Meet Your Merchant: Journalist researches history, educates on environment
December 31, 2013
INCLINE VILLAGAE, Nev. — Bill Casey — a journalist, designer, photographer and researcher — is first and foremost a citizen of Incline Village. After 30 years of calling Tahoe home, the local's love for the community has manifested as a desire to help its businesses.
"I'm in the business of creating business for our local businesses, promoting our local schools and Historical Society, and rebuilding our village 'community,'" he recently posted on his website.
Bill hopes to bring growth and prosperity to Incline and to rebuild the sense of community he believes the area once possessed.
"I'd like to do more with others in helping to rebuild our sense of 'community' and bringing more families into our small village, promoting our schools, and providing opportunities for new businesses to set up shop here," he said in a recent interview.
“Through education, people’s minds are open to the world.”
Bill's "Welcome to Incline Village" campaign launches Jan. 1, 2014, and aims to welcome visitors passing through the area. He believes that as businesses work together, and work to promote each other, a sense of community will increase.
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Bill and his company, Bill Casey Graphics, aim to reach beyond just graphics to help market this idea.
Bill's work locally and internationally in public relations, marketing, writing and documentation is encompassed within his business, and he said he will put all methods to use for his new community endeavor.
According to his website, "graphics" means "any form of visual or literary representation designed to provide information to the viewer or reader, such as a photograph, art or the written word."
FROM AFRICA TO INCLINE
Bill's work with hyperlocal is a switch from his previous work and research at a very foreign place.
Over the last decade, some of Bill's greatest research has been done on William Stamps Cherry, one of Africa's first American explorers.
From 1896-1900, Cherry explored areas of what is today the Central African Republic. Cherry's grandson, Dr. Bill Cherry, of Incline Village, has worked with Casey and writers from the National Geographic Society to highlight Cherry's incredible journey.
Casey watched on and helped as National Geographic explorer Dr. J. Michael Fay retraced William Cherry's journey through the Central African Republic.
Fay took the journey in an effort to illustrate the differences between the area now and at the turn of the 19th century.
"The onslaught of poaching going on there right now has reached an all-time frenzy," Casey said.
Upon Fay's return, he and Casey will write a book addressing these issues.
"We plan to use the voice of William Stamps Cherry, like a ghost from the past, to share with others the immediate need for elephant and other wildlife protection," Casey said. "This new book project is a direct result of my earlier work and the information I brought to the attention of the National Geographic Society in 2005."
Although Casey has never been to Africa, he says he admires William Cherry's love for wildlife and identifies with the explorer.
"His sincere desire to educate others … stands foremost in my mind," Casey said of William Cherry.
Casey believes his work with Fay, Dr. Bill Cherry and the National Geographic Society has been no accident.
"I believe in destiny, things that have been preordained to happen in our lives, so in that respect, I have to conclude it was my destiny to play the small role I have played in returning William Stamps Cherry to our world's history books," Casey said.
As a researcher and writer, Casey said he reads, observes and questions the world around him, and that he finds inspiration and enlightenment from all books, people and experiences.
"I believe that education is life-long," Bill said. "There is no true end. I believe the journey itself is the goal, as long as you stay on the path."
Casey attended Sierra Nevada College when he came to the area in the mid-1980s and studied environmental science and alternative energy.
The self-dubbed "perpetual student" later went to the University of Nevada, Reno, and combined his education to become a forerunner of the Reynolds School's Masters in Environmental Journalism program.
"I believe the greatest endeavor anyone could ever pursue could be the education of self and how one fits in the world at large," he said. "Through education people's minds are open to the world."
Part of his work in Incline will be in educating. Casey said he hopes visitors, tourists and second-home owners will learn about Incline Village and want to spend more time — and more money — in the area.
Jenny Luna is a freelance reporter for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Sun newspapers. Have an idea for a merchant that should be featured in the Bonanza? Contact Jenny at email@example.com.
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