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Vanessa, Jacob, and Gustavo will be the new faces of CHPN

I announced back in July that at the end of the year, I will be stepping down from CHPN. I’ve absolutely loved doing this, and now I’m really looking forward to passing the baton.

In the months since, I’ve gotten a good handful of folks who have stepped forward with an interest in continuing the site. In particular, three folks – Vanessa, Jacob, and Gustavo – contacted me together as a team. I met with them and the vibe was immediately there.

Over the next few weeks you’ll see their new bylines popping up on the front page, as mine fades out. I am very excited to see what the new mix of voices brings.

If you want to help out or have stories, tips, questions, or ideas, as always please drop a line to

So… let me let Vanessa, Jacob, and Gustavo introduce themselves…

– John


Hi I’m Vanessa! I moved to Richmond from Chicago in 2013 to volunteer as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member serving with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Currently, I work at the Virginia Mentoring Partnership overseeing the AmeriCorps VISTA program statewide which has strengthened my belief in the power of volunteering and service. In RVA, I found a natural fit learning about the dedication people showed for their community. I developed a love for both water and nature by growing up in a small town on the New Jersey shore. I enjoy spending time with our two dogs, Navi & Bella, at Chimborazo Park and visiting the James River. An avid gamer, I enjoy multiple platforms from table top to video games. My hope is to continue to support the Church Hill community with Jacob and Gustavo. So excited to take on this new venture!

Hello, I’m Jacob. I grew up on a dairy farm in Campbellsburg, Indiana, milking cows, pitching hay, and doing regular farm boy things. However, at night my passion was to play with any technology I could get my hands on. It started with a Commodore 64 computer with a cassette tape drive. Then this transitioned to a word processor and then to a computer that had turbo mode (66 Mhz for the win!) Computers, technology, and software started as a hobby and passion and it has served me well in my career. It all started at the age of 20 working for an internet startup in San Francisco doing network administration and network design. From there I’ve done IT, project management, business management, training, and a lot more but almost always with a technology focus. I am the co-founder of Light Ten, LLC, an e-learning development company and I am also a business management and IT consultant for various clients in the Richmond area.

Hola, me llamo Gustavo. I’ve been living in Richmond for the past 5 years in this wonderful neighborhood. Originally from South America, I’ve lived all over the States (NJ, NY, California, Texas). I currently work at Bon Secours as a learning and design specialist, so anything related to podcasts, videos, animations, you name it. What I love the most about Church Hill is that it has character, not just in the buildings, but in the people. You can feel the energy walking down Broad St and down Venable St, the transformation is humbling. It’s incredible seeing the change and I’m excited to go on this journey. I’m very dedicated to keep you not just informed of what’s happening but to continue John’s legacy. I also plan on doing more features to get you to really know the people and businesses in the neighborhood. Richmond is my home and I’m excited to represent Church Hill and the East End with a unique perspective but never forgetting our community diversity.


SA Chaplin 11/21/2017 at 1:34 PM

First we had the three musketeers, then the three little pigs, the three stooges, the three amigos. Now — we welcome the Three Ink Slingers!

J Trinity 11/21/2017 at 2:15 PM

Welcome! So excited to see what you all so with this. Many of us rely on CHPN for all of our hyper local info. Congratulations!

Devan Colley 11/21/2017 at 2:17 PM

So cool! Glad you’re a part of this, Vanessa!

crd 11/21/2017 at 2:18 PM

I will miss John but understand his desire to back off, and welcome to Vanessa, Jacob and Gustavo!

Rita Austera 11/21/2017 at 2:32 PM

Welcome you three 🙂 John does such a great job. He will be missed. But, hey, life has many paths to follow and that keeps us motivated.

Jason S 11/21/2017 at 2:54 PM

Welcome! Excited for the new group to take the reigns. Speaks to John’s commitment over the years that this is really a job for three folks to tackle. Thanks for everything, John, Church Hill is a better place to be a human because of you!!!

CJ Walker 11/21/2017 at 2:06 PM

Congratulations!! I am from Metro RVA Teens and Im looking forward working alongside the new team in sharing teen events

Karol Smith Tompkins 11/21/2017 at 2:26 PM

Gustavo, congratulations!! You will all have big shoes to fill but I know that the team effort will pay off. Thank you!

Church Hill People's News 11/21/2017 at 2:27 PM

Count us in! We can set up some time to talk details.

CJ Walker 11/21/2017 at 2:35 PM

Church Hill People’s News , that would be great! Lets meet sometime after the holiday

mary 11/21/2017 at 6:14 PM

Thanks John and best wishes going forward

Union Hill Rachel 11/21/2017 at 11:05 PM

Thank you! Welcome.

Cadeho 11/22/2017 at 4:33 AM

Welcome! Nice to meet you! Wishing you all much success! 😉

Erik 11/22/2017 at 10:08 AM

Bienvenidos y muchas gracias a todos! (I hope I didn’t butcher that.)

Alex Goodmundson 11/22/2017 at 1:30 PM

We love CHPN and use it and comment where we see fit, thanks John for the years of great CHPN news and great find on the three new CHPN people.

25th Street Mike 11/22/2017 at 3:10 PM


Elaine Odell 11/22/2017 at 3:50 PM

Hola Gustavo! Té interesaría formar a que un groupo de práctica del idioma española vaya a Church Hill?

JessOfRVA 11/23/2017 at 1:42 AM

Welcome to the team guys. John, as always, your hard work is always appreciated. It’s part of what brought me to this neighborhood and made me feel safe. I look forward to more great works from this team!

Ned Haley 11/28/2017 at 9:38 AM

Many Thanks, John Murden, for all you have done for the Church Hill/Union Hill community. Our sense of community has grown in no small way due to you and CHPN. I’m delighted that three new voices will take responsibility for continuing that growth. Hopefully the viewpoint of our long term minority residents will be even better represented; our ethnic diversity is part of what makes this a wonderful place to live!


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