There’s a New Editor in Town! 

By: Sebastiana Smith 

Long-time Editor of The Villager Grace Kuikman has retired and is passing the baton to Olivia DeSmit.  

DeSmit moved to the area with her husband, Tim Lux, who grew up in Beverly, and their daughter one year ago. 

Over the past two months, DeSmit has been working alongside Kuikman to get more acquainted with the role before fully taking over for the September Issue. “My main goal is promoting brand recognition for BAPA and The Villager — getting more people to recognize the name and get excited about the content,” DeSmit said. “So, part of that is, trying to find and write content that is engaging, interesting and informative for the community.” 

She was first introduced to journalism while studying for her bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri. She was enrolled in pre-vet courses for the first two years of her undergraduate education before changing course to science and agricultural journalism. And she hasn’t looked back since, “Telling important stories is necessary for the community, but my favorite part is how excited the actual people who you’re covering get when they see themselves in print,” DeSmit said. “They feel so special — that part is really fun for me,” DeSmit said. 

DeSmit is a freelance writer and was previously managing editor of a city magazine, Inside Columbia, in Missouri. She resigned to focus on earning her master’s in strategic communication from Texas Tech University and spend more time with her daughter. “I’m excited to get to dip my toes back into the professional world and find something that I can do that I’m passionate about in addition to playing with blocks all day long,” DeSmit said, laughing. 

For her role at The Villager, she plans to incorporate her magazine editing style. Readers can look forward to seeing small tweaks including more photo-heavy content, digital and print combinations, and potentially contests. She says her main focus is content that encourages people to not just to read the villager but also get more excited and present in the community. She is also looking forward to working with the new graphic designer Scott Hermanson on his design vision. 

Although she is familiar with the responsibilities of being an editor, knowing all there is to know about Beverly/Morgan Park is a top priority. “The new part for me is getting to know all the Beverly/Morgan Park businesses and people,” said DeSmit. “I can’t wait!”  

 

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