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Why I'll Miss Clayton and Richmond Heights

While I'm excited to begin a new opportunity, it will be awfully hard to leave St. Louis.

Dear loyal Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch reader: It is with mixed emotions that I inform you I will be leaving Patch on Oct. 10 to begin a new journey.

I have accepted a position with Farm Journal Media in Mexico, MO, where my focus will be social media and reporting with an emphasis on machinery. If you've met me, it probably comes as no surprise that I do not come from an agriculture background. Nonetheless, I'm excited to put on a new kind of reporter's hat and dive headfirst into this new field.

My wife, Julie, grew up in unincorporated St. Charles County, spent a lot of time in 4-H and taught me the beauty of going to the fair every year. Her family raised Oxford sheep for many years. My maternal grandparents still live in a farmhouse in rural Tennessee and helped teach me the value of life outside the city.

I've got a lot of learning to do, but these are just a few of the memories that inspire me to know more.

I want you to know that I chose to report on Clayton and Richmond Heights before I ever visited St. Louis to any great degree. I had the opportunity to choose other cities—and there are many wonderful communities in our area—but I knew with just a little research that this was where I wanted to be.

I haven't been disappointed. Far from it: Your overwhelming kindness, encouragement and civic engagement helps explain why both of these fine cities will celebrate 100 years of excellence in 2013.

You have welcomed me into your homes, offices and classrooms. You have humored me by meeting for coffee to learn more about Patch, shared incredible stories about exceptional people and challenged me to hone this community news website into a service for everyone.

I'm pleased to report that Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch will continue humming along, no thanks to me. St. Louis has an unrivaled group of editors who daily identify stories intended to inform, educate and delight. Please continue to send your story ideas, feedback and blogs—an eager audience awaits you.

Thank you sincerely for your hospitality.

Nate Birt October 01, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Gina, thank you so much. You've been so supportive, and I really appreciate the time and hard work you've dedicated to representing both Richmond Heights and the larger area in your upcoming role at the Missouri Capitol. All the best to you and your family.
Linda Goldstein October 01, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Nate, you've done such a wonderful job at Patch, and we really appreciate all your terrific work in keeping our community well-informed. We'll miss seeing you at our meetings, so please come visit us if you're ever back in town. All the very best to you as you start this new chapter!
Nate Birt October 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Thanks so much for your kind words, Linda! I've had a ball here, and I would love to come back to visit. Thank you for all you do for Clayton!
Judy Goodman October 04, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Oh my gosh...Nate, I wish you the very best with your new venture! However, I must say, we will truly miss your presence and ongoing coverage of what makes communities great. You have been "on the ground" with your stories, highlighting the people and places that add to the vibrancy of our daily life. You have informed us, entertained us and showcased all the local details that media sources seem to miss these days. A huge thanks for your dedication and effort. You have been truly valued and much appreciated in Clayton and Richmond Heights!! Take care, Judy
Nate Birt October 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Thanks so much for everything, Judy! I wouldn't have met half the people I did if it hadn't been for all of your fabulous connections. Thank you for the many great story tips, and I hope you'll continue to send them in! I've forwarded remaining business profile suggestions to my colleagues. This is an exciting time as Clayton and Richmond Heights approach 100 years!

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