My foot in the door began with bunion surgery…
Not mine, thankfully. I had just graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in communications when The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Indiana, needed someone to fill in for the features clerk, who was out for foot surgery. Six weeks later she returned but I stayed, invited to join the desk as a copy editor.
My career has included positions with the daily News-Sentinel, where I sat in a lot of different chairs; with the weekly Elbert County News in Castle Rock, Colorado, where I was a copy editor and an intrepid young reporter on the rugged Plains; and with the Denver metro daily The Rocky Mountain News, where I hit the big time as a copy editor.
Early on, I also worked as marketing and volunteer coordinator for the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society and History Museum. I later employed my marketing expertise as special sections editor for Fort Wayne Newspapers’ marketing department, overseeing a heavy schedule of existing and new publications and putting promotional copy out the door, too.
I worked for a year as a book editor at Our Sunday Visitor, a big international Catholic publishing company in tiny Huntington, Indiana, then was asked to serve as presentation editor for OSV newspaper after its redesign. I also was invited to write children’s books for OSV; the second and third of my four titles have resided on the national Catholic children’s best-seller list. My fourth book tied for first place in the children’s book category of the Catholic Press Association’s 2007 national book competition. My freelance work for Our Sunday Visitor also included extensive copy for persuasive letters, advertisements, catalogs and back covers.
I next worked for Canterbury School, an independent, private, college-prep school in Fort Wayne, launching its first real website, if you can believe that. By the time I left three years later, we were even blogging.
I moved to Chicago as managing editor of parish relations in new-product development at Loyola Press. When the job was gone, I stayed in Chicago, pursuing my passion for writing and editing.
I returned to Fort Wayne for an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of an advertising agency as an account executive at Asher Agency, handling a variety of clients–B2B, B2C, government, local and international. Three years later, I finally gathered up my cumulative experience and took the plunge as a full-time freelancer.
I love the work that I do and the people with whom I work. I sometimes work at the 20,000-foot level; at times I handle the nitty-gritty in the trenches.
I write articles on food, wine, fitness and travel. I’ve contributed to the Chicago Sun-Times and Sommelier Journal, and I wrote a monthly fitness column for Fort Wayne Magazine for years. Past endeavors included a monthly chef profile and a bed and breakfast review column, and I blogged for a Chicago wine shop. I’ve been published on topics as diverse as business, sports, religion, parenting, music, art and education.
As an editor, I’ve revised business communications, scholarly books, thesis papers and more. Of course, there’s no way to turn this off–I also edit menus when dining out, advertisements when reading a magazine, songs on the radio…
For my marketing clients, I’ve developed web sites, business letters, ad copy, brochures and much more. Short and snappy, humorous, authoritative, explanatory… I can match or set the tone. In particular, I specialize in social media strategy and execution, which means I have to learn something new every nanosecond.
I do try to step away from my computer often. I am a single mom to a bright and happy daughter who is a voracious reader, much to the delight of her mother. And I passed the introductory level of the Court of Master Sommeliers. (This is also a good excuse to sample lots of wine.)
My turnaround time on all my work is relatively short, courtesy of many years spent on a daily deadline. Quality is never sacrificed, however. A persistent quest for perfection means I’m always putting my best foot forward.