OLD Media Moves

Rochester biz reporter Chao leaving for New Jersey

September 9, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Mary Chao

Mary Chao, the retail and real estate reporter for the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, is leaving the paper for a job at the Bergen Record in New Jersey.

She has been at the paper since 1999, initially covering Bausch & Lomb.

Chao writes, “How do you say goodbye to the home and life you’ve built? Bits of our life were packed away. The art projects, the photos and some of my daughter’s early writings where she described her most unusual upbringing with just mother and daughter.

“The boxes of newspapers held the stories I told over the years. In the early years, the stories were mostly about numbers, as I arrived in 1999 as the Bausch & Lomb reporter in a bygone era when the Big Three dominated local business news. Over the years, the stories evolved into personal tales about people and events that shaped this region. Stories about hopes and dreams of entrepreneurs and of life and loss. Stories of underserved communities woven into our tapestry. And stories about my own immigrant Asian culture, helping to bridge a cultural gap with readers.

“As I looked through the clippings, I stumbled on a dozen newspapers from five years ago. It featured the story of everlasting friendship on the cover — the story of lifelong friends Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo and Tony Gabriele and how they leaned on each other to get through the darkest periods in their lives.”

Read more here.

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