Roger Reece: An Appreciation

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 0 Comments

Staff writers Megan Medina and David Snelling shared memories of their late editor.

“On my first day of work, I didn’t know what to expect, because during my interview he seemed like a serious man, so I was a little nervous,” said Megan Medina, 26. “But Roger always had this sense of humor.

“On that first day, he started making little jokes and told me to not be shy,” Medina said. “He made me feel comfortable during my first week and always checked up on me to make sure everything was going well.”

Medina joined the staff in November, 2017, and has worn two hats while working at the newspaper.

“I was hired to be the advertising representative,” Medina said. “After a year in that job, I started reporting for the paper.

“I am grateful for the advice Roger gave me, and for giving me a chance to be a journalist,” Medina said. “This is my first job as a reporter, and he was patient with me as I learned the format here.”

Reece also encouraged Medina to enjoy life.

“Often he would give me advice and begin by saying, ‘I could be your grandfather,’” Medina said. “He would love to chat with me when I’d say I was going away for the weekend.

“He always said, ‘Have fun, and don’t get into too much trouble,’ and I would always laugh and say, ‘I’ll try.’”

David Snelling joined the newspaper at an exciting time, when Miami Lakes incorporated in 2000 and became a municipality.

“Roger and I covered the town’s first council election in February 2001, as Wayne Slaton, who was considered a catalyst behind the incorporation movement, was elected Miami Lakes’ first mayor,” said Snelling, 46.

“Together we covered all government meetings and workshops for four years,” Snelling said.

They also reported together on the town’s managers -- Dennis White, Merrett Stierheim, Alex Rey ¬– as well as the current manager, Edward Pidermann.

“Roger loved working at “The Miami Laker,” and he took great pride in publishing the paper twice a month,” Snelling said. “He worked on the weekends and holidays to meet the publication’s deadline. He never took sick days.”

Snelling said Reece gave him good ideas for stories about readers’ favorite topics: high school sports, education, business and community events.

“Roger and I developed an editor-reporter relationship over the 19 years we worked together,” Snelling said. “He passed on his knowledge on how to be a good writer and reporter by sharing stories from his career.

"I loved him, and I will miss him," Snelling said.

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