Contact Us

Sherry Matthews - Publisher/Editor

About Sherry Matthews:

Sherry is a 1982 graduate of UNC-Wilmington with BA in English/Communications. She has 30 years of experience as a journalist, 20 of them with The Sampson Independent. A Sampson County native, Sherry is a winner of 3 N.C. Press Association Awards for editorials and general news reporting, and the recipient of 5 NC School Bell Awards for excellence in education reporting. Sherry was the 2001 NC Distinguished Women of NC nominee.

Shannon Best - Media Director

About Shannon Best:

A Sampson County native, Shannon is a 2001 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Communications, as well as a 2005 graduate of North Carolina State University with a Master’s in Education. She has earned the Civitas Media Summit of Success Award 3 years in a row. Shannon has 8 years of marketing and sales experience (3 years with The Sampson Independent).

Brenda McCullen - Classified Director

About Brenda McCullen:

Brenda attended Hardbarger Business College in Raleigh and has been with The Sampson Independent for 18 years. She has won three N.C. Press Awards, including in 1997, First Place, Best Classified Section/Page; in 2002, Second Place, Best Community Service Signature Page; and in 2003, First Place, Best Spot Color Restaurant/Entertainment Ad. She was married to the late Ronnie E. McCullen for 35 years and has 3 children, Nicole, Jonathan and Charlie, and 7 grandchildren, Carsyn, Braeden, Cullen, Easley, Maggie, Autumn and Annabel. Brenda is a Notary Public.

Chris Berendt - Managing Editor

About Chris Berendt:

Chris earned a BA in journalistic communication from Purdue University. Winner of multiple North Carolina Press Association awards, Chris has 11 years of reporting experience, the last 10 with The Sampson Independent covering every aspect of news.

Chase Jordan - Staff Writer

About Chase Jordan:

Chase Jordan, a native of Kansas City, Mo., has eight years of reporting experience. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. Prior to becoming a reporter for The Sampson Independent, Chase worked at publications in Missouri and Kansas. His daily contributions resulted in staff awards from the Kansas Press Association.

Kristy D. Carter - Staff Writer

About Kristy D. Carter:

Kristy is a 2000 graduate of East Carolina University with a BA in Communications, minor in English and certification in Business Writing. She has 10 years of writing experience, beginning as an intern with the Sampson Independent in high school, and currently covers all aspects of news, including the town of Roseboro and Clinton City Schools. She is married to Ron Carter and they share twins, Jackson and Kennedy.

Gary Pate - Advertising Representative

About Gary Pate:

Gary has over 15 years advertising experience. He has been a part of NC Press Association Award-winning advertising campaigns and earned the Civitas Media Summit of Success Award 3 years in a row. A Sampson County native and Clinton High School graduate, Gary has three children, Christina, Bruce and Jessica Pate.