A Tale of Two Passions: Music and Writing with Billy Yost, Staff Writer

When he’s not churning out stellar feature stories, Staff Writer Billy Yost is all about music and his Shiba Inu

by Cristina Merrill

Billy Yost

Billy Yost, Staff Writer (Photo by Jim Vondruska)

How many successful musicians also boast a robust writing career? We have one of them here at Guerrero: Billy Yost, staff writer and front man for The Kickback. He shares what he loves about working at Guerrero and about his recent mustache-related success.

Where are you originally from and what is your background? 

I’m from Beresford, South Dakota. My parents were teachers, and my brothers were in bands, so I got a teaching degree and spent a decade touring the country playing in a band. My band’s name is The Kickback, and I produce under the name Billy Ghost.

How did you first come to work for Guerrero? 

A former Guerrero editor found my Facebook updates funny and offered to let me try my hand at freelancing. I started interviewing executives before sound checks and from rest stops all over this great land. I was lucky to come in-house in 2019.

What do you do at Guerrero today? 

I continue to tell the stories of executives and other amazing people across our five magazine brands.

How would you describe your leadership style? 

I don’t actually lead anyone! Fellow staff writer Zach Baliva and I are the lone wolves of editorial. Editorial Manager Frannie Sprouls leads us, more specifically. That being said, I like to say, “You can lead a horse to water, but that doesn’t mean he’ll hit his deadline.”

How have you maintained a connection with your team during the pandemic? 

The editorial team is pretty tight, so our Slack channel tends to stay active.

How has Guerrero evolved over the years? What’s the most marked difference from when you started? 

It’s been amazing to watch people like Sara Deeter, who started as a staff writer and is now special projects editor, grow into fantastic editors and leaders in their own right.

What makes Guerrero such a great place to work? 

I get to do what I do best, and I’m trusted to do it in my own way. That means a lot. Frannie and our Vice President of Creative Production Kevin Warwick are amazing bosses, and it’s nice to mean that when I type it.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

I make music all the time. Also, my Shiba Inu, Opal, gets a lot of walks.

What else would you like to share about yourself?

I was finally able to grow a mustache in 2020. It’s been a very big deal.