Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
April 3, 2017
Program: Executive Director of The Olympian – Dusti Demarest
Meeting called to order by:  President Wendy Holden
Invocation by:  Skip Steffen
Pledge of Allegiance led by:  Cub Scouts
Song:  God Bless America
Four Way Test:  Kelly Cooper
Visiting Rotarians:  South Puget Sound Rotary – Pat Beehler
Guests of Rotarians:  Warren Carlson’s introduced his wife Pat, Gloria Strait introduced Heidi S. from Mobile Blood Works NW, and David Young introduced his fiancé Jennifer. 
Happy Bucks:  Bill Lahmann – Capitol City Marathon – sign up to sponsor a mile marker.  Holly Mason – Granddaughter Greta won an award for her peace poster.  Diane Gallegos – The book drive was a huge success.  Caroline Manger – Told a joke about the Murphy twins getting drunk.  President Wendy – Go Zags!
Corrina Phillips was recognized for her Paul Harris +8 award.   Steve Bean requested nominations for the Carl Reder award to be emailed to
15 minutes of fellowship time
PROGRAM: Dusti Demarest, Executive Director at The Olympian    
Dusti has been with The Olympian since 1994. She became the editor in 2015.  She graduated from Northwestern University and majored in Journalism.  She is a member of the Thurston County United Way Board of Directors.  Dusti’s son is about to graduate from Gonzaga with a degree in engineering and computer science.  Her son earned two Rotary Club of Olympia scholarships after attending Olympia High School and he is going to be going on to get his Ph.D. 
The Olympian has sold its current building and is planning on moving to downtown Olympia.  The current staff of the Olympian is about 30, with 10 full time employees in the newsroom (2 photographers, 4 reporters, 2 editorial page employees and 2 people on the capital bureau). 
The business has shifted significantly from its peak in 2000 when the paper had a circulation of 50,000 and 50 people in the news room.  The staff has been reduced significantly along with declining revenue. 
The business has shifted to online and mobile.  The Olympian can track how many readers are looking at the paper from online and where they came from.  Many users are drawn to the site from Facebook. 
Dusti answered several questions from the audience on the value of local papers, on how much the coverage is shrinking at the state capitol and confirmed that there will probably not be a print version of the paper in 20 years.
Dusti can be contacted at
Mr. Snappy Winner: Mark Elliott
Meeting adjourned by President Wendy Holden
Submitted By: Matt DeBord