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Mayor Valerie Thomerson featured in Real Simple magazine

By Roger Pugh

Piedmont Mayor Valerie Thomerson is featured in a spread in the upcoming November issue of the two-plus million circulation Real Simple Magazine.

Thomerson is one of four women mayors of small U.S. cities writer Liz Welch covers in the eight page spread.

The start of Thomerson’s story and her one and one-half page photo leads off the entire spread, entitled, “She Runs This Town.”

In her article on Thomerson, Welch focuses on what the Piedmont mayor faced in dealing with the May 2011 tornado which ravaged Piedmont and brought national attention to the city.

Thomerson cited the coming together of the local churches, other local organizations and individuals to help their neighbors in need during the crisis.

She also detailed the work involved in obtaining federal funding to deal with the disaster and the effort to coordinate volunteers to aid victims.

The story said Thomerson is thrilled to see Piedmont coming back after the devastation.
She is quoted as saying “The hum of construction is music to my ears. And seeing the generosity of humanity has been a life lesson. It takes my breath away.”

The article also details what led her to run for mayor and what she faces as a female mayor of a small community.

The mayors of Gar, Ind. (pop. 80,294), Perth Amboy, N.J. (pop. 51,000), and Burnsville, Minn. (pop. 60,000) are also featured in the spread.The photo for Thomerson was taken by photographer Rob Howard who traveled to each featured mayor’s respective city to photograph each mayor. Thomerson was photographed standing in the forefront of the lake in the Falcon Lake addition, an area hard-hit by the May 2011 tornado.

“When the magazine called, I at first thought someone was kidding me about wanting to do an article for a national magazine,” Thomerson said.

Real Simple, with a circulation of 2.03 million, is the 32nd largest circulation magazine in the U.S. It ranks just behind 31st ranked Martha Stewart Living Magazine, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

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