Karl Runser was a newspaper reporter and editor for most of his working life, 25 years of that career as managing editor of The Athens Messenger, a job he left in 1998 when the newspaper was sold to out-of-state interests. He also spent those years as a part-time instructor in the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. In 1998 he joined the staff of OU’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, working in community development projects throughout the Appalachian region of Ohio. He served a number of years as president of the Athens County Regional Planning Commission, on the board of Athens County Habitat for Humanity, and as member and president of the Christ Lutheran Church Council. Karl has been a member of the Stuart’s Opera House board since 2016.