• Norma Kostecka, North Bay Business Journal publisher, dies at 58

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    April 03, 2021
    April 2, 2021, 5:12PM 

    Norma T. Kostecka, a longtime advertising director who in October 2020 became publisher of the North Bay Business Journal, died Wednesday of breast cancer at her home in Napa. She was 58.

    “My mom was a force of good and a force of compassion and a force of joy,” said daughter Megan Kostecka, 29. “She’s gone but she will be ever-present in our lives. She was many people’s favorite person for sure. She was remarkable and will be dearly missed.”

    In an April 2 Facebook post, Megan and her brother, Ryan Kostecka, 31, shared a message that included the following:

    “To honor her, we ask that you simply bend to that force, capitalizing on every moment and opportunity your life presents, forcing joy and love into the moments where there doesn’t seem like enough room,” the siblings wrote. “For Mom always found space for love and we must endeavor to do the same.”

    Kostecka loved the outdoors. She backpacked the Grand Canyon twice and was an avid jogger who completed five half-marathons, she told the Business Journal in October.

    Kostecka was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and had been in remission until recently, Megan Kostecka said.

    In a 2015 Kaiser Permanente feature profiling Kostecka two years after the health care system treated her, she stated she “loved” to run.

    “Running puts me in a zone, which is a perfect mind-body connection for me,” Kostecka had told Kaiser. That September, after being trained by her husband, Scott, the couple completed the Napa Half Marathon. “My husband endured this cancer journey with me and I wasn’t about to do this run without him.”

    Kostecka and Scott married in 1985 and have been together since middle school, Megan Kostecka said.

    Though Kostecka’s tenure at the Business Journal was short, Anthony Borders, editor and event content manager, said she made an impact.

    “Norma came in and quickly injected energy and enthusiasm in everyone she worked with. She connected with people by listening and encouraging them from the start,” Borders said. “She was always free to give a ‘good work’ pat on the back. We are saddened someone so full of positive energy is no longer with us, but heartened by her spirit, which will remain with us.”

    Kostecka was a newspaper veteran who took over the business publication following the December retirement of longtime publisher, Brad Bollinger.

    Steve Falk, CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, which owns the Business Journal, said Kostecka's spirit and enthusiasm will be missed by everyone who knew her.

    “I have hired dozens of executives over the years, but rarely has there been a more perfect fit than Norma for the Business Journal’s publisher role,” Falk said. "Her extensive advertising experience combined with a magnetic personality made her a perfect fit that was recognized by her peers and the business community.”

    Karleen Arnink-Pate, chief revenue officer for The Press Democrat, also owned by Sonoma Media Investments, said “Norma’s bright personality and her kindness will be missed by her coworkers.”

    “I’m sorry Norma will not be able to see the changes and improvements come to fruition that she had planned over the last several months for the future of the NBBJ,” said Arnink-Pate. “But we will continue with the good work she started and her influence will be felt ongoing as the North Bay Business Journal grows and develops.”

    Before joining the Business Journal, Kostecka served for 22 years as advertising director at the Napa Valley Register, where she was responsible for sales, promotional and strategic functions of the advertising and marketing departments. Earlier in her career, Kostecka served as retail advertising manager for the Arizona Daily Sun. She started out in publishing in 1984 at The Times Advocate in Escondido in San Diego County, where she was originally from.

    Kostecka graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles, and told the Business Journal in October that she had intended to work as a retail buyer in the fashion industry.

    But it turned out her greatest joy in her work life had little to do with her profession.

    “My proudest accomplishment in my career has been the long-term relationships I have developed with my co-workers, readers and clients,” she had told the Business Journal last fall. “These relationships have enriched my personal life and positively impacted my professional career path.”

    Kostecka was born in Guam, the fourth youngest of 11 children. She is survived by her husband, Scott, daughter Megan, son Ryan, and their spouses, Brian Boessenecker and Dana Kostecka, respectively.

    Kim Sustek, Account Executive
    kim.sustek@busjrnl.com, (707) 521-4246
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