Gary Hill, sales rep for 40 years, retires from Pennysaver

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 March 2018 at 2:32 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Gary Hill and his wife Marlene are pictured at a retirement party for Hill last month at the White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville. Hill is an avid Toronto Blue Jays fan.

ALBION – Gary Hill has worked with numerous small business owners the past 40 years for The Lake Country Pennysaver, helping them develop an ad campaign locally.

A sales rep for the Pennysaver since 1978, Hill is retiring later this month after 40 years. Before the Pennysaver, he worked four years in sales for The Journal-Register in Medina. Hill’s first customer was with the former Apple Grove Inn in Medina.

The locally owned businesses have increasingly been pushed out by corporate chains, Hill said. That has been the biggest change in the local ad landscape.

“In 1980s, there were a lot of mom and pop businesses and they were what fueled the Pennysaver,” Hill said. “There are fewer of those businesses. The big, corporate entities have taken over the business market.”

Hill admires the courage and persistence of many of the small business owners, who are determined to make their enterprises work locally. Many of his customers have become close friends.

“There’s no doubt about it, it’s the people I’ve met,” he said when asked about the best part of the job. “You watch ’em start out. You see their kids grown up and get married.”

The technology has changed numerous times over the years.

“I remember when the fax machine came out and I thought that was the greatest thing going,” he said. “You didn’t have to run proofs around.”

Now ads can be emailed or sent by text through a phone for customers to look over. Hill also has sold many of the ads for the Orleans Hub, an electronic newspaper, since we started five years ago.

Even with the technology changes, Hill kept knocking on doors and seeing his customers face to face.

The Medina resident expects to volunteer in the community during retirement. He has been active for many years with the Sons of the American Legion in Medina.

He and his wife, Marlene, are also active with The Arc of Genesee Orleans. Mrs. Hill is on the board of directors. Mr. Hill is a past recipient of the agency’s “Best Friend” award.

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