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Jerril Nilson

"I learned to drive a '38 Ferguson tractor at age eight," says Jerril Nilson, who developed her work ethic early in life. "I worked on my grandpa's farm since I was little." The co-editor of an award-winning high school paper in Lewiston, Idaho, Nilson moved to Eugene after graduation to enter the UO J-school. She worked for the Daily Emerald as a reporter, photographer, editor, and typesetter for the three years it took her to earn a degree, then four years more as an employee. She worked as a typesetter, an art director, and a marketing specialist during the 80s, then started her own company, JLN Design, in 1990. "I've had some of the same clients for 20 years," she says. "I've never had to pound the pavement." A parade enthusiast since fifth grade, when she put on a backyard carnival, Nilson marched in the Eugene Celebration parade with the satirical group the Rickies from 1985 until their last appearance in 2002. This year, in her first campaign for EC royalty, she won the title as Queen Slugasana. "My charity focus is Slow Food Eugene and the School Garden Project," she says. "We'll have a big event in the spring." Look for her also at next month's First Friday Art Walk and other community events during her "rain."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 16 September 2010

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