Jeff Oliver developed a love for writing at an early age. As a student at Monessen High School in the early 1970s, he began writing poetry and short stories that he shared with fellow students.
He went on to hone that skill and desire at Penn State University and California University of Pennsylvania. After finishing school, he became the sports editor of the former Daily Herald newspaper in Monongahela in 1981.
A year later, he joined the staff of The Valley Independent newspaper in Monessen where he served as a staff writer, sports writer/columnist and later sports editor. During his years at TVI, Oliver’s style that often mixed humor, controversial and/or investigative opinions, uplifting support and topics that tugged at readers’ heart strings, won numerous awards as a journalist.
When TVI closed its doors after nearly 114 years in business at the end of 2015, Oliver played a key role in starting a new daily publication in the Mon Valley. He brought together four long-time friends and businessmen who formed Mon Valley Publishing LLC. That group, with Oliver’s help, started the Mon Valley Independent. The MVI published its first edition May 2, 2016, with Oliver leading the newsroom as the managing editor.
In September 2016, he was named general manager of the newspaper and played a key role in expanding the newspaper’s circulation into the McKeesport region. Also, the MVI was named the Greater Rostraver Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Visionary Award winner with Oliver accepting the honor and making a speech for the newspaper at a large banquet.
In January 2018, Oliver announced his retirement from MVI, culminating a stellar 37-year career.
Today, not only is he the owner of JustJTO.com, he also continues as a freelance writer doing the work he has loved for well over 40 years.