Alexander closed the books on accounting career to become a publisher.
By Elaina Johnson, NNPA Intern
WASHINGTON, D.C. –In 2001, Lenora Alexander had to put down the tax forms and calculators and pick up the large responsibility as the publisher of Denver Weekly News, an African-American newspaper in Colorado.
Her husband, who owned the newspaper, died 14 years ago from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a nervous system disorder that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. She had to sacrifice her passion for banking and finance to ensure the legacy of the publication remained.
“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 grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, a small industrial city full of jobs. She was raised the youngest of four siblings in the 1960s during the height 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 whites-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, Kansas, where she received a business degree in finance. She interned in 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 services the Black community with local, breaking and national news. It also offers the reader information on entertainment, lifestyle and crime checks.
“People need knowledge every day,” said Alexander. “If I can provide information weekly, I’m glad to research and find stories to give to our readers and to the community.”
She refuses to let anyone paint her into a corner.
“Being a female has no bearing on leadership,” she said. “Instead of focusing on my gender, I focus on the job at hand.”
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 urges her grandchild to save their loose pocket change in jars and jokingly reminds her daughters to keep their pocketbooks off the floor. As the old saying goes, it keeps your money low.
“We as people are so far behind economically. 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 loss of business,” she said. “We must leave behind a financial legacy to the next generation.”