By Raiza Giorgi

With the new year comes change, including some major changes at the Santa Ynez Valley Star. At the time this issue goes to print, there will be new owners of the Santa Ynez Valley Star. Nic and Hayley Mattson, of 13 Stars Media are taking over publishing of the Valley’s best source for local news. 

Raiza Giorgi, publisher of the Santa Ynez Valley Star.
Photo by Jessica Maher Photography

My time as publisher of the Star has come to an end, and I have complete faith in the Nic and Hayley to continue. They are local to the Central Coast, and their vision is the same as mine, which is to bring community together and keep local news in the forefront. 

Looking back, I think I was a bit crazy to start a newspaper, but the Valley deserved to have a publication that would shine a light on all the wonderful people, businesses and organizations that make up this world-class area. The Star was born and I want to say that these past six years have been an amazing journey for myself and the people who have made my dream come alive, which includes you, the readers. 

I started the Santa Ynez Valley Star as a monthly publication back in 2016, and with the help of my small Star team and a dozen advertisers, we created a high-quality news publication and grew it into a twice-monthly publication within that first year. 

We won “Best of the Best” our first year at the California News Publishers Association awards, and countless awards in the years since for writing, photography, breaking news, sports features, advertising campaigns and more. 

Some of my best memories have been working to cover local news and ensuring the word got out about what was happening in local government, new businesses opening, and of course how to help our fellow neighbors in times of need — especially at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I want to thank all the people who have contributed to the Star over the years including Dave Bemis, Aimee Reinhart Avery, Shana DeLeon, Victoria Martinez, Amberly Lahr, Ebers Garcia, Jen Trupiano, Mike Chaldu, Pamela Dozois, Daniel Dreifuss, Barry Sigman, John Copeland, Sheila Benedict and Vida Gustafson. 

I also want to thank each and every advertiser that has put their advertisement in the Star, because without them the Star wouldn’t have been born at all. I am so deeply appreciative and thank every single one of you from the bottom of my heart. 

Life has pulled my family to another adventure away from the Santa Ynez Valley, and even though I no longer live here we will be back often to visit as our multi-generational family still does. 

I wish each and every one of you all the best and encourage you to welcome Nic and Hayley Mattson into the community. 

With love

Raiza Giorgi

Former Publisher

Santa Ynez Valley Star