Sales & Service: As General Manager of The Island News, Nikki Hardison believes in the client and supporting the business community

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Nikki Hardison joined The Island News as general manager at the beginning of the year. In her role, Nikki is responsible for advertising sales, distribution and marketing, and, as she says, “Anything else needed to make sure The Island News continues to be Beaufort’s favorite newspaper!”

With dedication and a can-do attitude like that, The Island News’ advertising clients can expect top customer service and attention to detail from Nikki.

Before starting her new job, Nikki was the sales associate for The Island News’ sister organization, Beaufort Daily Deals, and she also worked for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Bubba and Nikki Hardison at Hunting Island State Park.  Photo by Captured Moments Photography.
Bubba and Nikki Hardison at Hunting Island State Park.
Photo by Captured Moments Photography.

Nikki credits a dispute with a vendor as what led her into outside sales. She was a receptionist for Georgia Coast Realty on  St. Simons Island and she was disputing a bill with the owner of The Real Estate Book, a publication where Realtors list properties. The Real Estate Book’s owner must have noticed something he liked in Nikki’s manner as she handled the dispute, because at the end of the conversation he asked her if she was happy with her job. Although she enjoyed her current job, she agreed to meet with The Real Estate Book and soon she was managing the publication for the Brunswick/St. Simons area.

Outside sales was obviously Nikki’s niche because she’s spent nearly two decades in the field. She has experience in print, radio and television outside sales.

If it’s unusual for a dispute to lead to a 20-year career, it’s probably even more unusual that Santa Claus led Nikki to The Island News.

According to Nikki, “Santa Claus was coming through our neighborhood three years ago and my husband and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Where we come from, Santa doesn’t drive through your neighborhood on a fire truck. I was taking pictures and my next door neighbor asked me to send them to him so he could put them in the paper. That’s when he introduced himself as Buck Boone from The Island News.”

Not one to pass by an opportunity, Nikki soon emailed Buck, the former general manager of the paper, to ask him about job possibilities and became a sales associate of Beaufort Daily Deals.

Nikki believes in working smart, playing hard and making the most of every day. “I get to meet so many incredible people because of what I do for a living,” she says. “If you love what you do, it’s not really work.”

“It’s so rewarding how much people love our newspaper,” Nikki says with a smile. “They cannot wait to get it every week and read it cover to cover. People in Beaufort are proud to have a local newspaper that is concerned with what goes on in our community.”

Nikki is eager to help launch new specialty pages in The Island News that will allow even the smallest businesses to advertise and reach a larger audience. In addition, she sees expanding The Island News’ readership and helping grow the paper is part of her responsibility to serve her customers.

The Brunswick, Ga., native is married to Bubba Hardison and they have three adult children and one grandson. Dalton 23, lives in Beaufort and works for Carolina Air; Halley, 22, is mom to 2-year-old Brayden, lives in Brunswick and is in nursing school; and Michael, 21, is a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.

Nikki attended the College of Coastal Georgia but she says emphatically that she’s a huge Georgia Bulldogs fan. She has been a Chamber of Commerce volunteer in Brunswick and Beaufort for approximately 15 years. She’s also involved in the Beaufort Chapter of Business Networking International (BNI) and is a member of the current class of Leadership Beaufort.

In her free time she enjoys traveling and deer hunting with her husband (bow hunting is her preference) and she looks forward to hunting season every year.

Contact Nikki at 843-321-8281 or nikki.theislandnews@gmail.com.