Longtime Coastal Courier reporter Patty Leon has been named general manager of the Bryan County News and its sister paper the Coastal Courier, it was announced today by Morris Newspaper Corporation of Hinesville.
“We think Patty will be a wonderful leader of the Coastal Courier and Bryan County News,” said Charles H. Morris, president and chief executive officer of Morris Multimedia Inc, MNC Hinesville’s parent company. “She knows the community, having covered Liberty and Long County for years, and she is respected by our readers, subscribers and advertisers.”
As general manager, Leon will head operations at both newspapers.
“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity. I am looking forward to working with the residents of Liberty and Long County in making the Coastal Courier a newspaper they can be proud to call their hometown paper,” she said. “I am also thrilled at the opportunity to meet and forge new relationships with the folks in Bryan County and making sure the Bryan County News continues to meet the community’s needs as its newspaper.”
Leon, a Miami native, started as a receptionist at the Courier and then became a reporter and sports editor in 2009 under the tutelage of former editors Sonya Campbell Kurz and Pat Watkins. She helped launch the Courier’s social media accounts and produced some of the newspaper’s first videos, including weekly programs such as “Pet of the Week,” “Courier Sports Break” and Patty vs. Pros.”
She has taken on tougher assignments in recent years, which has earned her the reputation as a serious journalist. In all, her work has won her numerous accolades over the years, and she routinely wins Liberty Life’s award for best writer. In addition, her “Liberty Foodie” columns are among the Courier’s most popular features.
Leon is also involved in the community, and she serves on numerous nonprofit boards.
Her story didn’t begin at the Courier, however.
Leon grew up in Miami, where she worked for the American Red Cross of Greater Miami and the Florida Keys, first as health and safety director for the Miami office and later as Disaster Services Program Coordinator responsible for the Keys.
Her dedication and work during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, when Category 3 storms swept through Florida’s gulf coast and the Keys and earned her the American Red Cross Tiffany Award, signed by then-President George W. Bush. That award is given to Red Cross employees who perform exceptionally well during storms.