July 17th, 2018

News office manager says goodbye after 35 years

By Tim Kalinowski on April 15, 2017.

Medicine Hat News

The Medicine Hat News said farewell to longtime office manager Coni Christo on Thursday.

Christo began her career at the News as a publisher’s secretary 35 years-ago, eventually working for six different publishers.

“I had to, literally, learn computers. When I started working here it was still short-hand, typewriters and dictation,” remembers Christo.

An excellent typist with a good head for finance, Christo eventually evolved into the office manager position about 20 years ago, dragging the position into the 21st century.

“I had to fight to get my first computer,” Christo remembers with a laugh. “The only way I got it was Alan Poirier asked me if I would do the treasurer’s job for the Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund.”

Christo has been amazed by the progression of technology in the newspaper business since she first started.

“When I started here in ’81, we had our pre-press and composing room, and they were laying out everything by hand using paste and glue. Today, everything is automated and digital.”

Christo plans to take a few months off after her retirement to figure out her next steps.

“I plan to reconnect with a lot of my friends I have become disconnected with because of my career. I am always interested in things involved with our church, and I hope to get a little more involved in that. I have no grand plans at this point; just to live each day as it comes, start a bucket list, and check to see what I haven’t done and what I would still like to do.”

Christo says she is grateful to all her colleagues at the Medicine Hat News over the years, and she is especially thankful to her family for all their great support in her career.

Christo married ex-soldier husband John in 1976 while she was working out at the base. They have two children, Kevin and Sheena. Christo is looking forward to spending more time with her children and granddaughter Kinley.

“I feel I was born to be a nana,” says Christo with a big smile.

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