By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY – Senior Writer
The rumors have been running rampant ever since Publisher Aaron Creighton announced that he would be selling the Alpine Mountaineer. We, the staff of the Alpine Mountaineer, are proud to announce that Cecilia Ponce de Leon, co-owner of CAPRE Realty, with two offices in Lake Arrowhead and one in Crestline, has purchased all assets of this newspaper and is now the new owner and publisher.
When asked what inspired her to purchase this newspaper, Ponce de Leon told this reporter, “I wanted to make sure that the legacy of this newspaper continues and that the current writers would be able to keep writing their excellently written articles to keep the mountain communities informed.” She also intends to bring back the enormously popular Mountaineer magazine, which had previously been published by this newspaper’s forerunner The Alpenhorn News.
Ponce de Leon, who also co-owns Marks Management, a Lake Arrowhead-based property management firm, said her role as publisher would include the addition of new advertisers to expand revenue in order to add more pages to this weekly newspaper and to add more features, such as a weekly history column written by current staff writer and local historian Rhea-Frances Tetley, who has authored four books on the history of Crestline and Lake Arrowhead.
“I also plan to run a series of articles that would be continued in the following week’s newspaper, so that our readers would anticipate reading the rest of the story,” said Ponce de Leon, who was born in Los Angeles and raised her children in Diamond Bar.
Ponce de Leon, who began her post high school education at Mt. San Antonio Community College and Arizona Western College, where she earned her Associate Arts (AA) degree, subsequently enrolled at the University of Phoenix, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in business administration.
Following college, Ponce de Leon’s first job was at the Orange County Superior Court’s Fullerton branch, where she was employed for 11 years. “At that time, I was inspired to go to law school, but I was supporting my family and it was just too expensive.”
It’s readily apparent that Ponce de Leon is a thoughtful person with a heart of gold. This is exemplified by her passion for helping others. For instance, she travels to Tijuana, Mexico, once a quarter to volunteer at an orphanage.
“I enjoy helping nonprofit organizations on the mountain, such as Rotary and other mountain foundations, and I love helping youth groups for the betterment of the mountain communities,” Ponce de Leon said, adding that her motto is, “Moving further up and further in unity.”
Welcome aboard the Alpine Mountaineer, Cecilia. We look forward to working alongside you, and we hope you enjoy the ride.