dallas Morning News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Denver Newspaper Agency, Freedom Newspapers (to include Orange County Register), Montgomery Advertiser and she served most recently at the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Tee has a passion for community and believes that "together we can make a positive impact."

She said she is excited to bring energy and looks forward to being involved in this community and the Southeast Arkansas region.

"Coming behind a good man like (former publisher) Ed Graves leaves me with big shoes to fill, but I stand arm and arm with the vision to let my own light shine. I bear witness to the fact that when we are in lock step and we hold each other accountable, we can make good things happen. Good things are on the way, and I want the Commercial to be an unbiased voice for our community."

She continued: "I am excited to hear about the Go Forward Pine Bluff initiative. It speaks volumes that the citizens of this city desire revitalization. I will lead with dignity and grace and I plan to be involved and promise to be a positive leader and advocate helping to bridge gaps, bring resolve and unification to the community leaders and residents, alike."

Tee suggests that "we all buckle up, or fasten your seat belts ... it's going to be a fun journey to wild success. While we may not get there as quickly as we may like, we must remind ourselves that good things take time to manifest. Just today I have learned that we have a powerful and committed team at the Commercial."

With excitement in her voice, Tee said, "We bring the power of a national media brand with the nobility of a newspaper and blend that with the unique modern technology of our Digital Media Agency and we bring that power into this city and deliver it right to your front door. We want to work hand-in-hand with the business owners, decision makers, community leaders, educators, and city officials in effort to continue to improve the vitality of Pine Bluff."

She said, "I am committed to this journey, and I'm elated to go on this ride with those who care about Pine Bluff. I welcome your visits and phone calls and look forward to meeting the good people who make up this great city. I will be transitioning from Las Vegas to the area next week, so I wont be readily available. However, upon my return, I will be ready to pull my sleeves up, and get to work to help elevate the goals and ambitions of Pine Bluff."