Meet Xconomy Seattle’s Newest Team Member: Thea Chard

6/21/10Follow @xconomy

We played musical chairs last week at Xconomy, as we expanded into the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the important moves will become clear today, as I’m happy to introduce the newest member of our editorial team in Seattle, Thea Chard.

Thea (pronounced TAY-uh) is trekking over to our First Hill office today for her first day on the job at Xconomy Seattle. Thea is replacing Greg Huang, the lead tech writer and co-founder of this bureau, who is moving to head up our editorial effort in Boston. Thea’s assignment will be to write about the local innovation news that you’ve come to expect from us in our first two years in Seattle. She will write about the people and companies making things happen in software, wireless, Internet, gaming, cleantech, social media, and venture capital.

That’s a lot to cover, but she won’t be doing it alone. I will work closely with her as the editor of Xconomy Seattle, while I continue to write about life sciences both locally and nationally. Greg will assist Thea with the transition. As part of his growing duties as national IT editor, Greg will also continue to write posts for our local site that will build on the connections and context he has gained in the Northwest. I’m curious to see what he will find as he compares and contrasts Seattle to Boston and other nodes on our growing five-city network.

But enough about us. Who is Thea? She’s a Seattle native, raised in Magnolia, and went to high school in Ballard. She pursued her career at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism, where she double-majored in print journalism and creative writing. She spent a semester abroad in London writing for one of the traditional giants of print journalism, the Los Angeles Times. But since this was the era in which the Internet enabled the creative destruction of traditional media, she diversified her experience. She worked on two business radio shows, “Marketplace” and “Marketplace Money,” produced by American Public Media.

When Thea graduated a year ago from USC, she returned home to seek a job in journalism. In August, she took a position as editor at one of the online neighborhood news networks in Seattle—Next Door Media, the company that publishes MyBallard.com and other local blogs. Her job was to build momentum for QueenAnneView.com.

When she heard about Xconomy Seattle, she started making pitches to Greg and me last fall. One of her standout freelance stories for us, about a couple guys trying to break the world land speed record, got noticed by the tech news site Slashdot and the local NPR affiliate, KUOW-94.9 FM.

She impressed us so much, we hired her to write about innovation for Xconomy on a full-time basis. Things are definitely going to change around the office. Thea uses an iPhone, and she checks in at some of her favorite coffee shops using Foursquare, which makes her a way more hip tech consumer than I am.

So while Thea is new to the Seattle tech scene, she knows the ropes of new media as both a producer and consumer. She’s shown she knows the old-school values of journalism and can combine them with new-school entrepreneurial drive and creative thinking. She’s also a downright friendly person. We’re excited to have her on board. If you’d like to join me in welcoming her to the team, send her a note at tchard@xconomy.com.

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