Meet a Member: Glennis McNeal

Posted May 26, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Arizona, California, NFPW, Oregon

Tags: , , , ,

One of the people I look forward to seeing at an NFPW conference is Glennis McNeal. She splits her time between Oregon and California and is one of the members who always makes the conference more fun. She is always looking for new adventures and is always willing to step up and learn something new. One example is when she worked a shift for the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible,” program when they revamped the Mill Creek Cattle Company restaurant in Redlands, CA. She did whatever was needed to make that particular program a success. She finds a way to succeed with everything she attempts. Meet my friend, Glennis McNeal.

Name : Glennis McNeal

City and State: Beaverton, Oregon and Redlands, CA

Glennis

Glennis McNeal

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I’m a member of Oregon Press Women and Arizona Professional Writers. I served as OPW president twice, POPPS president once, currently POPPS newsletter editor. Coordinated a Lewis and Clark pre-conference tour before the Seattle NFPW conference. Coordinated the pre- and post-conference tours for the Arizona NFPW conference. Still send out meeting notices and news for Oregon Press Women.

Years a member of NFPW: 41 this year

Tell us a little about you.

I’m a self-taught freelance journalist, public relations practitioner, medical writer and magazine editor. My professional communications training came through Oregon Press Women and NFPW. Workshops and conversations with fellow members provided answers to questions as well as inspiration. Contact with fellow members fired me with desire to improve, and gave me courage to take on new ventures. The examples of their published work provided new ideas. The examples of their lives were potent guideposts, and still are.

I was the Public Information Director for a national lay health nonprofit, The National Psoriasis Foundation. I worked there for a decade and after retiring, earned a college degree in Arts and Humanities from Linfield College in Oregon.

Now I’m having a tough time saying these two dirty words: “I’m retired.”

Glennis McNeal, left and Sandi Latimer at an NFPW conference.

Glennis McNeal, left and Sandi Latimer at an NFPW conference.

Any career advice you would give?

Keep up with technology.

Don’t be afraid to tackle something new, even if you seem unqualified. I once confided in my late husband, George, “I don’t know how to do all the things this new project requires.” He responded, “Well, nobody knows everything about anything. Find someone who can help you with the unfamiliar stuff.” It worked for me!

That being said, I wish I had pursued my college education much sooner. I’d have done a better job if I’d known what I was doing.

A pleasant attitude and a sense of humor goes a long way, especially if you genuinely like people.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Perfect pitch. And a singing voice worth the gift of any pitch at all.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Anywhere with interesting things to see and do. I’m an Oregon resident and also a snowbird– 21 years in Arizona, two years so far in California. Loved Arizona Press Women. In Redlands, California, I’ve joined a book club that meets in a brewery.

What book are you reading?

Missoula–Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Jon Krakauer. I’m from Montana and can’t wait to hear what my University of Montana friends think of the book. I’m prepared to wipe spittle from my eyeglasses.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I played the baritone sax in a Wyoming high school marching band and in the school’s dance band. I was a nightclub hostess and hat check girl in South Dakota. For years I edited a quarterly publication for a Weight Watchers franchise. When I told people at NFPW conferences, “I edit ‘The Loser’,” their sympathetic response was usually, “Maybe you’ll have better luck in next year’s communications contest.” The publication’s name was, in fact, “The Loser” and it actually won a few prizes.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Each has provided lifelong friends and opportunities not available to me by other means. Members were resources for me when I was freelancing and later, when I was seeking space nationally for health news.

Also, I love their profane commentary during pre- and post-conference tours and when meeting them in hotel bars. Conference trips exposed me to wonderful areas of the country in the company of people who knew–and shared–the real story behind the tourism hype.

Way to follow you on.

I’m on Facebook. You’ll see frequent pictures of my 8 grandchilden!

Meet a Member: Tiffany Ervin

Posted May 12, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW, South Carolina

Tags: , , ,

I met Tiffany Ervin last fall when she showed up as our tour guide for a walking tour as part of our NFPW Conference in South Carolina. Did I mention she was wearing four-inch high heels all day for the walking tour? She was a great tour guide and it was a great experience. She showed off the first selfie-stick I had ever seen, so we posed for several photos during the day. Tiffany is always sharing her singing and speaking talents with others. I enjoy following her on social media — in part so I can see the great places she shares her talents and I look forward to seeing her weekly #TuesdayShoesday update. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member I am honored to call a friend.

Tiffany ervin

Tiffany Ervin

Name:   Tiffany Ervin

City and State:  Flat Rock, NC

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Media Women of South Carolina

Years a member of NFPW: 3

Tell us a little about you.  

I was a broadcasting major at the University of South Carolina (GO GAMECOCKS!!) who worked in public relations, fundraising and special event planning for more than 20 years before FINALLY working for a television station. I am a freelancer who has worked as a sideline reporter, television/radio personality, and a professional commercial spokesperson in the last four years. My experiences as both a preacher’s kid and a “has-been beauty queen” (as well as my current lifestyle as a freelancer) have given me lots of material for my current career ambition – to become a sought-after keynote speaker.

Any career advice you would give?

Tiffany Ervin, center front, taking a group selfie on a pre-conference walking tour in South Carolina.

Tiffany Ervin, center front, taking a group selfie on a pre-conference walking tour in South Carolina.

Two things…

First – “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘possible.'” – I have learned it’s never too late to live out your goals and dreams if you have the right resources. Resources aren’t just talent and experience – they also include a willingness to never stop learning and growing, as well as a strong support system of friends, colleagues and mentors.

Second – “Done is better than perfect.”  Apparently delegating isn’t one of my strong points. So learning to let others help me has been a challenge, but it certainly makes life easier!

Which talent would you most like to have?

Dancing!  As a singer, instrumentalist & public speaker, I’m never afraid to be in front of a crowd.  I would never imagine myself “Dancing With The Stars,” but I would like to just have fun on a public dance floor without being an embarrassment to my friends!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Right where I am!! I love to travel, but I am always so happy to come home Upstate SC & Western NC – the mountains, the people, the weather, the activities & my family & friends…what more could I ask for!?

What book are you reading?

Don’t Bet Against Me by Deanna Favre

What would people be surprised to learn about you? 

Tiffany Ervin rocking one  her 100 pairs of shoes.

Tiffany Ervin rocking one of her 100+ pairs of shoes.

Probably no one would be surprised to learn I own more than 100 pairs of shoes. But even though I’m a self-proclaimed fashionista & I love wearing a different outfit every day, I’m also very “thrifty” when it comes to shopping! I have “shopping rules” with specific spending limits on my clothing purchases! The thrill of the hunt at consignment & thrift stores is just as exciting as wearing a “new” outfit.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I only came to learn of NFPW and the South Carolina Media Women a few years ago. Even as the “new kid” in the group, I was immediately made to feel welcome and included. I have been inspired, challenged, educated and gently pushed to pursue my dreams and have made some amazing friends along the way. I look forward to many more years of involvement in this organization!

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

Facebook.com/tiffanyervinofficial

Twitter & Instagram: @TiffanyErvin

http://www.tiffanyervin.com

Also on YouTube, Meerkat, Periscope, Pinterest & WordPress

Meet a Member: Michele Turk

Posted May 5, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Michele Turk is a go-getter. When she sees a need she is willing to step up and help solve the problem. After being a long-time member of the Connecticut Press Club, she saw the need to revitalize the local affiliate and its association with NFPW. She is working to energize the affiliate and is planning activities to be more visible in the area. Networking is important for professional communicators and she is working to help fill the void in Connecticut. If you know of anyone in the area who might be interested in joining, contact our newest affiliate leader, Michele Turk.

Michele Turk

Michele Turk

Name: Michele Turk

City and State: Cos Cob, Conn.

Affiliate and any leadership positions: President, Connecticut Press Club

Years a member of NFPW: I joined the Connecticut Press Club when I moved here 15 years ago, but I am a new member of NFPW.

Tell us a little about you.

Since landing my first job as a junior editor at American Health magazine (a Reader’s Digest publication), I’ve published articles on a wide range of topics, including medicine, education, parenting and business. Initially, my work appeared mostly in national consumer magazines, and later, I wrote articles and blogged for similar websites. Two years ago I co-edited a book, “Ink Stained,” a collection of essays by my classmates in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Class of 1992, and I published “Blood, Sweat and Tears: An Oral History of the American Red Cross” in 2006.  I also worked as an adjunct professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University for four years.

As the founder of A Bloc of Writers, Inc., I oversee a team of writers who provide writing, editing and tutoring services ranging from blog posts to books. I view the company as a culmination and combination of all of the skills I have acquired over the past 20+ years. I work from my home, where I live with my husband, Russ, and our two teenagers and a dog. They keep me pretty busy so I don’t have many hobbies outside of writing, and trying to stay fit at 50, although I joke that my idea of exercise is reading fast.

Any career advice you would give?

Michele Turk enjoying some time with her children.

Michele Turk enjoying some time with her children.

Anyone working in journalism over the past two decades has witnessed unprecedented changes in the industry, and we’ve all had to learn to adapt to the realties of the digital age. Despite all of the emphasis on STEM learning and careers, there will always be jobs for people who love to read, write and edit, so if that’s what you love to do, as I do, don’t become a scientist or engineer because you think that’s where the jobs will be. If you learn and hone a skill, whether it’s writing and editing or develop some other area of expertise, and you work hard, your career will fall into place.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be able to cook — not just follow a recipe, but open the fridge and whip up something spectacular, meals that everyone in my family would enjoy. No matter how hard I try, that’s probably not going to happen.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Italy.

What book are you reading?

I always have several going at once….I just came back from vacation, where I read a novel called “The Accident” by Chris Pavone. It’s a thriller – not a genre I typically read – about the publishing world. I am also making my way through the late David Carr’s memoir, “Night of the Gun.”

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve lived in a Connecticut suburb of New York City for 15 years, the Washington D.C. area for six years and I spent seven years in New York City, so I think people are sometimes surprised when they learn that I grew up in a small farming town in New Jersey whose claim to fame is the “blueberry capital of the world.” My family still lives there, and I am heading there to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I just took over as president of the Connecticut Press Club, an affiliate that has not been active for a year or so. I look forward to meeting and getting to know fellow writers, and I consider it an honor and a challenge to try to revive the chapter. I aim to bring in a younger, more diverse membership with a variety of backgrounds, including writers, editors, authors, bloggers. Since there is no New York affiliate at this time, I’d like to try to include colleagues in neighboring Westchester County, NY. I’m thrilled to have the support and resources of the NFPW to guide me, and to be a part of the national organization.

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

www.ablocofwriters.com

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=151009562&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Meet a Member: Kay Casey

Posted April 28, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,
Kay Casey

Kay Casey

The 2009 NFPW Conference in Texas was a success in part because of the strong leadership of then president Kay Casey. She is a dedicated member who volunteers her time and love for journalism to help others. She is another example of the amazing, unique and unbelievable NFPW members.

Name:  Kay Casey

City and State:  Denison, Texas

Affiliate and any leadership positions:  Press Women of Texas, currently serving as treasurer, and communications contest director. Past president, scholarship director, publications and web editor, contest director, high school contest director.

Years a member of NFPW: 38 years

Tell us a little about you.

I think I must have been born with ink in my blood.  My great grandfather was owner, publisher and editor of the Goliad (Texas) Guard. I recall helping his daughter, my grandmother, gather society and church news when I was in first grade. My other grandmother wrote poetry and I was tutored in news reporting for Brownie Scouts, one of many “reporter” offices I held through the years. In high school, I fell in love with “real” journalism as a member of the school paper staff and eventually pursued a 30-year career as a high school journalism teacher and publications adviser.  I have enjoyed success in various writing and design contests, but my best work “samples” are my former students, many of whom are now making major contributions in journalism, education and related fields. We continue to share support for high school students as contest judges and mentors.

Early retirement gave me an opportunity to assist my husband in a five-year journey through early onset Alzheimer’s disease until his death. After a 45-year partnership, the concept of “I” was completely new and led to a second career as a volunteer communicator for community and professional groups who support education and  occupational opportunities for women and girls, who assist those in need and who protect nature.

Any career advice you would give?

Be a lifelong learner and embrace change and challenges with grace and a positive attitude.

Kay Casey, center, with friends Elizabeth Johnson Fulce and Lynette George.

Kay Casey, center, with friends Elizabeth Johnson Fulce and Lynette George.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Music and art  are coveted talents.

 If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Pretty happy right here on our 46 acres growing hay and supporting wildlife in our woods and water.

 What book are you reading?

Always have a stack, but Jim Cramer’s Get Rich Carefully and Laura Hildebrand’s Unbroken are my current choices.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a pretty open book, but some might be surprised at how much I enjoy getting really dirty gardening and landscaping.

 Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Kay Casey, left, and members of the Texas affiliate pose with Texas student Karla Estrada who was selected as the first-ever Award of Excellence recipient at the NFPW conference in South Carolina.

Kay Casey, left, and members of the Texas affiliate pose with Texas student Karla Estrada who was selected as the first-ever Award of Excellence recipient at the NFPW conference in South Carolina.

Originally, I joined Texas Press Women to have a connection to the real world to better prepare my students for journalism careers. Through the 38 years, they have become my extended family and best friends. Being president when Texas hosted NFPW in 2009 was one of the most rewarding challenges because we could bring so many of our dear friends to our great state.

My national network of friends and colleagues has enriched my life and work because they are so smart and willing to share knowledge and experiences.

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

I don’t spend much time on social media for myself; too busy trying to keep up with professional groups.  Facebook: Kay Kinkler Casey and presswomenoftexas.org on the web.

Meet a Member: Peggy Parks

Posted April 21, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , , , ,

I met my friend Peggy Parks in 1978 when she was a presenter at our Idaho Press Women conference in Challis. We convinced her to join the organization and she has been a key member ever since. She helped organize three national conferences — two as part of the “Fearsome Foursome” team who lead the NFPW conferences in Idaho Falls and Salt Lake City. She is an awesome woman and community volunteer. All her efforts supporting NFPW and her community earned her the designation as first runner-up to the 2007 Communicator of Achievement when Peggyann Hutchinson was honored as COA. It is an honor to recognize this unique and unbelievable NFPW member, Peggy Parks.

Peggy Parks

Peggy Parks

Name: Peggy Parks

City and State: Challis, ID

Affiliate and any leadership positions

Media Network Idaho (formerly Idaho Press Women). I served as president for two years in the early 90’s and as treasurer since then. I was also involved in planning the NFPW conference in Coeur d’ Alene in 1989, the one in Idaho Falls in 2008 and the Salt Lake City conference in 2013.

Years a member of NFPW

Idaho Press Women held a fall meeting in Challis in 1978 and my husband and I were asked to present a workshop on running a small town newspaper. We were so impressed with the women we met there, we both joined.

In a couple of paragraphs, tell us a little about you.

I was owner, publisher and editor of the Challis Messenger newspaper for 32 years. Before that I worked in biomedical research for 11 years. Since selling the newspaper and retiring 10 years ago, I have remained active in Media Network Idaho.  Locally, I have been active in the North Custer Historical Society and Challis Senior Citizens, serving as treasurer for both organizations. I am also a volunteer Medicare counselor.

Since retiring and having had four joint replacement surgeries, I have taken advantage of having more free time and increased mobility to do a lot of travelling. In the past couple of years I’ve been able to take several NFPW pre or post conference tours, have been to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South American, the British Isles twice, Greece and Turkey. After Alaska this fall, I have scheduled a tour of five different countries in the Alpine region of Europe, followed next spring with a cruise along the Iberian coast to Morocco. I hope to continue to travel as long as my health allows.

Peggy Parks, front and center, as part of the Fearsome Foursome team inviting NFPW delegates to Idaho Falls in 2007. From left, Cathy Koon, Teri Ehresman, Parks and Kitty Fleischman.

Peggy Parks, front and center, as part of the Fearsome Foursome team inviting NFPW delegates to Idaho Falls in 2007. From left, Cathy Koon, Teri Ehresman, Parks and Kitty Fleischman.

Any career advice you would give?

Never be afraid to try something new.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I had more musical and artistic talent.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love Idaho and living in Challis, but eventually would prefer to live somewhere a little larger and closer to family. I love to travel, so somewhere with an airport nearby would be nice.

What book are you reading?

Nothing to Lose by Lee Child. Next on my list is The Source by James Mitchner. I read it years ago and loved it, so I’m going to read it again.

What would people be surprised to learn about you

The last thing I ever thought I would do in my life is run a newspaper. The only things I had ever written before my husband and I bought the paper in 1972 were scientific papers. I still didn’t do much writing until I took over the paper by myself in 1983, then was forced into it when my only reporter quit in the middle of a busy week without writing a single story. I don’t do much writing now except occasional press releases for the organizations I belong to.

PeggyThomas and Maggie 7-4-09

Peggy Parks with her grandchildren Thomas and Maggie in this 2009 photo.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I treasure the friends I have made in the organization and the opportunity it provides to mingle with people outside of my usual circle of friends.

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

Facebook or e-mail pegparks@custertel.net

Meet a Member: Jill D. Miller

Posted April 14, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Kansas, NFPW

Tags: , , , ,

She awards semi-fabulous prizes to winners of different “get acquainted” games at NFPW conferences. As the “director of Fun” she takes her responsibilities seriously and members attending their first NFPW conference have a fun time getting to know other attendees. This redhead is a bundle of energy and makes conferences even more fun. Meet Jill D. Miller, a unique and unbelievable member I am glad to call a friend.

Jill D. Miller

Jill D. Miller

Name: Jill D. Miller

City and State: Wichita, Kansas

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Wichita Professional Communicators – Past President (2012)

Years a member of NFPW: 9 years (joined in 2006)

Tell us a little about you.

Jill D. Miller is a world champion plate spinner. With her independent business development consulting company, Creative Solutions, Jill has helped fledgling entrepreneurs launch out-of-the-ordinary and sometimes quirky new ventures, helped seasoned business owners see new possibilities and has kept freelancers motivated since 1998. As if that wasn’t enough, Jill started teaching entrepreneurship classes at Wichita State University in 2013, which she has found to be an exhilarating adventure of her plate-spinning prowess.

In her spare time, Jill likes to stay busy. She’s past president of Wichita Professional Communicators and is the Director of Fun on the board of the National Federation of Press Women. Deeply involved in the fundraising event, ArtAID, from 1993 to 2012, she helped raise nearly $2 million to help people in Wichita living with HIV and AIDS. Believing strongly in the importance of mom-and-pop businesses and how much they add to the community, Jill founded Cash Mob Wichita in 2012, gathering groups of shoppers to “mob” and spend money at local businesses. A bit of a social butterfly, Jill loves meeting new people and attending local art, music and theater events.

Any career advice you would give?

Jill D. Miller

Jill D. Miller

I’ve grown my business through word of mouth. I think the reason I’ve been a successful consultant is because I work hard to do business with integrity, network constantly to meet new people and grow relationships and belong to great professional organizations, like NFPW and Wichita Professional Communicators that keep me current with what’s happening in the world.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’ve always wished I was better at drawing. I can picture what I’d like to draw, but the ideas just don’t come out on paper.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I really like living in Wichita. If I had to move somewhere else I’d pick a bigger city to live in, like Denver, Chicago or Minneapolis.

What book are you reading?

Just finished “Playing Big,” by Tara Mohr. It’s about how women hold themselves back in business. Fantastic book.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I used to be a radio DJ on a college alternative radio show. That was a lot of fun!

Jill D. Miller

Jill D. Miller

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The biggest reason my affiliate and NFPW are important to me is the people. I have made many great friends in the organization and feel we are an organization that will do all we can to help each other. I love that I have so many peers that I can ask for advice and support when I need it.

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

Facebook: facebook.com/creativesolutions for business; facebook.com/jilldmiller for personal

Website: www.jilldmiller.com

Twitter: @jilldmiller

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jilldmiller

Meet a Member: Bonnie Atwood

Posted April 7, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , , , ,

Bonnie Atwood is the immediate past president of Virginia Professional Communicators. She was an outstanding president and would always keep me posted on how the affiliate was progressing. Little did I know that she was also battling leukemia. She is a strong woman who is fighting back by raising money for blood cancer research and is currently running for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the year. We will find out soon if she wins that honor, but in my mind she is already a winner. She is another example of our unique and unbelievable members.  Meet my friend, Bonnie Atwood.

Bonnie Atwood

Bonnie Atwood

Name:  Bonnie Atwood

City and State:  Richmond, Virginia

Affiliate/positions:  Virginia Professional Communicators, Immediate Past President

Years a member:                            

I joined VPC (then called Virginia Press Women) in the 1970’s. I dropped out when I moved out of state and had my baby. I re-joined years later, but I’ve always counted my start-point as sometime around 1975.

Tell us a little about yourself:              

Writing and journalism have always been a big part of who I am.  I come from a family of readers, and our favorite thing to read has always been newspapers. My mother started reading the Mobile Register at the age of 4. During the upheaval in the 1960s, when I came of age, I knew I would be a reporter. I worked on a daily for many years; then went to freelancing; then to law school and lobbying. I started my own company, Tall Poppies Freelance Writing LLC, in 2008.

What career advice would you give?             

Learn broadly and continuously. Read everything. Develop confidence. Hold yourself to the highest standards. Don’t go along with the sheep.

Bonnie and her late Mother, Dee Atwood, who started reading newspapers at the age of four. She shared that love with her daughter.

Bonnie and her late Mother, Dee Atwood, who started reading newspapers at the age of four. She shared that love with her daughter.

Talent you would like to have?  

I’m a former professional figure skater—a show skater—and I like discipline and precision and beauty and music. For that reason, I would like to have the talent of a great ballerina. I would like to be the best of the best. I would like it to feel effortless.

Where would you live?

I would live in Washington, D.C., or New York City, with the proviso, that I’d have lots of money to spend! I used to live in Washington, when it was more of a ground zero for hippies. That was the life!

What book are you reading?                       

I’m re-reading “Jed Harris: The Curse of Genius,” by Martin Gottfried (Little, Brown & Co., 1984). It’s my favorite show business book. I’ve got a large collection. All of them are nonfiction.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?    

People would be surprised to learn that I was a chorus girl in the Ice Capades, the Greatest Show on Ice.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I’m in this for the friendships and the emotional support. I need to see and know role models of women doing great things. I love networking.

Way to follow you:     

Website: http://www.tallpoppiesfreelance.com

Twitter: Bonnie Atwood @BonAtwood

Facebook: Bonnie Atwood (Don’t confuse me with the Star Trek fan in the mid-west!)

Blog: http://www.onetallpoppy.com

Here is a link to Bonnie’s Woman of the Year story http://www.mwoy.org/pages/va/richmond15/batwood


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 463 other followers