As of today, one of the SMDP’s longest serving and most valuable employees is no longer with the company.  

Production Manager Darren Ouellette has left the paper to return to South Carolina where he will be spending more time with his family.

His departure leaves a huge hole in the small SMDP family and no individual has been more responsible for the success of The Daily Press than Darren.

Darren took a chance to move to Los Angeles and joined SMDP in 2008. He stayed for 10 years and produced more than 3,000 editions of the paper, well over half of our total library. He has also created every special section from Most Loved, to Tis the Season, to the Pier’s Concert guides and the Los Angeles Marathon program. There’d be no paper to read and no money to pay the bills if it weren’t for Darren’s perpetual efforts.

And by perpetual, we do mean literally never-ending. In discussing how to fill the position it was observed that Darren was “freakishly reliable.” Nights, weekends, early shifts, long shifts, it didn’t matter. If there was a need, he would be there.

He outlasted editors, publishers, sales reps, delivery guys and reporters. The company moved offices, switched printers and massively upgraded its technological requirements in his tenure and no matter what great upheaval was next on the calendar there was no fear of missing deadline or failing to print a paper provided Darren was in his seat.

However, it was what he did with his many hours here that was so particularly valuable. The quality of the work produced was exceptionally high and often rivaled that of companies several times our size. His design work earned several industry awards for him as an individual and for the company at large.

We will miss him for more than his substantial professionalism. Darren has been a ringer on SMDP bowling teams and golf trips for many years. He’s also been a fixture at weddings, birthdays, happy hours and house warmings. His friendship has been a defining experience for multiple iterations of SMDP and we wish him well as he returns home to spend time with the nieces whose photos clog his phone.  

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