Rick Shaver started his newspaper career in 1978 after graduating from St. Lawrence College in Cornwall. His first seven years were spent in sales with daily papers in Cornwall, Kirkland Lake and Brampton. In 1985 he opened the Cornwall Seaway News where he has devoted an additional 35 years.
“In September 1985, we produced and delivered our very first Seaway Shopping News,” said Rick Shaver in an article celebrating the paper’s 34th anniversary. “Circulation was 29,850 and the internet wasn’t even a word yet. Our friends at RE/MAX bought our back page, Cogeco, Seaway Chev, Cameron Real Estate, Cornwall Square and Farmboy still advertise with us today. ”
Initially, the paper had a total of eight employees, including co-founder Dick Aubry. Today, the Cornwall Seaway News has a full editorial department with an editor, reporter, cartoonist, 21 local monthly columnists, plus freelancers, a sales team of five, a production department and additional office staff.
In addition to the weekly newspaper, the Cornwall Seaway News also produces and distributes seven magazines, a website, a number of social media accounts and a weekly podcast.
Over the years, Rick has been awarded many recognition awards for his work within the community. He is credited with implementing many fundraisers, including the Cystic Fibrosis Pizza Night, which has raised over $150,000 after 14 years. In 1989 Rick chaired the first of many of the 32 years of the Cornwall Business Excellence Award evening, which provides recognition to businesses and individual dedication to city development. He was a member of the Journalism Program Advisory Board at St. Lawrence College, which allowed him to engage in the education of future newspaper graduates. His leadership in the Kinsmen Association has led to many projects in the community, also sitting on the Cornwall LiftOff board, Parade of Nations board, Cornwall Carbon Reduction Committee, Cornwall Aces board plus many others.
In 2017 he was recognized with a Community Award in Memory of Mary Knowles for being both a dedicated newspaperman and an avid community volunteer.
He was awarded the Business Excellence Lifetime Business Achievement from the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce in 2018, recognizing those who have made their mark in the world of commerce while also enhancing the community as a whole. He received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Rick has become a familiar face at association conferences. He dedicated nearly 20 years to the Ontario Community Newspapers Association board, serving in various roles including President, Vice President and Treasurer. He also served nine years on the Canadian Community Newspapers Association board.
In an article published in OCNA’s member newsletter, NewsClips, in February 2019, Rick notes that being on the board was the step to take as publisher in order to build a better relationship with the industry.
“There are so many friends and colleagues in the same position, and there are answers out there for everyone, we just need to work together to find them,” he said.
With 42 years of experience on his resume, Rick is still active at the paper and within his community and is happy to share his experience and knowledge with other publishers to achieve better success.
The Ontario Community Newspapers Association is thrilled to announce Rick Shaver as an inductee of the OCNA Hall of Fame.