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Chavez named new Optic ad manager

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By The Staff

The Las Vegas Optic has a new advertising manager. Vince Chavez’s first day on the job was Tuesday.

Chavez, 52, is in the process of moving to San Miguel County from his home near Taos. He and his wife, Susan Maggie Chavez, are empty nesters who have raised five sons. They also have two granddaughters.

Chavez grew up in the Midwest, but most of his adult life was spent in New Mexico and Colorado. He’s lived in Mesilla, Las Cruces and Taos in New Mexico. “My real passion is the West and the diversified culture we have out here,” he said.

His professional experience includes general manager of the magazines Gateway and American West in New Mexico and Colorado, and as general sales manager for auto dealerships in both states. While running the magazines, he worked closely with singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey, historian Leon Metz, “Gunsmoke” star Buck Taylor, and former state Deputy Secretary of Tourism John Garcia.

As ad manager, Chavez oversees the newspaper’s advertising and classified sales. He will be a hands-on manager, making sales calls personally as well as handling the administrative details that come with the job. He inherits a team of salespeople consisting of Luke Boback, Mary Oviatt and, soon, Julie Santistevan.

“I look forward to getting to know this community and building long-lasting relationships. Maggie and I have decided we would love to settle down in this community, and the Optic is the vehicle to get this started,” Chavez said.

Publisher Tom McDonald said Chavez fills out an already skilled staff as the newspaper makes the transition to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday publication. Last month, the Optic announced plans to go from a five-day-a-week to a three-day newspaper, beginning March 2.

“Vince has the skills we need to make sure this change doesn’t disrupt the services we offer our advertising customers,” McDonald said. “We’re determined to make this newspaper stronger, and I think Vince will play a key role in making that happen.”

As for Boback, who has served as interim ad manager since early December, McDonald said, “He has done a great job but the added workload has kept him in the office more than he would have liked to have been. He’s glad to have Vince on board, so he can get back out there and give his customers more individualized attention.”