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Gig Harbor Now founder Pat Lantz retires from board of directors

Posted on February 5th, 2024 By:

Pat Lantz, the founding president of Gig Harbor Now’s Board of Directors, stepped down from the board at the end of 2023.

Lantz — whose resumé includes working as an attorney, six terms in the state Legislature and a 10-year stint on the Washington Parks and Recreation Commission — is going to give retirement a try.

She put a true retirement on hold to help get Gig Harbor Now organized and established. If she hadn’t, it’s likely we wouldn’t be here.

“This has been pure joy,” Lantz said of her time on Gig Harbor Now’s board. “To be successful in meeting such a fundamental need (for news and information) in human beings. And my human beings … my community, my friends, my kids’ friends.” 

Gig Harbor Now portraits on, July 13, 2022.

A new Life for news 

Lantz said she got roped into helping launch Gig Harbor Now when Charlee Glock-Jackson approached her at a social event. Glock-Jackson, now a regular Gig Harbor Now contributor, was part of a group trying to organize a new publication to replace Gig Harbor Life.

The Kitsap Sun newspaper of Bremerton published Gig Harbor Life for a decade before parent company Gannett shut it down in 2018. Glock-Jackson, who was the primary reporter for Gig Harbor Life, and a handful of other volunteers were hoping to give local news new life after Life.

They asked the right person.

“I’m a newspaper junkie, I always have been,” Lantz said. “I subscribe to more newspapers than anyone could ever get through. The loss of that was really disturbing to me.”

She added: “I was totally convinced was going to make the world better and save us from being lost in that news desert.”

Organization and a big Rolodex 

Lantz brought new strengths to the project. Those already involved had plenty of ideas and experience on how to make the news side work. Lantz provided organizational expertise, accountability and a lengthy contact list.

“We just started chipping away at a long list of issues. I got so excited because I knew I could pull people in from where nobody had access,” Lantz recalled. “I had resources that I could get to. And I knew a lot of movers and shakers as a result of the things I had been doing.”

It all culminated with the launch of Gig Harbor Now as an online-only nonprofit news source, on Sept. 3, 2021.

In the nearly 30 months since, we’ve launched and expanded our email newsletter; grown our social media following; hired two employees; and gone from having no readers when we started to recording over 1 million page views in 2023.

“The day that we launched will go down in my mind as one of the highlights of my life,” Lantz said.  

More board changes 

Gig Harbor Now’s former vice president, Pat Schmidt, also stepped down from the board earlier this year. Schmidt, a 37-year Gig Harbor resident and retired business owner, is active with the Rotary, the Downtown Waterfront Alliance and many other civic organizations.

“I appreciate so much the accomplishments of GHN and how each of you have contributed so much to that end,” Schmidt wrote in her resignation letter to board members and staff. “ I will always be a supporter and cheerleader.”

Joining the board are Thelma Brown, a retired educator who has lived in Gig Harbor since 2016; and Dave Martens, a newspaper industry veteran who recently served as president and publisher of the York Dispatch in Pennsylvania.

Candace Savage succeeded Lantz as Gig Harbor Now’s board president in January 2023. Lantz remained as president emeritus in 2023. The board also includes Lynda Filson, Stace Gordon and Sandy Jeter.