WASHINGTON –It was 14 years ago that Lenora Alexander was forced to put down the tax forms and calculators that had been so much of her life and training and pick up the large responsibility as the publisher of Denver Weekly News, a weekly African-American newspapers servicing Denver..
Her husband who owned the newspaper, died from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a nervous system disorder that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. She left her passion, banking and finance, to ensure the legacy of the publication.
“I worked in banking for over 18 years including working for the federal government,” Alexander said. “When my husband passed, I knew that if this company was going to succeed, I would have to be the person to take it to the next level.”
Alexander was honored for her work as one of the few African-American female publishers at the 2015 Black Press Week hosted by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. She said that regardless of her gender she is able to do her job as thoroughly as any man.
“Being a females has no bearing on leadership,” she said. “Instead of focusing on my gender, I focus on the job at hand.”
Alexander grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, a small, industrial city. She was raised the youngest of four siblings in the 1960s during the prime of the civil rights movement. Despite the racial tensions facing the country, Alexander’s father protected her from experiencing racism.
“My dad always shielded me from things like white only signs,” she said. “Growing up, I had my friends and I didn’t care if they were white or black”.
Alexander went on to pursue higher education at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., where she received a business degree in finance. She interned at a banking program with the federal government throughout her college years until she was offered a full time job. It was this experience that equipped her with the skills to successful run the newspaper.
The Denver Weekly News paper services the black community of Denver, Colorado weekly with local, breaking and national news. It also offers the reader information on entertainment, lifestyle and crime checks.
“People need knowledge ever yday,” Alexander said. “If I can provide information weekly, I’m glad to research and find stories to give to our readers and to the community.”
Though Alexander is now a publisher, her skill for economics is something she passes down to her three children and three grandchildren. She nicknamed herself the “economic grandmother.” She lectures her grandchildren to save their loose change in jars and jokingly reminds her daughters to keep their pocketbooks off the floor.
She said she follows the old saying that if they keep their purses on the floor, it keeps their money low.
“We as people are so far behind economically,” she said. “I hate to see us always having to go back to square one every time there is a transition, like a death in the family or lost of business. We must leave behind a financial legacy to the next generation.”