This month we say a bittersweet farewell to Jan Hovey, our board vice president and marketing director, who has graced Calaveras County with her talents for nearly three decades. Like many of us who have fallen in love with the central Sierra, Jan came here by chance – a mere 28 years ago – and was hooked. With her passion for the outdoors and a solid background in active lifestyle marketing, Jan quickly found a niche for herself. She landed first at the Mt. Reba Bear Valley ski company, then to Kline’s Fitness in Arnold to ultimately running her own 23-year long business in target marketing. Jan also found herself serving on just about every business and marketing board in the area, including a stint as one of the first secretaries of the marketing organization that preceded the CVB, until she became pregnant with her son Kyle and decided to not to spread herself so thin. She went deep instead, presiding over the Greater Arnold Business Bureau for 13 years, and helping steer the organization from a schedule of casual mixers to one of educational and promotional endeavors. The Greater Arnold Guide was one of the fruits of these labors.
Over the years her interest in writing was also becoming stronger, and as she developed her craft, marketing copy turned into articles and feature stories. Following the writing bug, Jan took her marketing chops to the Calaveras Enterprise, starting out as their marketing manager then moving into the position of advertising manager. It was here she saw the need to spin off an entirely new publication that would give local businesses more ad opportunities and put all the entertainment info for the tri-county region (Calaveras, Amador, Tuolumne) in one place – and so the Sierra Lodestar was born. Jan then found herself with a full plate of writing responsibilities as a weekly columnist for Sierra Lodestar and the Calaveras Enterprise, as well as editor for Central Sierra Seasons magazine.
Her proudest writing accomplishment, however, may be the work she did for the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway project. Owing to her love for the Sierra and her interest in seeing the region’s economy grow, Jan wrote the content to nominate Ebbetts for inclusion in the US Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byway program, a designation shared by just seven other routes in California. Ebbetts was granted it’s place as a National Scenic Byway in 2005, and then Jan, along with Lisa Schwartz, wrote the guidebook to the Byway, an excellent resource of travel and cultural information that will be a great asset in our collective efforts to promote tourism in the region in coming years.
Now it’s time for Jan to spread her wings, as she puts it, and see what new horizons have in store. She plans to keep up with all her Calaveras County clients remotely, as well as maintain co-ownership of Hovey Winery in Murphys. She’ll be landing on the north shore of Kauai and looking to share her love of writing and marketing with some lucky folks there. While we’re sad we won’t be seeing her face as much around here, we are grateful for all she’s given and wish her the best. Aloha Jan!