The Explorer: About The Explorer

About The Explorer

Welcome to the Explorer Newspaper

The Explorer Newspaper is a weekly newspaper located in Northwest Tucson.

Since its founding in 1993, The Explorer has become the leading news source for Marana, Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson.

Delivered every Wednesday to 44,000 households throughout Northwest Tucson, The Explorer covers a variety of topics and issues that impact our readers — such as government, business, sports and recreation and arts and entertainment — and offers a voice for the people involved with them.

The Explorer’s coverage of important issues and events over the years has garnered numerous journalism awards from Arizona Newspapers Association (ANA) and Arizona Press Club. Our recent honors include first place awards for Best Use of Photography, Best News Feature Story, Best News Photograph and Best Sports Photograph during ANA’s 2010 Better Newspapers Contest.

We welcome your comments, letters to the editor, photos of local events and story ideas. Please e-mail them to: editor@explorernews.com

Every week, The Explorer aims to meet a range of needs and interests of its readers while delivering an outstanding value to its advertisers.

To learn more about how advertising in The Explorer can help grow your business and reach thousands of readers, call our advertising professionals at (520) 797-4384.


Ryan Kedzierski – Publisher
Ryan Kedzierski
What is your job at The Explorer

My main job is to work with groups of individuals across the Northwest that include Town officials, local businesses, and Northwest readers. I also work with all the employees at The Explorer to help build brand awareness and community engagement.

I also take a vested interest in making sure all of our advertisers are receiving excellent customer service and satisfaction.

What is your favorite part about Northwest Tucson

My favorite thing about Northwest Tucson is the community engagement. Whether it is shopping with my wife and kids, speaking with local businesses or partaking in Town functions – All community members are looking out for the greater good of the Northwest.

What makes you passionate about your job?

I am passionate about my job because I love engaging the readers, town officials local businesses as well as the staff at The Explorer. When I can put a smile on someone’s face whether it be for editorial content, results within an advertising campaign or making an employee have fun every day within the office – it just fuels my passion for my job.

What is something personal about you?

On a personal note, my favorite candy is Reese's Pieces, my favorite food is Mama’s Pizza and my favorite movie is Braveheart.


Thelma Grimes – Managing Editor
Thelma Grimes
What is your job at The Explorer

At The Explorer, I serve as the managing editor. Besides working with the editorial staff to plan content, I also get to work with the production and design staff on laying out the weekly newspaper. Outside of the office, I work hard to communicate with town officials, local business owners and other organizations to make sure The Explorer is doing its part to contributing to the continued success in Marana, Oro Valley, Northwest Tucson and Pima County.

What is your favorite part about Northwest Tucson?

My favorite part of Northwest Tucson is the people. Oro Valley and Marana have residents who are passionate about where they live. They get involved, they are welcoming while at the same time holding us accountable to reach a higher standard.

What makes you passionate about your job?

When it comes to my job, whether it be as an editor or journalist, I feel that we in the media have a responsibility to be fair, honest and informative. I feel like there’s nothing better than a community newspaper. I have a passion for digging deeper finding the stories that the community needs to know. I am also passionate about delivering the good news. A community newspaper has a responsibility to highlight the teenagers winning scholarships for years of hard work, the athlete winning state and national awards and the local business owner who has decided to take a chance and open a business here.

What is something personal about you?

On a personal note – I love the movies. It’s hard to pick just one movie as my favorite, so here’s my top five – Spanglish, American Beauty, Shawshank Redemption, Office Space and Horrible Bosses.


Jaime Hood - General Manager
Jaime Hood
What is your job at The Explorer

I am the General Manager. It’s my job to make sure we color in the lines, be a part of the community and play nice with others.

What is your favorite part about Northwest Tucson

My favorite things about Northwest Tucson are the sunny days, mountain views and the friendly people.

What makes you passionate about your job?

I am passionate about my job because I know I am making a difference. I may not live in the Northwest, but I care about the community, and travel to this area for shopping and community events.



Brandon Hays - Production Manager
Brandon Hays
What is your job at The Explorer

As the Production Manager, I design ads, pages, make sure that all the pages get to the press, as well as work on the website.

What is your favorite part about Northwest Tucson?

As a native of Northwest Tucson, I appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

What makes you passionate about your job?

I am passionate about design, and being able to create visual communications for businesses to successfully convey their messages.

What is something personal about you?

One of my favorite places is Eegee's!


Grace Heike – Advertising Account Rep

What is your job at The Explorer?

I have done many things at The Explorer, as I have been here for close to 14 years. Presently, I am in sales, maintaining and servicing longtime clients, promoting special sections.

What is your favorite thing about Northwest Tucson?

As a transplant from Michigan, watching Northwest Tucson grow, but still maintain a small-town feel has been exciting. I would never want to go back to that big-city way of life. Northwest Tucson offers many of the amenities of a big city, but always with a personal feeling.

What makes you passionate about your job?

Being here from almost the beginning of The Explorer has allowed me to watch the growth of business in this community. it is not easy to get a good foothold on clients when a business is new. Helping my clients get their message to our readers is a priority for me. Designing ad campaigns is the fun part.

What is something personal about yourself?

Hacienda Del Sol has been my favorite restaurant since I started coming to Tucson 24 years ago. It offers part of the old west, let alone one of the best menus and finest food in all of Tucson. Oh, ask me about the views?

I am also a chocolate girl. Always have been. Always will be.

I love Brad Pitt no matter what. You could say I have watched him grow. Oh, he was beautiful when he started. He has grown into a fine man and father (he is still beautiful) and I don't like blondes! I will argue to the death with anyone who differs with me about Brad!


Randy Metcalf - Photographer/Writer

What do you do at The Explorer?
At The Explorer, I am responsible for taking the photographs that run in the newspaper and online. I also write stories to accompany my photographs that range from hard news to feature stories to sports coverage.

Along with general duties, I help with color correction, copy editing and posting photo galleries on our website.

I also play a key role in managing the social media sites for the newspaper. I work with Facebook and Twitter on a weekly basis.

What is your favorite part about Northwest Tucson?

My favorite part about Northwest Tucson is the people who live in it. There is such a vast diversity of people with a variety of different backgrounds. Everyone in the communities we cover has a different story. I know it is cliche, but it is true. Everyone has something unique and interesting to say, whether it is about themselves or about something they have experienced.

What makes you passionate about your job?

I am passionate about my job because every day I get to do what I love. i get to take photographs, meet new people and learn something along the way. I also love the fact that I get to be the eyes of the community with the things that I experience. I get to show thousands and thousands of people what I get to see - I love that about my job. I can't tell you the joy I get when I walk into someone's house or office and see one of my photographs cut out and posted on a bulletin board or refrigerator. It makes me happy to know that I have created and captured a moment that is that important to someone.

What is something personal about you?
My favorite candy is probably Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - It's the perfect combination of two wonderful ingredients.

My favorite movie, is, well, it is hard to narrow it down, but I do have to say I love "Shawshank Redemption." I also like "Team America," "Love Actually," and the Harry Potter films.

My favorite restaurant here in town would have to be Thunder Canyon Brewery - I am a member of the Mug Club there and really enjoy their beer and the clientele they have.

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