Johnny Sampson

"There are many women in power here at The Stranger," says Laurie Saito, 48, sitting in her office with a view of Cal Anderson Park. As publisher, Saito oversees The Stranger's 50 employees. She points out that six of the 10 department heads—including The Stranger's art director, calendar director, and managing editor—are women. Saito is a fourth-generation Japanese American who was born at Swedish Hospital. She has an art degree with a focus on painting, drawing, and printmaking, and her office walls are covered with art (including several pieces she created). She is only the second publisher in The Stranger's 28-year history, following in the footsteps of founder Tim Keck, now president of Index Newspapers. She has worked at The Stranger for 21 years and became publisher in September 2018. Asked what her favorite part of the job is, she replies, "The people. All the amazing different types of people who have come through this office over the last 21 years." Asked what her least favorite part of the job is, she jokes, "The people."