Meet a Member: Deb Umberger

Posted February 26, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,
Deb Umberger

Deb Umberger on NFPW conference post-tour schooner excursion of Charleston Harbor in Charleston, S.C.

One of the advantages of NFPW pre and post tours is a chance to get to know members in a smaller group. I got to know Deb Umberger better on the Utah conference post-tour to the Moab, Utah area. It was a fun trip with a great group of people. I found she is a fun, talented and hard working member. She is another unique and unbelievable member I am glad to be able to call a friend.

Name: Deb Umberger

City and state: Wichita, Kansas

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Wichita Professional Communicators:  scholarship chairwoman and president. I currently serve on the WPC board as past-president.

Kansas Professional Communicators: scholarship chairwoman. I have served as an appointed officer on the KPC board.

Years a member of NFPW: I’ve been a member for a while but am not sure how long. I may have started out as a local-only member of Wichita Professional Communicators.

WPC is the only local affiliate of Kansas Professional Communicators in the state of Kansas. WPC has more than 60 members and is a vibrant NFPW affiliate group. Local membership is a great way for potential members to join and get their feet wet. Local members are encouraged to consider full membership in KPC and NFPW so that they may enter contest and attend our state and national conferences at a reduced fee. WPC hosts monthly luncheon meetings at a lovely restaurant with guest speaker presentations on topics of interest to communicators. We also sponsor an annual wine and hors d’oeuvres mixer to raise funds for scholarships. We offer a scholarship competition for students majoring in communications at one of three local universities and a community college.

Deb Umberger, left, and Karen Jesse of Delaware Press Assn. in downtown Greenville, S.C., at the 2014 NFPW conference. Deb and Karen met in 2013 when they took “pot luck” for roommates for the NFPW conference post tour in Moab, Utah. They became good friends and roomed together again at the 2014 conference in Greenville, S.C.

Deb Umberger, left, and Karen Jesse of Delaware Press Assn. in downtown Greenville, S.C., at the 2014 NFPW conference. Deb and Karen met in 2013 when they took “pot luck” for roommates for the NFPW conference post tour in Moab, Utah. They became good friends and roomed together again at the 2014 conference in Greenville, S.C.

Tell us a little about you:

I came to the communications field through the back door. I’ve always liked to write and took as many English classes as I could in high school and college. My initial career goal was to be a counselor so I earned a degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska.  After college, I worked as a probation officer with the state district court. After getting married, I moved and began working for a hospital as an addictions counselor and program coordinator, and later a health promotions program coordinator. I did a lot of writing in both positions and ended up working for the Public Affairs and Marketing Department at the hospital.

I took about a 15-year hiatus from paid employment to raise my three children. My husband died suddenly when they were very young, so “soccer mom” became my full-time job title. We were living in Wichita by the time I returned to work when they were old enough to be at home alone after school without burning the house down. I worked for a succession of three nonprofits where I did communications and public relations. Due to budget cuts at my last employer brought on by an out-of-control governor, I was laid off two years ago. Since then I have enjoyed being retired. I’ve had requests to do some freelance writing — and plenty of requests to do it for free — but for the most part I’ve remained happily deadline free. 

Career advice:

Don’t waste too much time working in a toxic environment. You may have to stick it out for a while for financial reasons, but if you’re talented and have a good work ethic there are places to work where you will be appreciated.

Talent I’d most like to have:

I would love to be a dancer. Every time I attend a musical or dance performance, I wish I could be onstage with the dancers.

Where would I most like to live?

I could be happy living in a lot of places. Locations with beaches, warm weather, interesting culture, mountains, or traditional architecture all appeal to me. Last fall when I went on the NFPW post tour to Charleston, South Carolina, I totally fell in love with the city. It was tempting to just cash in my return airline ticket and stay there. Wherever I live, it’s most important to me to live within a day’s drive of my kids.

Deb Umberger and friend in downtown Greenville, SC, at the 2014 NFPW conference.

Deb Umberger and friend in downtown Greenville, SC, at the 2014 NFPW conference.

What book are you reading?

One of the joys of being retired is that I can stay up late reading novels. I recently finished “The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman and “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Kruger. I just started reading John Grisham’s “Gray Mountain.”

At our WPC meetings we have drawings for gently used books donated by our members, to help raise money for our scholarship program. I get some good books there for the price of a couple of one dollar raffle tickets. Recently I won a book called “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell. Rowell is an author from Omaha, where I used to live. The book was funny and fun to read since it was set in Omaha.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m related to Greta Garbo.

Also, I was locked in a jail cell once but, honestly, I was not the inmate. When I was a probation officer I went to visit a kid who was being held in a single cell because he was a juvenile. The jailer admitted me to the cell, said to knock on the door when I was finished, and slammed it shut. I’m quite sure this was not approved procedure. The kid was skinny and hung over and shorter than I was, so I figured I could beat him in a fist fight if it became necessary.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Writing can be a rather solitary occupation and I’ve always been a one-person communications department. Being able to associate with others who do the same kind of work has been so helpful. Being a member of NFPW and its local affiliates puts me in the company of experienced, smart, supportive, savvy people from whom I’ve learned a great deal. Membership has also given me opportunities to serve in leadership positions. I’ve made many friends through my association with NFPW and its Kansas affiliate group. Best of all, I’ve had a lot of fun attending WPC’s luncheons and fundraising mixers, and KPC’s and NFPW’s conferences. Despite being retired, I look forward to continuing to participate in all three groups.

Way to follow me? I’m on Facebook, using the name Deb Leffler Umberger

Meet a Member: Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

Posted February 17, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , , , , ,

When I need a helping hand, Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas is always willing to help out, even with her busy schedule and time devoted to taking care of family members. She was honored in Salt Lake City as our Communicator of Achievement, the top award given to a member. She works hard in causes she believes in and I appreciate her efforts. I am glad to call this unique and unbelievable member a friend. Meet Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas.

Name: Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas with her husband, Jonas.

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas with her husband, Jonas.

City and State: Chicago, Illinois

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

National Federation of Press Women: Executive 2nd Vice President (2013- present); Executive Board Secretary (2011-2013); Membership Chair (2009-2011).

Illinois Woman’s Press Association: Immediate Past-President, Historian & Archivist (2013-present); President (2009-2013); High School Communications Competition Chair (2010-2012); Vice President/Membership Chair (2005-2009).

Years a member of NFPW: since 2005

Tell us a little about you.

Throughout my career and volunteer work, if there has been a way I can connect people with one another, or if there’s an opportunity to make an introduction, link talent with a cause, help people find solutions and help each other, I’m all in. I truly feel this way and in 2014 went to work for Weight Watchers North America, Inc. The company is very positive and the people I’ve met are truly inspiring. They helped me get in shape and now I’m taking what I learned to encourage others on their weight loss journey.

I’ve always been a huge supporter of my alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan University. I’m interested in reconnecting alums with the campus and finding opportunities to promote activities bringing students and alums together. I serve as President of the IWU Chicago Alumni Board and on the IWU Executive Alumni Board. One of my most memorable projects was “Saturday in the City” pairing international students far away from the comfort and support of home and family, with IWU alums in Chicago for a day of Midwestern hospitality. I’m still not sure who had more fun, students or adults? It’s always a win, win!!

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas enjoying time with her parents.

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas enjoys spending time with her parents, Joseph and Cecilia Wolf.

There have been such varied career opportunities I’ve personally enjoyed. Working for the United States Senate was especially meaningful in so many ways. I so enjoy helping people. At the end of my term working with former Illinois United States Senator Roland W. Burris, my personal life would require making career altering decisions. My mother was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and my father with colon cancer. Extremely close to both parents, I’m a loyal and determined daughter, and chose to be their caregiver easing the stress, fear and challenges my parents faced. As anyone familiar with COPD and cancer knows, the unknown is the enemy. Then, seemingly out of the blue, my husband learned he had a life threatening cancerous brain tumor. I’m here to tell you miracles do happen. As a family, with plenty of adjustments made in our everyday lives, we’ve managed to pull through. We count our blessing each and every day.

Any career advice you would give?

1.) Give yourself more credit. 2.) Follow your head, not necessarily your heart. 3.) Don’t beat yourself up over the little things. 4.) Give a helping hand and a kind word to the women you meet along your journey because chances are no one else is. 5.) At the end of the day, when you look into your mirror, remember to smile at the image staring back at you.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to sing and sound exactly like Linda Ronstadt in “Blue Bayou.”

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere safe and warm. I’m still searching…

What book are you reading?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m looking forward to reading Erik Larsen’s Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. Larson will be at the Union League Club of Chicago in April and I’ve already made my reservation to hear him and purchase a copy of the book.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As a child, I was shy.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I so enjoy meeting such talented women (and some men) from all across the country. I’ve made some tremendous friends along the way. Some have even been important mentors in my journey as a writer. I’m passionate about the history of both organizations and enjoy writing about the women who were our trailblazers. Such a rich diverse group of women, they remain inspiring for me. Currently, I’m involved in a variety of writing projects about many of them and my research is never done. Some are easier to find than others and I’ve learned no two women are alike. One thing I know for sure, our generation should never let them be forgotten. Their commitments and struggles as women; as writers, as journalists and communicators in a world where women were often ignored and underpaid paved the way for us.

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

My website is mariannewolf.com. I can be found on Facebook as Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas, LinkedIn as Marianne Wolf.

Meet a Member: Barb Bierman Batie

Posted February 11, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , , , , ,

The Nebraska governor is a smart man who recently appointed Barb Batie to the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission to oversee the planning for and carry out activities and celebrations to be associated with the 150th anniversary of statehood.  She is also an avid Nebraska football fan. When my Idaho State University Bengals played the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the NFPW Conference in Arizona her team won and the NFPW Education Fund benefitted from wagers supporting both teams. Barb is also a great ambassador for Nebraska and NFPW. She is talented, a hard worker and a fun person to be around. Meet my unique and unbelievable friend, Barb Batie.

Name: Barb Bierman Batie

Photographing the arches in Arches National Park has been on Barb Batie's Bucket List for years. She crossed that item off the morning of Jan. 24 . In the background are the North and South Windows

Photographing the arches in Arches National Park has been on Barb Batie’s Bucket List for years. She crossed that item off earlier this year. In the background are the North and South Windows

City and State: Lexington, Nebraska

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Nebraska Affiliate, currently the Communicator of Achievement program chair, just finished four years as the scholarship chair. I’ve held every elective office on the state level, including serving as state president.

Years a member of NFPW: Member since 1982, so 33 years

Tell us a little about you.

My friends call me a “Woman of Many Hats,” and I guess they have that right. I am a farm wife, and have been married to my husband, Don, for 30 years this coming May. We raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and I keep a flock of about 40-50 hens, selling farm fresh eggs to people in town. We are the parents of two daughters, Juliana and Cicely. Juliana turns 25 in March and was married Oct. 4, 2014, to Douglas Loudon.  They currently live and work in North Dakota, but we are hoping this summer they will be able to move back to Nebraska. Cicely turns 22 in March and is a senior at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where she is completing work on a double major in German and Global Studies. For many years I worked for area weekly and daily newspapers. Two years ago I accepted a position as marketing director of the Nebraska Rural Radio Foundation and in this part-time job I spread the word about the foundation’s scholarships for non-traditional students and organize and conduct their annual fundraiser for 200-300 guests.  I continue to hone my writing and photography skills by doing freelance work for state, regional and national farm magazines.

 Barb and her husband Don toasting  their 30 year anniversary during a wine tasting visit to  Fallbrook Winery in San Diego County, California.

Barb and her husband, Don, toasting their 30 year anniversary during a wine tasting visit to Fallbrook Winery in San Diego County, California.

In addition to my activities in Nebraska Press Women, I am active in our church, one of my specialties is cooking meals for 40-50 people each Wednesday night during the school year for Christian Family Night. I’m on the boards of several community organizations, including our local theater group, county leadership group and so forth. I’m a 4-H leader and my husband and I are active in both our county and state Farm Bureau. On a state level I serve on the executive committee of the University of Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network and the Nebraska Environmental Trust board of directors, which administers grants for environmental purposes that are funded through the Nebraska Lottery. My most recent appointment was to the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, which will oversee the planning for and carry out activities and celebrations to be associated with Nebraska’s 150th anniversary of statehood in 2017.

My husband and I love to travel and for the last 10 years we have been fortunate enough to take one major trip a year, often at least two weeks in length. This year we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and because farmers can’t be away from the farm in May (when our anniversary falls) we usually take those trips in the winter. That is why this year’s trip was longer than most, lasting three full weeks.

Any career advice you would give?

If you are studying print journalism, one of the best places to learn the craft is at a weekly newspaper in a small town. So many  journalism graduates feel they need to start out on large papers, but those jobs are scarce these days. There are still openings to be found across the country in smaller markets. I learned to write, take photos, layout pages, proofread, and occasionally even set ads, all at two different weeklies. When I finally did move to a daily for a 15-month gig, my editor called me his “Jill of All Trades,” because I could handle nearly every slot on the news desk.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to draw/paint. While I’m grateful to be a photographer and capture special moments on camera, I would love to be able to sketch and paint on canvas.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Barb and her daughter, Cicely, with the Hamburg Harbor and shopping district behind us. We were visiting a former exchange student to Lexington who had lived across the street from me when I first moved to Lexington in 1981.

Barb and her daughter, Cicely, with the Hamburg Harbor and shopping district behind them.

Germany. I was an exchange student in then West Germany for six months right after graduating from college in 1980. Because I became fairly fluent in the language, I have been able to keep in contact with five of the seven host families I had while there and I still have relatives there, as my grandfather immigrated in 1905 and none of his siblings came to the United States. So a piece of my heart has always been there and visits have been far too few.

What book are you reading?

I am not a huge reader, but when I do read it is usually something light. I love cats, so the current one on my nightstand is “Catch as Cat Can,” a Mrs. Murphy mystery by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I have done some interesting things promoting events in and around our county and once participated in ostrich races to promote our county fair.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

As a cub reporter the support extended by veteran media professionals was invaluable, as the years have gone on the opportunity to network and be able to exchange ideas, battle stories and develop friendships have been equally important. On both a state and national level, annual conventions provide opportunities for professional development so key to keeping abreast of trends and technology in our craft.

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

My social media connection is limited to Facebook and you may find me at Barb Batie.

Meet a Member: Kristin Netterstrom Higgins

Posted February 4, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , , ,
Kristin Higgins

Kristin Higgins

Kristin Netterstrom Higgins is one of the outstanding Arkansas members I spent the day with this past fall at the affiliate’s fall workshop. She is one of the energetic members of the affiliate. She is working to make agriculture easier for the public to understand and is continuing her education to be able to help others continue to learn. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member I am proud to call a friend.

Name: Kristin Netterstrom Higgins

City and State: Bryant, Arkansas (right outside of Little Rock, and geographic center of Arkansas)

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Arkansas; Current 2nd Vice President and past high school journalism contest director.

Years a member of NFPW:  11 years. (Wow, has it really been that long?)

Tell us a little about you.

I’m originally from Chicago but have lived in Arkansas for more than 20 years, long enough to acquire an accent and claim to be a native. As a child in Chicago, I read the Tribune’s kid section religiously. My grandmother also used to tell me stories about how her father was a newspaper publisher (Arkansas, Iowa, Florida).

All I ever wanted to be was a newspaper reporter, so that was the only path I had figured out for my life. I spent 9 years as a newspaper reporter and then gave it up in 2012 before my daughter turned 2. I realized that I love newspapers but they don’t love me and wouldn’t be there to take care of me when I was old. It was scary and hard trying to figure out what else I could do with my skills, but I realized I love learning about policy and educating others about what laws mean and how they can impact you (I was a city hall reporter after all).

Now I work for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center, Cooperative Extension Service.

Kristin Higgins is back in school working towards a Master's degree.

Kristin Higgins is back in school working towards a Master’s degree.

Otherwise known as Extension. Or the Public Policy Center. Or the UA. Or, those people who brought you Master Gardeners and 4-H and soil testing. I am learning to be an adult educator, meaning I am trying to teach the public important things about boring things. Or about why they should care about something they never thought of before. It’s just like writing a news story – what’s the hook and why should they care. I write newsletters about energy policy, water quality and state ballot issues, which gives me a legitimate reason to still be hooked into APW/NFPW.

I’m back in school, getting my master’s degree in Agricultural Education and Extension. This degree path has taught me about program planning and I’ve even taken some agricultural communications classes that have turned out to be pretty good.

Oh, and I’m married to a wonderful artist who I met at the student newspaper in college. We have one daughter who is turning 5 this summer and growing up way too fast.

Any career advice you would give?

Keep learning – read the latest research, check out MOOCs – those free online classes that many universities are offering. Get involved in your community. Try new jobs – I say this because I think I would be a much better reporter now than before because of the new experiences I’ve had working as a government employee. Being a reporter was my first real job so I’ve learned a lot in my new career that I know would have come in handy. (Maybe this should be advice to editors: hire older people who maybe don’t have journalism degrees because they bring a different perspective than someone straight out of college who may be cheaper but not better).

Kristin Higgins sharing her knowledge about agriculture.

Kristin Higgins sharing her agriculture knowledge.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to be able to play a musical instrument without much effort. I have a cello that I bought a few years ago and took some lessons from a guy who taught kindergarteners. The cello is gathering dust for many reasons. I want to be able to pick up the cello and just play, and not have to learn how to play. Now on to super power: super sonic hearing!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I have yet to figure this out. I’ve come to realize that most cities look the same. Ideally, I want to live in a community where I could walk to the library, bank, post office, grocery store, farmers market, restaurants, school and work. If you know of such a place, drop me a line.

What book are you reading?

For fun: I recently picked up some books by Anne Lamott because of an essay of hers that I saw on Facebook. I’m half way through Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. For school, Measure What Matters: Online Tools for Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships is one of many titles assigned this semester.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I belong to multiple postcard clubs where I send and receive postcards from strangers. This is because I’m not a fan of flying and I probably won’t make it to many countries.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The people I have met in Arkansas Press Women keep me grounded. They have helped me realize that relationships are important, and that your work is not all of who you are. My first editor –APW’s current president Debbie Miller – invited me to join. Then later, past-president Mary Hightower helped me land the job I’m at now. I had no clue how important these connections would be 11 years ago. And I think I’m finally realizing how important it is to have a national connection, which NFPW provides for all affiliates. I think I could pick up the phone and call an NFPW member in another state who I have never met and easily connect.

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

Follow me on Twitter @knetterstrom, and I am usually the person behind Arkansas Press Women’s Facebook posts. I have a personal Facebook page and I’m also on LinkedIn.

Meet a Member: Jan Lisa Huttner

Posted January 28, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

Jan Lisa Huttner is an award-winning American film critic, journalist and activist. She is an outspoken advocate for women artists, particularly in cinema. She works hard to help bring women artists the visibility they deserve. She joined NFPW in Illinois and now lives in New York. She is a another outstanding example of a unique and unbelievable NFPW member.  

Name:  Jan Lisa Huttner

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Prints Row Book festival in 2008. Photo by Suzanne Hanney.

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Printers Row Book Festival in 2008. Photo by Suzanne Hanney.

City and State: After 35 years in Chicago, hubby & I moved to Brooklyn, N.Y.  in late 2012.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I joined Illinois Woman’s Press Association in early 2003. Because the Printers Row Lit Fest (then called the Printers Row Book Fair) was held in my neighborhood, I agreed to work the IWPA Table in June (2003). The next year, I joined the Board as Coordinator of the PRBF Committee. I held this position from 2004 to 2008, then assisted with the transition to new leadership. I also served as liaison between IWPA & AAUW-Illinois in the development of the Jane Addams Day & WITASWAN projects. Thru-out this period, I served on the Board for several years with the title “Coordinator of Special Projects,” I also wrote numerous articles for PenPoints (the IWPA newsletter), and assisted with program planning for specific monthly meetings.

Years a member of NFPW:

I attended the NFPW Conventions in Seattle in ’05, in Denver in ’06 & in Chicago in 2010. Unfortunately most years the NFPW Convention conflicts with congregational responsibilities related to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Tell us a little about you.

A wonderful young man in Chicago who has done terrific work for me—first as a student and now as an aspiring screenwriter—said this to me at the Goodbye Party held right before we moved to Brooklyn: “I’ve been thinking about what to give you as a goodbye present, and I decided I’d like to give you a Wikipedia page. OK?” So I will turf this question to him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Lisa_Huttner

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Printers Row Lit Festival in 2012. Photo by Richard Bayard Miller.

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Printers Row Lit Festival in 2012. Photo by Richard Bayard Miller.

Any career advice you would give?

This is an extremely stressful time for professional writers as we navigate the transition to “New Media.” It is difficult to know if the hours spent networking on “Social Media” (like Facebook) actually have a “Return on Investment.” So my only advice is to “Keep On Keeping On.” Now more than ever, the worldwide community needs stories—fiction and non-fiction–told from the female POV.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I have no Poker Face! Even when I manage to stifle myself and keep my big mouth shut, everyone in the room can still read my face. I wish I could do a better job of “keeping my own counsel” sometimes, but alas, I am now 63 so I think I’m stuck with myself!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I never expected to live in New York, but now that I’m here, I must say it’s a fabulous place to be!

What book are you reading?

Wiser: Getting Beyond GroupThink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein & Reid Hastie

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My Dad was “a joiner,” so I was raised to be “a joiner” too. Now I belong to a lot of groups, therefore people come to know me in many different contexts. So I think people would be surprised to learn that I think of my own life as organized around a single principle: Invisible Women. Too many women—not only in the past but also in the present—are “invisible,” that is, not given their due either by their own cultures or by the world community at large. I want to give voice to these women not only for their sake, but on behalf of the women of the future. Women need to believe in themselves more than they do now, and one way to help them do that is to give voice to all the wonderful women who have paved the way.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

IWPA and NFWP members have been crucial allies in my struggle to create my own “professional voice.” I was a healthcare computer consultant from 1984 to 2002, so becoming a writer on arts & culture was a big transition. Receiving recognition for my work from both IWPA and NFWP helped me to believe in myself, and gave me that much more energy to push myself ever harder every year.

Receiving this award from NFPW so early on was a huge boost! And it was also the start of these charts I still do every year:

http://www.thehotpinkpen.com/oscar-blues-2014/

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

Main Website: http://www.films42.com & FB: https://www.facebook.com/FF2Media

To learn more about Huttner check out:

http://www.films42.com/feature/2005-FeatherAward.asp

North Carolina’s Gwen White spends career serving NFPW, others

Posted January 19, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

The late Louise Shadduck was a role model for Media Network Idaho members. She was the first member from Idaho to serve as NFPW president and was known to many as the Lioness of Idaho. One of her dear friends was Gwen White of North Carolina who took the time, at Louise’s request, to spend a weekend with us at an Idaho conference while Gwen was NFPW president. I was impressed with Gwen then and I continue to look up to her today. Through the years I have enjoyed catching up with her at national conferences and learning about all the outstanding activities she continues to support. Meet this unique, unbelievable and dedicated NFPW member.

Name: Gwen Armstrong Whitegwens_pix

City and State: Lived in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina for 36 of my 46-year married career. When my husband, Rhett, retired and took another job we moved inland 40 miles to our childhood area in Columbia, N.C.

Affiliate and leadership: I am a charter member of the NC Press Club that chartered as Press Women of North Carolina. I believe that was 1978. I have served as president of that affiliate four times and currently serve as the treasurer. I have been active on the national level from the time I attended my first convention in the early 1980’s. I served as the national communications contest chairman for 25 years before stepping aside to let the newer generation take it into the digital age. I am very proud of the job they are doing with it.

I served NFPW by serving as each of the vice presidents and rose to the presidency in 1993. Even though I am not in any leadership role on the national level I still attend all conventions and enjoy the great fellowship and friendships I have made.

Tell us a little about you:

I have been a journalist, and am now a non-profit executive director, an event manager, humorist and motivational speaker. I worked for a daily paper for 17 years and 10 years in weekly and twice a week newspapers. I began my speaking career when I first took the stage as a teenage 4-H’er and have never stopped. I have addressed audiences in all 50 states and seven countries.

I direct the North Carolina Lions annual Visually Impaired Person’s fishing tournament for more than 500 blind and visually

Gwen White with a young blind man who had won a trophy for catching a big fish at a Lions event. She says I was her pleasure to  grant his request to meet her.

Gwen White with a young blind man who had won a trophy for catching a big fish at a Lions event. She says it was her pleasure to meet him.

impaired people and guests. I was installed as Lions District Governor in Australia in 2010.  My honors are many but my highest honor is being named the Ambassador of Good Will for Lions where I was one of only 40 out of 1.3 million Lions in 208 countries who received the honor.

Career advice:

I’d say whatever career you choose or end up in, make sure you have a good time, look for the positives, have fun and mentor younger people. I love the communications field.

What talent would you like to have:

As for what talent I would like to have. I would love to be able to sing (as in carry a tune) and play a guitar.

Where would I live?

If I could live any place other than where I am, it would be: Inside the U.S. – Idaho. Outside the U.S. would be New Zealand.

What book are you reading?

I am reading “The Gift of Christmas Present” by Melody Carlson

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am an introvert. I have to make myself be outgoing at parties and events. I used to market leeches to the medical community.

Why is my affiliate and NFPW important to me?

It has been my educational tool. Everything I learned about journalism in the early years was from NCPC and NFPW workshops, institutes, and travel opportunities. I never went to college for the field I entered. I fell into journalism and learned as I went.

I cannot say enough about the travel opportunities and lifelong friendships that I have formed in this organization.

How to follow me:

I am on Facebook (thanks to NFPW). Email is whiteink1@earthlink.net. I can be reached at www.ncvipfishing.org. I

Multi-talented communicator Sherry Robinson continues making a difference

Posted January 11, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

When thinking about an all-round journalism professional, Sherry Robinson’s name comes to mind. She is a columnist for rural New Mexico newspapers, she has been a newspaper reporter, public relations professional, is working on her fourth book and is a freelance writer. She has been an active member of NFPW and her New Mexico affiliate for 38 years.  She is an asset to both organizations. Meet this unique and unbelievable member.

Name: Sherry Robinson

Sherry Robinson at te Historical Society of New Mexico last spring when she won the Dominguez Award for her book.

Sherry Robinson at the Historical Society of New Mexico when she won the Dominguez Award for her book.

City and State: Albuquerque, NM

Affiliate and any leadership positions: New Mexico. Former president, former newsletter editor, former contest chair, former conference co-chair (three times)

Years a member of NFPW: 38

Tell us a little about you.

My friends are all retired, but I don’t want to retire and am busier than ever. (I wouldn’t mind being less busy.) Oddly enough, I’ve been doing the most challenging investigative work of my career and find that I use all those years of experience. And at this age (67) not much scares me. My second hat is columnist in my own small syndicate, which survived the recession. Three friends and I provide opinion columns to rural New Mexico papers. My third hat is historian and speaker. I speak around the state on Apaches and have written two books about them, plus another on western New Mexico. I’m working on the fourth book. My books are always adventures as well as journeys, and I treasure the friends I’ve made along the way.

I’ve mostly been a newspaper reporter and editor but have also done corporate and university PR and have freelanced for the last 12 years.

Sherry Robinson and photographer Alex King deep in the Chevron uranium mine while working as a reporter for the Albuquerque Journal.

Sherry Robinson and photographer Alex King deep in the Chevron uranium mine, in the mid 1980’s, while working as a reporter for the Albuquerque Journal.

Any career advice you would give?

Don’t let your age sideline you. My new hero is Cher, who recently told AARP, “I don’t intend to step aside… It’s like saying to the Rolling Stones, ‘OK you’ve had your time in the sun. Now go put on some plaid shorts and play golf.'”

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’ve never wanted any talent other than the one I have, which is to write. It might be nice to also be an illustrator.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

In the mountains of southwestern New Mexico.

What book are you reading?

I always seem to have multiple books going, usually nonfiction history. I just finished “From Cochise to Geronimo” by my friend Ed Sweeney. I’m in the middle of “Blood and Thunder” by Hampton Sides. Waiting on the runway are “Spider Woman’s Daughter” by my friend Anne Hillerman and “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve been a ski bum in Aspen and a back-to-the-land hippie in western Colorado. I still can tomatoes and make jam every year.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Friendships, friendships, friendships. Networking is over-rated. Only a friend will babysit your kid when you have to go out of town, buy you a beer when you’ve just been canned or give you an attagirl when you really need it.

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

Well, uh… This year’s to-do list includes a website. I’m on twitter and don’t use it now but will during the legislative session. I’m an irregular Facebook user.


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