Final Impressions

A trip down memory lane

A decade of memories at Akers.

This month officially marks the 10th anniversary of Akers Media Group. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite memories.

A flight to remember.

I was the sole reporter on The Villages Honor Flight’s inaugural trip to Washington, D.C., in May 2012. The organization flies veterans to our nation’s capital so they can visit various war monuments. To see the look on the faces of the World War II veterans that day was priceless.

Interviewing famous people.

Over these 10 years, I have interviewed people such as country music singer John Anderson, comedian Bill Engvall, and celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky.

The unforgettable Akers Cookie Caper Mystery. Bloom’s in downtown Leesburg prepared beautifully designed cookies to be photographed for an article. One Akers employee couldn’t resist and gobbled them down before Fred Lopez had a chance to photograph the cookies. I plead the fifth.

Bouncing balls.

Former editor Gary Corsair had an electronic arcade basketball hoop in his office. We spent hours shooting miniature basketballs into that hoop. In between games, we found time to write.

Getting wet.

For our inaugural issue of Healthy Living, we took a group photo standing in the fountain near Leesburg City Hall. Unfortunately, the fountain was empty after I did a running cannonball.

Delivering magazines.

When the company first started, we had no distribution manager. Each employee picked a section of the county to distribute magazines. It was tiring work. Much respect to Scott Hegg, the company’s distribution manager since 2011.

The Jaxon Buell story.

Jaxon, who was born in 2014 with a brain that is one-fifth of normal size, was expected to die in his mother’s womb. Instead, he has defied all odds and is still alive today. I wanted his story to be perfect and spent hours revising it.

Great co-workers over the years.

Truthfully, there are too many to single out in this small space. I have learned from each and every one of you.

Filling our trophy cases.

It has truly been an honor to see both our publications excel and win awards from respected organizations such as the Florida Magazine Association and Florida Press Club.

About the author

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County’s many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

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