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After working for 10 newspapers in seven states during 25 years in journalism, we made our boldest move to date in 2010: Leaving the newspaper biz, choosing to stay in Middle Tennessee and beginning a new career.

The Oppmanns moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn., when Andrew was promoted in 2007 and joined Gannett Tennessee. For more than three years, he was an executive for the newspapers in Murfreesboro, Nashville and Clarksville. But then, shortly after his 16th anniversary as a Gannett employee, we opted to get off the merry-go-round and unpack our moving boxes for good. Lucky for us, a terrific opportunity materialized for us here, as Andrew is now associate vice president and spokesman for Middle Tennessee State University, serving as its lead marketing and communication executive.


2010 HEADLINES (Updated December)



  • Do you miss New Orleans?: Elise and Emily toured to New Orleans in May for the Nashville Children’s Choir performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. You can see a video of their show-stopper song, “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans” by clicking here (note: this performance is a recreation later in Nashville). Elise and Emily were stranded in New Orleans for an extra day due to the historic floods in Nashville closing our airport.


  • They are acting! All three Oppmann girls were in the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts’ presentation of Gypsy (all were kid “acts”). It was only supposed to be just Emily and Sarah, but Rachel charmed her way onto the cast!








2009 HEADLINES (Updated November)




  • Elise grew a garden! And it was a real success. You can see a picture of it here in its early stages.



  • Elise named Senior Associate: Hollister Trubow and Associates, the PR firm run by Elise’s old boss in Cincinnati (you’ll see him referenced as “Pubba” on this site), put Elise on the masthead as a senior associate. Read her bio here.



  • United Way: Both Elise and Andrew are volunteering for the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Elise is on the Communications Committee and was co-chair of the Campaign Kickoff Event that featured Denny Diamond. Andrew serves on the board as chairman-elect and headed up the 2009 fund-raising effort.


  • Andrew’s last issue of APME News: Andrew’s term on the board of Associated Press Managing Editors ended in October. He was a director for five years and editor of APME News magazine for the last two years. Here’s a PDF copy of his last issue.


  • Health Care debate hits home: The DNJ was host to a Congressional Town Hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon. Andrew served as the moderator. It was spirited, but avoided the types of behavior that would have made national news. Here’s one of several videos of the event on YouTube.


  • Andrew appointed to Tennessee Press Association board: Ellen, our dear friend and Andrew’s boss, retired and TPA asked Andrew to fill Ellen’s seat on the TPA board. Here’s the release.


  • Andrew is saving another Doughboy statue: This one is in Clarksville and is scheduled to be unveiled by April 15, 2010. You can read about it at You may recall that Andrew did something similar in Appleton.


  • Elise has been active in the local PEO chapter: She transferred her membership from Appleton. Read about them here.


  • Emily and Sarah in the Jungle Book: It’s the chorus, but it still promises to be fun. A production at the Boro Center for the Arts. Read about it here.


2008 HEADLINES (Updated December)


  • Andrew named publisher of second paper: In September 2008, Andrew was named president and publisher of The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville, Tenn., the Gannett daily newspaper and Web site near his hometown of Hopkinsville, Ky., He’ll serve as publisher of both the Clarksville and Murfreesboro papers and Web sites, which means he’ll be traveling up I-24 to see family and friends quite a bit in the days to come. The family will remain in Murfreesboro (we just moved there!). Read about it by clicking here..


  • Elise elected to Girl Scouts board: After a brief interruption in service due to her move from Wisconsin to Tennessee, Elise was elected as a member-at-large to the Board of Directors to the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee. She represents Rutherford and surrounding counties. Here’s the Web site for the council and here’s articles from The Tennessean and The DNJ.


  • Andrew named outstanding alumnus for 2008: The family went up to Lexington in November to accept the honor from the University of Kentucky’s College of Communications and Information Studies. Here’s the press release from the university.


2007 HEADLINES (Updated December):



  • Emily’s debut performance with Nashville Children’s Choir: Emily is in the Preparatory Choir, one of several tiers within the Belmont University-affiliated organization. Here’s a shot of Emily aglow in December after her choir’s Christmas program. No audio available yet (we’ve ordered a CD), but here’s more on the choir.



  • Alas, Andrew’s classic Avalon is no more: A 16-year-old lad in a hurry to get to high school slammed into Andrew’s vintage 1995 Toyota (crumpling the front, driver’s-side panel and driver’s door one October morning as he was driving Emily and Sarah to their elementary school. Aches and pains, along with several bruises and cuts (and a few chipped teeth), but nothing more serious (if the impact would have been a few more inches to the right, it would have been a much different, sadder tale).


  • Andrew at the Ruthies: Andrew was the emcee at The Daily News Journal’s 13th annual Ruthies Awards presentation event (the newspaper’s reader’s choice awards) in October. You can see a video of the event here.






  • Our sad news: Mimi’s passing Anne Freeman Peace, Andrew’s mother and Mimi to the girls, died suddenly on Aug. 20. This was a real blow to us, given one of the joys of moving to Tennessee was to be within an easy drive of her house. Frankly, this is the reason why we waited so long to update the site. Here’s a link to the eulogy Andrew delivered at her funeral at First United Methodist Church in Hopkinsville, Ky.


  • Emily and Sarah test their way into the Discovery School! The day after Elise drove the kids down to Tennessee to house-hunt in late June, she dropped them off for enrollment testing for the Discovery School at Reeves Rogers, a public school in the Murfreesboro City Schools system designated for high achievers. Perhaps we should drive them for 13 hours in a crowded mini-van on the night before they do any kind of big testing… ‘cause they did great and got in the school! Here’s more about the school, as well as some classroom shots of Emily (Mrs. McCarthy’s class) and Sarah (Mrs. Guevart’s class).


·         BACK TO TENNESSEE!: Here’s some information about the new jobs: 1) Click here to read the Gannett press release on Andrew’s promotion in Murfreesboro and Nashville. 2) Click here to read The Tennessean’s story on the hiring (BlackBerry version). 3) Click here to find out more about The DNJ. 4) Click here to find out more about The Tennessean.5)  Dan Flannery named Executive Editor of The Post-Crescent, replacing Andrew.

·         ELISE HONORED BY GIRL SCOUTS: The Girl Scouts of the Fox River Area surprised Elise with its Thanks Badge for her work as board president on the recent council consolidation efforts. For those unfamiliar with the GSUSA uniform, it’s more of a medal than a badge. No story, but photo here.

·         P-C WINS 12 AWARDS IN MILWAUKEE PRESS CLUB COMPETITION:  Appleton took home the most first-place awards (seven) of any newspaper. Twelve awards total, for categories ranging from Best Web Site to Best Local Sports Column, See the list here.


·         P-C DEBUTS STREAMING VIDEO, OTHER INNOVATIONS FOR GANNETT WISCONSIN EAST GROUP: The newspapers in February and March produced wall-to-wall coverage of the trial of Steven Avery, who is charged in the torture and slaying of a 25-year-old woman. The case has received national attention because Avery was released from prison after 18 years when DNA tests showed he had been wrongly convicted in a 1985 rape case. The coverage includes streaming video, multiple daily video reports, Web updates and more. Andrew, writing for the Feb. 22 of Gannett's NEWS WATCH, provided details on what is involved in the coverage and what early Web traffic numbers were showing.


·         POST-CRESCENT NAMED WISCONSIN NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR – AGAIN: This marks the third year in a row that The P-C has earned top honors from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Appleton earned 51 WNA awards, including 22 first-place honors, at the February ceremony. You can read The P-C’s story here and a report from The Associated Press here.



·         P-C REORGANIZES NEWS OPERATIONS: WARNING! This is an eight-minute video. A shorter version (90 seconds) is here. True journo-geeks can read and see it all here.

·         ANDREW RE-ELECTED TO APME BOARD: He was tapped in November for a final three-year term on the Associated Press Managing Editors Board of Directors during the 2006 Conference in New Orleans. Click here for an article on the election, here for a report from Gannett’s NEWS WATCH on the company’s editors at the conference, or here for a column Andrew wrote from the city.

·         ELISE RE-ELECTED TO TIMBER RATTLERS BOARD: She was tapped in November for a final three-year term on the board of the not-for-profit, community-owned Class A minor-league affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Click here for a list of board members and here for more information about the Rattlers.

·         DOUGHBOY STATUE REDEDICATED: On Nov. 11, Appleton rededicated its “Spirit of the American Doughboy” statue in a Veterans Day ceremony. Loyal readers of Oppmann.Com will recall this was one of Andrew’s projects. Click here for a video of Andrew’s speech at the ceremony and here for a report from CBS-5 WFRV based on an AP article. The text of Andrew’s speech can be found here.

·         EMILY AND SARAH AT THE KIDS RUN: The two oldest daughters made great time and had a great time at the 2006 Kids Run before the Fox Cities Marathon in September. You can see them showing off their medals here.

·         RACHEL, EMILY STAR IN TV SPOT: I can’t figure out a way yet to get it on the Web site, but the Fox Cities Children’s Museum featured our oldest and youngest in a TV spot. Click here for very cool photo of Rachel shot at the same time

·         P-C WINS FOURTH ESTATE AWARD: Our reporting on the condition of Wisconsin’s war memorials was recognized in August by the American Legion with its top journalism honor. Past winners include Dateline NBC, ABC News and the Detroit News. Read the Legion’s news release here..

·         ELISE TAKES OVER AS GIRL SCOUT COUNCIL PRESIDENT:  As the top volunteer of the Girl Scouts of the Fox River Area, she leads a council organization that extends into six Wisconsin counties and serves almost 6,500 girls. The president serves as head of the Board of Directors. You can read her official bio here.

·         DISNEYLAND VACATION: In May, we loaded up the kids and Mimi into a jet plane and went to California to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. The park is in Orange County, Calif., where Andrew lived 20 years ago while working for The Register. Click here for photos from the trip, as well as other new family photos.

·         ANDREW WINS GANNETT PRESIDENT’S RING: In April, Gannett named him one of the company’s 10 best top editors. You can read the NEWS WATCH article here.  Also, The P-C won three first-place awards in the 2005 Best of Gannett competition, also announced in NEWS WATCH.

·         P-C GETS NEWS WATCH NOD: The P-C’s coverage of Kimberly-Clark’s decision to close a plant here got the attention of Gannett’s Corporate News Division. A note Andrew sent to his staff was reprinted in NEWS WATCH.

·         SPRING TRAINING 2006:  Andrew and Don returned on March 6 from the 14th annual edition of their baseball adventure. This year, they went to Florida. You can read the blog on their adventures here.

·         P-C NAMED NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR – AGAIN: On Feb. 4, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association named The Post-Crescent as its Daily Newspaper of the Year, marking the second year in a row The P-C has been awarded the honor. The P-C is Wisconsin’s fourth-largest newspaper.

·         DOYLE TO SUNSHINE STATE: Known to our daughters as “Mr, Kevin” and “Miss Jenny,” the Doyles (savvy insiders will recall they own the house across the street from us) have accepted Frank Gannett’s invitation to move to Florida, where Kevin will be president and publisher of the Pensacola News Journal. Happy for them, bummed out for us, Kevin gave a remarkable interview to his new paper about his life, career and vision of newspapering. It’s very entertaining. You can hear an audio selection from the sit-down here.

·         P-C WINS SEVEN WELL DONE AWARDS: Gannett’s quarterly contest, announced Jan. 27, honored efforts in public service journalism; investigative reporting; online video production; opinion pages; moments of life reporting and other efforts.



·         RACHEL ON TIMES SQUARE: At 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, the jumbo electronic billboard on Times Square in New York City featured this photo of Rachel (as part of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year interaction). Rachel, born on Sept. 6, is the newest member of the Oppmann household.

·         THANKSGIVING REFLECTIONS: On Thanksgiving Day, The Post-Crescent published a column by Andrew on Rachel, Patrick and the journey we’ve taken between their births.

·         P-C PROJECTS WIN A RECORD NINE WELL DONES: In November, Gannett announced its Well Done awards for Third Quarter 2005 and work by The Post-Crescent garnered nine awards (P-C alone and work coordinated by The P-C on behalf of Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers). The take includes seven certificates and two honorable mentions. Also of note: We were the only paper outside of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida to be recognized for our coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Read about the awards here in Gannett’s weekly News Watch.

·         SAVE THE DOUGHBOY CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS:  A campaign Andrew spearheaded in The P-C to restore a World War I memorial in Appleton raised enough money to get the job done. Read about the milestone here. Another column, on Andrew’s grandfather who served in WWI, can be found by clicking here.

·         ANDREW NAMED PROGRAM CHAIR FOR APME’S 2007 CONFERENCE: You can read about this in the article in Gannett's weekly News Watch, written by Ann Clark, on Gannett’s involvement with the Associated Press Managing Editors at the 2005 San Jose conference.

·         ANDREW ENDS HIS STINT AS THE BEER MAN: From the end of the July to the start of October, he took over the nationally syndicated column while The P-C searched for a new suds scribe. You can read a selection of his stuff from Web sites in Vineland, N.J.,; Lafayette, Ind.; Atlanta; Reno; and Asbury Park, N.J.

·         IT’S A GIRL!:  Click here for a special page devoted to the miracle baby, who joined the family on Sept. 6, 2005

·         ANDREW NAMED GENERAL MANAGER OF THE P-C: He keeps his gig as executive editor, but picks up oversight responsibility for The Post-Crescent’s business operations and community relations. You can read about it on the Gannett Co. Web site

·         COLUMNS ON PATRICK WIN BEST OF GANNETT HONOR: Here’s the list of 2004 Best of Gannett winners, which includes news of Andrew’s first-place award for best columns in Gannett’s Division II. A PDF version of the Best of Gannett book can be found here (turn to page 44). The columns themselves can be found here.

·         NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR: In February 2005, The Post-Crescent was named 2004 Newspaper of the Year by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association in February after winning a record 49 awards in its Better Newspaper Contest..



·         CAPTAIN FAVRELOUS: In December 2004, Andrew wrote an article for Gannett’s NEWS WATCH publication on a special section done by The Post-Crescent to mark the 200th career start of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. Click here to read about how a newspaper idea takes shape.

·         ANDREW ELECTED TO APME BOARD: In October 2004, Andrew was voted to the Board of Directors of the Associated Press Managing Editors at the group’s annual conference in Louisville.

·         REPORTING FROM THAILAND: In August 2004, The Post-Crescent, on behalf of Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers, produced a 16-page special report on the Hmong migration from Thailand to Wisconsin. Click here to see a Web site devoted to the effort and here to see a PDF version of the special section. The effort got three Well Done awards in Gannett’s third quarter 2004 contest.

·         OPPMANNS AT THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Andrew, on assignment for Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers, spent a week at Whistling Straits (near Sheboygan, Wis.) in August 2004, coordinating group coverage of the PGA Championship. Elise, Emily and Sarah got to visit the links as well. Click here for Gannett tourney photos and here for our snapshots. The effort got two Well Done awards in Gannett’s third quarter 2004 contest.

·         SAD NEWS: In April 2004, two weeks after announcing an expected new arrival to our family and friends, we went through another heartbreak. For details, click here.

·         FREEMAN’S FUR SHOP CLOSES: The family business, which Andrew’s grandfather, Howard Freeman, opened 68 years ago in Hopkinsville, Ky., shut down on April 16, 2004.

·         P-C HONORED: In April 2004, The Post-Crescent was named Gannett’s Most Improved Newspaper and a finalist for its Freedom of Information Award. For details, click here.


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