Meet Ellen Tutko, one of Hernando Sun’s advertising sales executives.She has been with the newspaper for a little over two years and finds it rewarding and challenging, but as she says, “Easy is boring.” Ellen loves her job and it shows in her attitude.
“The nicest thing for me is that I’ve been able to meet so many interesting people in the community. I have some great customers and I’m very focused on customer service. I always try to make sure that my customers are happy with their ads and happy with the responses they’re getting. I stay in touch with them and go the extra mile.”
A native of Ohio, Ellen went to Capital University in Columbus and majored in English and Business Communications. After a career in the corporate world, like many other people, she decided she wanted to be her own boss.
Ellen founded a family-oriented entertainment publication covering events such as concerts, fairs, festivals and sporting events. Her magazine ran for eight years, beating the odds of the average publication that has a life expectancy of eighteen months. During that time she met many famous entertainers like Jerry Lewis, LeeAnn Rimes and Dick Clark. She also had the opportunity to interview celebrities such as Todd Rundgren, Martha Reeves (of the 60’s vocal group Martha Reeves & the Vandellas) and Dan Fogelberg. Ellen employed about twelve people, including a couple of office staff, two photographers and six to eight writers, but she did all the advertising sales.
“I was involved on all levels. It was 24/7,” Ellen remarked.
After running her own business, Ellen and her husband moved to Hernando County in 2009 and bought a home in Hernando Oaks, a golf course community. Ellen played golf, volunteered at the DayStar Life Center in Brooksville and put her writing expertise towards editing the community newspaper.
In 2016, the opportunity to work at Hernando Sun came up. Ellen believes that local news is very important, especially for small communities, so that people know what’s going on.
“All the writers are local; everybody kind of knows everybody. A lot of people look at the [printed] newspaper as an obsolete form of media, but it really isn’t because newspapers have evolved with technology in that we’re using our website and Facebook page which is where the most reader activity is measured, and we can get specific response numbers from these. I don’t think people realize how technological newspapers have become.”
“One thing that hasn’t changed is that there’s still a certain segment of the population that wants the newspaper in their hands to read,” she added.
Although Ellen devotes a lot of her time and energy to her advertising sales, she still has time for other activities. She has continued to volunteer at DayStar Life Center and she recently started taking a watercolor painting class. She also hopes to get back to playing golf.
Ellen states her philosophy: “I try not to take life too seriously.”
A good attitude, whether you are working for a large corporation, running your own business or selling advertising for a local weekly newspaper.