Meet a Member: Donna Penticuff

Posted January 30, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Indiana, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

NFPW has a number of great leaders from all over the United States. One of our former national president is Donna Penticuff from Indiana. She has dedicated many years supporting NFPW and her affiliate. In 2015 her affiliate honored her efforts by naming her their Communicator of Achievement. She is deserving of this recognition for all her outstanding communicators efforts. Meet my friend, Donna Penticuff.

Name: Donna Penticuff

City and State: Marion, IN

DonnaP

Donna Penticuff, left, with her first born granddaughter, Lynley Grace Douglas, and her mother Hazel Sorrell. This photo is one of Donna’s favorite and was taken prior to her mother’s passing in December 2014.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

 

Member of Woman’s Press Club of Indiana and most recent COA for Indiana. Past National President (2003-2005), and served on the national board for several years, including two terms as treasurer and one-year terms as third, second and first vice president, plus served additional year as past National President and was NFPW Education Fund Director. Have also attended all national conventions since 1984 (32 so far). Also served Woman’s Press Club of Indiana in various leadership roles, including President.

Years a member of NFPW: Joined in 1980 under the sponsorship of my great friend Nancye Hawes.

Tell us a little about you.

I’ve been in newspapers and communications for more 36 years professionally plus four more in college. I’ve been in the trenches doing all kinds of reporting, though I always favored medical/health and technical reporting; have been a copy editor, designer and manager in newsrooms, and had a 16-year career in public relations, development and nonprofit management. In addition, I have taught communications and journalism at a community college and at Ball State University. Five years ago, I became a licensed real estate agent as part of my road to semi-retirement. I now do communications consulting and have a great time helping people make major life decisions in selling and buying real estate.

I’ve also been a longtime community volunteer in several organizations and have loved being a part of WPCI and NFPW.

I’ve been privileged to receive state and national awards for my work but my biggest achievement is having the good fortunate to have three fabulous children (plus their spouses), three (with one on the way) grandchildren and my better half — longtime journalist and editor David Penticuff. Family has always been my top priority and thankfully that family has always understood and supported my love for my career and NFPW.

pastpresidents

Donna Penticuff, second from left, meets with other former NFPW presidents during the NFPW conference last September in Alaska. Former presidents from left, Lori Potter, Penticuff, Cynthia Price, Teri Ehresman, Meg Hunt, Marsha Shuler and Gwen White. (Photo by Marsha Hoffman)

Any career advice you would give?

 

Join NFPW as soon as you can and attend national conferences — and follow your passion!

Which talent would you most like to have?

Other than to grow money on trees? I’d like to have a longer attention span so I could write historical romance novels.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Hard to answer as NFPW conferences are always providing me with new ideas about where I’d like to live. Overall, I need to be close to water and I love historical areas.

What book are you reading?

The Brain Fog Fix by Dr. Mike Dow, though I rarely read non-fiction. For pure enjoyment I am a thriller, romance, sci-fi fan.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Most people think I am an extrovert, but in truth I would rather be in the back row being quiet and taking everything in or just readng a good book. I love to explore why things work or don’t work.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I would not be the person I am today without WPCI and NFPW. Both have allowed me to learn (my No. 1 passion), to grow professionally, to develop leadership skills and to develop the best professional and personal relationships anyone could hope to have.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.:

I am on Facebook and keep telling myself I will actually post to my Twitter account. I currently am a communications consultant and also a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

Meet a member: Mary Jane Skala

Posted December 30, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Nebraska, New Mexico, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

I became better friends with Mary Jane Skala during the NFPW post-tour to Yellowtsone National Park and Jackson, Wyo. in the fall of 2008. She is familiar with the Moab area in southern Utah, so was a great help for the NFPW post-tour in 2013. She is a talented writer and great asset to our organization. Meet my friend, Mary Jane Skala.

MaryJane4

Mary Jane Skala

Name: Mary Jane Skala

City and State: Abiquiu, N.M.

Affiliate and any leadership positions: At the moment, New Mexico Press Women and Nebraska Press Women. I belonged to Ohio Professional Writers for 40 years, from 1973-2013. I served as president, vice president, secretary and contest chair, and organized many spring and fall meetings. When I moved to Kearney, Neb. in 2012, I joined Nebraska Press Women and served as secretary and contest chair. In May, I moved to Abiquiu, N.M., so I joined New Mexico Press Women, but I’ve kept the NPW membership because of all my friends there.

Tell us a little about you.

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to a tight clan of journalists. My father was the dean of radio news broadcasters in Cleveland. As news director at radio station WGAR, he covered the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, went to Russia with then-Vice President Richard Nixon in 1959, attended every national political convention, etc. My twin sister Martha is editor of the Conneaut (Ohio) Courier. My brother was editor-in-chief of Industry Week magazine and now writes non-fiction books. My late uncle was editor of the Middletown (Ohio) Journal.

After graduating from Michigan State University, I worked at the Purdue University News Service, putting my then-husband through graduate school there. I then became a reporter with the Sun Newspapers in suburban Cleveland. From 1981-85 I was the editor of the employee magazine for the Chessie News, serving 30,000 Chessie System Railroads (now CSX) in 13 states. When Chessie moved to Florida, I stayed in Cleveland as the employee newsletter editor at a hospital and did PR at Cuyahoga Community College.

From 1989-2009, I returned to Sun News as senior editor. I loved it. I wrote a chain-wide column that reached 500,000 readers. I ran the newsroom, wrote editorials, gave suburban election results on local TV, appeared on news magazines, etc., won awards, served as an officer in several professional organizations, etc. I’d have stayed forever, but newspapers sputtered, and Sun News folded. Thanks to my NFPW connections, I found work as a reporter for the Kearney (Neb.) Hub from 2012-2015.

Since May, I’ve been the volunteer coordinator at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, N.M., a Presbyterian Education and Retreat Center. I volunteered here between newspaper jobs, and when they called offering me a job last spring, I couldn’t resist. I still write my weekly column for the Kearney Hub.

Any career advice you would give?

Do what you love, and the money will follow. My father always said a career ranked second in importance only to the person you marry, and he’s right. Learn. Make friends. Make connections. Join professional organizations; they’re invaluable in teaching you about the business. You never know where those ties will lead.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To have a beautiful singing voice.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Right here in northern New Mexico. Since I first went West on a family vacation when I was 12, I’ve always dreamed of living in the West, and here I am. I have no TV; and the closest supermarket is 45 minutes away, but I have friends, fulfilling work, beauty, silence and more stars at night than I can count.

maryJanephoto

Mary Jane Skala and her son, Matt.

 

What book are you reading?

I’m re-reading “Seven Storey Mountain,” by Thomas Merton, his autobiography of his twisting spiritual journey from his aethistic childhood to his calling as a Trappist monk and a writer of books that are theological classics. I just finished “Angle of Repose,” by Wallace Stegner. I’ve read it four times. It’s about a young woman from New York who headed West 125 years ago. I always discover new insights when I re-read favorite books.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m an identical twin. I was the lone embedded Christian on a trip to Israel with 75 Jews during the Intifada. During that trip, I spent three days camping in the Gobi desert. I was told to stay in my tent at night – prowling hyenas would eat me if I didn’t.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you? I have learned so much! Bosses don’t have time to teach; only through organizations like NFPW do you add the fat that’s critical for a successful career. Professional friends became personal friends. NFPW friends got me the job at the Kearney Hub when newspapers died in Cleveland. I’ve attended conferences, made lifelong friends, and seen parts of the U.S. I might never have seen, thanks to NFPW. It polished my career.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc. I have email (maryjaneskala@gmail.com) I’m on Facebook, and my weekly columns can be found at kearneyhub.com

 

Meet a Member: Gloria Watkins

Posted December 11, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

I became good friends with Gloria Watkins during the 12 years she has spent working for NFPW through our management team, American PressWorks.  She joined us on the Idaho pre-conference tour to Sun Valley and Red Fish Lake in 2008 and I enjoyed getting to know her even better. She has been a delight to work with over the years and I will miss her in the NFPW office as she retires and NFPW transitions to a new management team. Meet my friend Gloria. I am glad we can be friends forever.

IMG_0686

Gloria Watkins

Name: Gloria Watkins

City and State: Alexandria, Virginia

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Membership Services Manager, Contest Manager, Conference Registrar

Years a member of NFPW:

I have worked in the national headquarters of NFPW for 12 years.

Tell us a little about you:

I was born in Opelika, Alabama, and moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, when I was two years old. I left home when I was 18 years old and moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Navy Department. I then transferred to the Department of Commerce. I was married for 48 years to Donald Watkins, until he passed away in May this past year. My greatest accomplishments were giving birth to my son Michael and my daughter Korey. I have two handsome grandsons, Evan and Brett and a wonderful daughter-in-law named Sarah. I had not played a lot of sports as a youngster, but when I was dating my soon-to-be husband I realized that I should learn how to ski and play tennis because those were the sports Donald loved. We skied a lot and even honeymooned in Aspen, Colorado. But soon we gave up skiing for year round tennis. I played a lot of competitive tennis until I took up golf. Now that is the sport that I love. I also keep busy playing a card game called Hand and Foot (a form of canasta) and occasionally I play BINGO. I love playing any kind of game.

IMG_0723

Gloria Watkins, center, enjoys breakfast at the Snow City Café in Anchorage with Tonda Rush, left and Carol Pierce, right.

 

Any career advice you would give?

I think that you have to love your job in order to look forward to going there every day. It doesn’t matter how much stress you are under or what kind of day you are having, but when you answer the telephone, you have to put a smile in your voice. The NFPW members are very special to me and I have enjoyed many hours on the phone with them.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to sing. As it is, I cannot carry a note. I sing in the car when I am alone, but if my kids are in the car with me they beg me not to sing.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would like to live someplace warm. I cannot handle cold weather any more. Florida is a possibility or maybe Arizona.

What book are you reading?

I am reading The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman and just finished The Concrete Killing Fields by an awesome NFPW member by the name of Pat Morgan.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

When I was 4 ½ years old, my sister and I spent the summer tap dancing in the Daddy Dave’s Juvenile Review on Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After the show we would go to the main ballroom where Harry James and his band were playing. Harry James used to pull me up on the stage and twirl me around. For anyone not familiar with Steel Pier, it was a huge pier that jutted out into the Atlantic Ocean. People paid admission to go to the shows. The most famous act was a horse that used to dive from a platform into the water.

Why is NFPW important to you?

I worked for NFPW for two years before I finally was asked to attend the national conference in Denver. I remember how excited I was to put a face to the many names that I had been working with. It did not take long before these working relationships turned into true friendships. When my husband passed away, I was overwhelmed with all of the beautiful cards and hand written notes that I received from our members. Although I will be retiring in December, I know that I have made friendships for life.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.:

I am on Facebook.

 

Meet a Member: Pamela Stallsmith

Posted November 18, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW, Uncategorized, Virginia

Tags: , , ,

When planning the 2008 NFPW conference in Idaho, I had a chance to get to know Pamela Stallsmith and Cynthia Price who were organizing the 2007 conference in Virginia. These two planned an awesome conference and we became great friends as a result of our efforts to support NFPW. Pam is an extremely talented communicator and excels in all she does. She leads the POPPS program for NFPW and she has done a great job in making the program even more important to NFPW. She is another outstanding member and I am honored to call her a friend.

Name: Pamela Stallsmith

City and State: Richmond, Va.

Pam_Adri_Julie_CP

Longtime VPC friends Pam Stallsmith (far right), Cynthia Price (left) and Julie Campbell (second from right) with author and filmmaker Adriana Trigiani, an honorary presswoman, at a recent book signing in Kilmarnock, Va.

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Virginia Professional Communicators.

On the national level, I’m the current president of POPPS, Parley of Past Presidents State, and have been an NFPW board member since 2004.

In Virginia, I’m president of the Virginia Press Women Foundation, which raises money and awards scholarships to college students who wish to pursue a career in communications. I’m also a past president of VPC and was co-chair of the 2007 NFPW Conference in Richmond with Cynthia Price.

Years a member of NFPW: 27

Tell us a little about you.

I’ve been in communications for 30 years, the first two-thirds in journalism. I started my newspaper career at the daily newspaper in Lynchburg, Va., covering education, local politics and the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Then I joined the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia’s flagship paper, as a bureau reporter in Clarksville — along the North Carolina border — covering Southside Virginia. The town’s population was about the same as my public high school in suburban Maryland! It was a fabulous experience — I covered a little bit of everything, from tobacco to rural housing to power plants. I eventually moved to Richmond and covered state politics and government, with a specialty in campaign finance. After 22 years as a newspaper reporter, in 2007 I made the transition to corporate communications and joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In June I landed a new job as the director of communications and external relations for the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. It’s a great fit for me as it combines my knowledge of government and communications. And VCU, the state’s largest public research university in the heart of Richmond, pulsates with energy.

PamandTom.JPG

Pam Stallsmith and her husband, Tom Hohing, in Hout Bay, South Africa in September 2015.

My husband, Tom Hohing, and I have two wonderful dogs, Molly and Stanley, who are English Springer Spaniels. We enjoy traveling, art and the outdoors. I’m a voracious reader and other favorite activities include bird watching and gardening.

Any career advice you would give?

Be patient. You don’t have to do everything at once. Never burn bridges. Network — keep in touch with people. You never know when bumping into someone unexpectedly may lead to an opportunity. And keep current professionally.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be able to play the piano.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West (with all the six-toed cats!)

What book are you reading?

M Train by Patti Smith.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I was involved in community theater when I lived in Clarksville.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

VPC and NFPW have been a constant source of support throughout my career. Besides the tremendous opportunities for professional development, I’ve forged lifelong friendships. And the travel — I’ve been to places I doubt I ever would have visited on my own through conferences and meetings. Presswomen has taken me from the glaciers of Alaska across the plains of Nebraska to the sandy shores of North Carolina. I’ve met so many extraordinary people through this organization, women and men who have taught me so much.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.:

I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Meet a Member: Linn Rounds

Posted November 3, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW Wyoming

Tags: , , ,

Linn Rounds served NFPW as president from 1997-1999. She did an awesome job as president, as well as the other elected positions she served in. She took the time to encourage the affiliates and always checked to see how members were doing and if there was anything she could do to help. Her outstanding leadership is one of the many reasons NFPW continues to be a great organization. She is another unique and unbelievable member I am honored to call a friend.

Linn Rounds

Linn Rounds

Name: Linn Rounds

City and State: Cheyenne, WY

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I joined Wyoming Press Women, later renamed Wyoming Media Professionals, in 1968 and served in all the elected positions up to and including state president. It was the same with NFPW. I chaired two committees and held every elected office but treasurer. Although it took me about 16 years, I did it with deliberation so I could juggle work, family and NFPW. I was president 1997-1999.

Years a member of NFPW: 47

Tell us a little about you.

I was born and raised in Indiana and went to college in Wisconsin. A year after graduation my roommate and I drove from Chicago to LA on the original Route 66. When we got back to Milwaukee, we knew we wanted a change, threw some city names in the hat and drew Denver. We moved to Colorado in the fall of 1966 and after a few months I moved to Cheyenne alone. I landed a job in the public information office of the Wyoming Highway Department. That was going to be a temporary gig just long enough so I could earn some money to live and make  the car payments for my 1965 Mustang convertible (which I still own.) Then I was heading back to Chicago.

WHD was where I met Keith, my husband. While staying home with our two kids for four years, I did some freelancing and then returned to work full-time in 1977. I spent the remainder of my working years with the Wyoming State Library in later years as the publications and marketing manager. I was also instrumental in organizing the Wyoming Center for the Book, a Library of Congress project which introduced family literacy programs and a variety of other author and reading-related programs to the state.

Any career advice you would give?

Almost all of my professional life was in government public information except for a short stint with AP. If you want to write, every organization needs quality media. Take your pick. If you chose PR, you can expect to be in the minority whether you work in education, healthcare or transportation. It takes time to get a thorough understanding of the company to gain the trust, confidence and respect of the majority.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Actually there are two: I would like to be athletic and have musical abilities. It’s pretty bad when your little kids say, “Momma don’t sing.”

Linn Round, bottom row right, with other past NFPW presidents from left Donna Penticuff and Gwen White sitting and standing, Meg Hunt, Cynthia Price and Marsha Shuler.

Linn Rounds, sitting on the right, with other past NFPW presidents from left Donna Penticuff and Gwen White. Standing from left: Meg Hunt, Cynthia Price and Marsha Shuler.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Just about anywhere in Hawaii.

What book are you reading?

Mysteries are my favorites and I read a lot. I just finished : It’s the Girl in the Spider’s Web and now it’s Accused: a Rosato & Dinunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline. Michael Connolly, John Stanford, Linda Fairstein , Margaret Coel, Tony Hillerman and now Anne Hillerman are some of my favorite authors. I occasionally read best sellers just to see what is popular.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I worked two seasons for the Milwaukee Braves in a pilot program and was asked to join them when they moved to Atlanta. I declined. I have also edited a book of cowboy poetry that Keith wrote and co-edited an anthology of Wyoming writers called Deep West. Also every two years I work full-time in the courthouse as an election judge. The job starts 40 days before the primary and continues through election day.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

My affiliate, which is now defunct, and NFPW have been important in my professional life. It went beyond that. They are my friends. NFPW was an opportunity to learn, network and travel. The people I have met, the places I was able to visit and the friendships which continue are so important.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Facebook is all.

Meet a Member: Rosemary Carroll

Posted October 27, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey

Tags: , ,

I first remember working with Rosemary Carroll in 1989. Idaho hosted the NFPW conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Rosemary was elected NFPW president at that meeting. That was one of my first experiences working with NFPW leadership as we organized that successful conference. It was a pleasure getting to know this talented professional who has enjoyed such a varied professional career. She is already making plans to join us next fall for the NFPW conference in Kansas. I know many of our members will enjoy rekindling our friendship with this unique and unbelievable NPFW member.

Name: Rosemary Lalevée Carroll

Rosemary Carroll

Rosemary Carroll

City and State: Annandale, New Jersey

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Past President of New Jersey and Massachusetts affiliates, Third, Second and First Vice President of NFPW (1984-1989) and President of NFPW 1989-1991.

Years a member of NFPW: 42 years

Tell us a little about you.

I have enjoyed a storied career in newspapering, public relations and fundraising, moving from New Jersey, to Illinois and Massachusetts, and back to New Jersey. How exciting it was to be the first editor of The Lawrence Ledger (NJ); to direct public relations for Plimoth Plantation, telling the Pilgrim and Wampanoag Indian stories; and then development and public relations director for The Seeing Eye, touching hearts on how special Seeing Eye dogs safely guide and love their blind owners. I also headed up public relations and development at three hospitals, one each in New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Along the way I met Svetlana Alliluyeva, Helen Thomas, Betty White, Princess Nori of Japan and the Crown Prince, Julia Child, Tom Brokaw, Joan Lunden, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Malcolm Forbes, Tonda Rush, Joan Barthel, governors, senators, and others of note. I received local, state and national awards for my work, many from NFPW, and the Athena Award while working in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first recipient of the award in that state.

In 2003 I received a Master’s in Theology which led, ultimately, to my present work as director of Seton Associates, the lay affiliate of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. In 2014, I graduated with a Certification as a Spiritual Director from An Croí Wisdom Institute and Celtic Spirit Center in Drogheda, Ireland to complement my work and to provide spiritual direction to those seeking a closer relationship with the Divine.

I have served on many boards with two favorites: Josephine’s Place, a storefront in Elizabeth (NJ) where immigrant women can feel at home while learning English, computer and business skills, prepare for the US Citizenship Exam, and other job-related skills; and ChangeALife Uganda that empowers families and women through education, micro-finance loans and jobs, and health care. I sponsor lovely Bridget, paying her tuition all through private school – with a commitment to underwrite her college tuition. Two years ago I spent two life-changing weeks in Uganda at the sites we support.

My wonderful newspaper editor husband Ed died suddenly in 2008, just before retirement, and who knew then that I would be doing all that I am now! We reared three great sons and many dogs. It has been an incredible journey!

Any career advice you would give?

Do what you love and you’ll have fun doing it and doing it well! Put your signature touch on the work you do. Don’t be afraid to re-invent yourself every now and then because the challenge is good, and it keeps your mind and body energized. Trust in your abilities!

Which talent would you most like to have?

Play the piano.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Santa Barbara, California, in a small hacienda on a hill over-looking the Pacific, or in southern France near Avignon – in a chateau of course, or a cottage on an island off the western coast of Ireland, but really where I am in rural, serene Hunterdon County, New Jersey – close to New York, airport, so much.

What book are you reading?

Peter the Great by Robert Masse which transports you through so much Russian history and life. Already read Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman also by Masse. Both are fabulous reads and offer a fascinating framework for understanding contemporary Russia. Also reading Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now and What the Mystics Know – both underscore our need to live in the now, the present, and to be energized by the inner spirit.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

In grade school, I was a terrible stutterer. By high school I discovered that if I replaced the “trauma” word with a synonym I didn’t stutter. Being a word person helped! Turns out that is a recommended therapy but in my case I did it on my own.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I attended the formation meeting of the New Jersey affiliate back in the early 1970’s, and was the youngest one present. The older, more experienced professional women accepted me as a peer. I never forgot that or how it felt. Moving through state and national gatherings, it was always the same: professionals welcoming and valuing each other for themselves and for the work they did. As a younger member, I was impressed by veterans still writing regardless of age. Now I’m a writer of a certain age and I am still working! Still writing! Affiliates and NFPW nurture and sustain the professional and personal self-confidence that enriches and advances our careers and lead us to fulfilling lives.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Yikes! Not on any!!

Meet a Member: Julie Hoffman

Posted October 21, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Iowa, NFPW

Tags: , ,

When I think of Julie Hoffman, I think of a dependable person who is always willing to help out. She works hard to support NFPW in any way she can. She was a key part of the success of the NFPW communications contest last year and will continue her leadership position for the next two years. She is also a fighter and her determination and the prayers of her family and friends is helping her through a health scare. Meet this unique and unbelievable member I am pleased to be able to call a friend.

Julie Hoffman at the Kansas Speedway. (Photo by Marsha Hoffman)

Julie Hoffman at the Kansas Speedway. (Photo by Marsha Hoffman)

Name: Julie Hoffman

City and State: Council Bluffs, Iowa

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Iowa Press Women / President. One of the co-chairs for the NFPW conference in Nebraska/Iowa in 2011 and current NFPW Communications Contest chair.

Years a member of NFPW: 9, joined in 2006 after being a groupie for about 9 years

Tell us a little about you.

Although I studied journalism in high school, I pursued a career in the sciences instead. I received my degree in Distributed Studies from Iowa State University in 1991. My degree consists of a minimum of 35 credits in each discipline of Chemistry and Microbiology and Zoology. I had intended to work in a hospital laboratory, that had been my interest since Middle School when I would babysit for a neighbor who was a Medical Technologist. I spent my Friday evenings after the kids fell asleep reading her textbooks! Well, an opportunity fell into my lap to work in a microbiology lab at a pizza meat manufacturing facility before I had finished my degree while their microbiologist was on maternity leave. I ended up working there for 18 months after graduation. The microbiologist who I replaced decided daycare was too expensive to justify working full-time. That solidified where my career was going to head at that point. I decided I was ready to head away from Ames where I had gone to college, and head back near home. My family found a job in a microbiology lab listed in the local want ads, so I applied and got that job in September 1992. I have been with the company ever since. American Laboratories, Inc. hired me as a microbiologist in their lab and since then I have gone into Quality Assurance and now am in Production as the Production Coordinator. The company is a neutraceutical and pharmaceutical company which has been family-owned since its founding in February, 1967. Just last week, we were sold. Now the new frontier awaits us…

Any career advice you would give?

Don’t pigeon-hole yourself. I certainly am using my degree in my job, but it is nowhere near what I thought I’d be doing!

Julie Hoffman at Alyeska Ski Resort at the NFPW conference in Alaska in 2000. (Photo by Marsha Hoffman)

Julie Hoffman at Alyeska Ski Resort at the NFPW conference in Alaska in 2000. (Photo by Marsha Hoffman)

Which talent would you most like to have?

Anything musical – i am horribly tone deaf and cannot read music of any kind.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere the sun shines 85% of the time, but the temperature does not exceed 85 degrees!

What book are you reading?

I wish I had time & energy to start a book; I have a few lined up, but have not started them. Mostly enjoy Star Trek, so there’s always something available.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

1) I used to sell Longaberger baskets, but as I was my own best customer, had to STOP

2) I have a munchkin (pseudo-nephew) who I helped raise while his parents owned a local restaurant. He’s now 16 and a junior in high school and being “recruited” as a football player. The best part of the whole thing is, I still get hugs and kisses whenever I need them – his parents don’t.

3) I love Star Trek and Star Wars, though real life doesn’t allow much time for the passion

4) I am an NCIS nut!!

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I have recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. When the word got out to friends and acquaintances in NFPW, I was overwhelmed with the support I received. Even now, I get a random card or email from a member who is just hoping to brighten my day – it is unbelievable how much that can mean to someone. I am passionate about the good work our organization can do for the high school programs around the country. I think we are just the type of organization to make a major difference in the direction our education system seems to be headed with journalism education as well as our next generations’ communications abilities.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

On Facebook, I am Julie Hoffman; on Twitter, I am @jultrig.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 477 other followers