By Cecily Markland
Beehive Sales Executive Leaves to Pursue Dream of Sharing Her Music
Born and raised in Mesa, Linda Leavitt (now Hartmann) wrote and composed her first song in 1979. Then just hours later, at her own farewell before leaving to serve an LDS mission in Atlanta, Georgia, Linda played while Lynette Carling sang, “I’ll Find You My Friend.”
Now, after helping establish The Beehive Newspaper in Arizona and working 20 years as Regional Sales Executive to make it what it is today, Linda is returning to her music, committed to sharing messages of faith and testimony around the world.
Already, her first song has been sung at countless missionary farewells, has touched thousands of lives and been translated into 22 languages. In 1985, George Dyer and Tina Brunsdale Wright recorded Linda’s albums, including “I’ll Find You My Friend.”
Along with this powerful, well-known missionary song, Linda has written 70 other missionary songs, as well as patriotic and faith-promoting numbers, funeral songs and more, all soon to be available for widespread distribution.
She understands this new venture will be much like starting with The Beehive.
In 1991, while living in Las Vegas, Linda was hired as a sales representative for Nevada’s Beehive Newspaper. Her professionalism allowed The Beehive to increase its coverage and distribution almost immediately, says publisher Russell Taylor.
In 1993, Linda proposed bringing “the good news newspaper” to Arizona.
Linda says, “I told Russell, ‘I know I can make it work,’ and he believed in me.”
In October 1993, 5,000 copies of a small, 12-page, black and white publication rolled off the presses for distribution in 10 locations in Arizona. Today, The Beehive is the largest regional LDS newspaper in the country.
“The sole reason there is a Beehive Newspaper in Arizona is because of Linda Leavitt Hartmann,” Russell Taylor notes. “She was able to make an LDS newspaper work in a state that had seen at least four other newspapers fail. She is truly a special person who the entire Taylor family, as well as The Beehive family, owes a huge debt of gratitude.”
“I have absolutely loved selling and working with people,” says Linda. “I get letters about people joining the Church because of The Beehive or thanking me for something they’ve read or seen in the paper. It’s been very rewarding in that way.”
Over the years, Linda has served in the Special Needs program, as Relief Society president and in various other callings and has played the piano for numerous funerals and other meetings. Linda has traveled across the United States to share her missionary musical fireside, “Miracles, Music, Missions and More” all over Arizona and on the stake and regional level in Utah, Hawaii, Florida and California.
“Early next year, my website will be upgraded to include an online store so people can purchase my book, CD, choir arrangements and translations from my website; and all my recorded songs will be available on iTunes.”
Linda adds, “This 20 years with The Beehive has been amazing, and I am ready to move on to my dream. My music has changed my life, and I am thankful Heavenly Father has used me as an instrument in His hands to be able to compose and publish it.”
For more about Linda’s music, including the story behind “I’ll Find You My Friend,” visit www.IllFindYouMyFriend.com. To schedule a fireside or purchase Linda’s music, call 480-844-9328 or email AzBeehiveSales@gmail.com.