Meet a Member: Natalie Hoefer

Posted March 22, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Indiana, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Natalie Hoefer is one of the newest members of both Woman’s Press Club of Indiana and NFPW.  She was one of the 13 members attending their first NFPW conference last fall in Kansas, thanks in part to an NFPW Education Fund First Timer Grant. Hoefer is a great addition to our organization. I hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better.

Natalie Hoefer

Name: Natalie Hoefer

City and State: Indianapolis, IN

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Woman’s Press Club of Indiana

Years a member of NFPW: 1

Tell us a little about you.

I am a Catholic who loves my faith. I have a passion for telling people’s stories and sharing information. I love to travel, and I have a gift for writing. So what more perfect job could there be for me than to be a reporter for a Catholic newspaper (The Criterion, the weekly paper for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis)! My job combines all of my interests and passions, including travel–the Archdiocese of Indianapolis encompasses almost the entire southern half of Indiana, covering 39 beautiful counties that I enjoy driving through to meet people with interesting stories to tell. I’ve been a reporter for the paper for four years.

For 21 years prior I was a software trainer but freelanced on the side. That career provided me with lots of travel and the joy of helping/teaching others, but nothing has ever been more fulfilling to me than what I’m doing now!

Demographically, I’m 47, married for a little over 9 years, and have the most adorable gray, blue-green eyed kitty named Percy who is attacking a milk jug ring around my feet as I type.

Natalie Hoefer and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Natalie Hoefer and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Any career advice you would give?

To young women: For any career you think you might be interested in, make connections young. Call someone in the line of work you’re interested in and ask to shadow them for a day, or at least ask for a bit of their time to discuss what a day-in-the-life is like for them, what skills are needed for the job, what education is needed for the job, what character traits are handy for the job, and how to best prepare for the career in question. For “more experienced” women, it’s never too late to change careers. I did, and I’m forever grateful!

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’ve got it–writing! 🙂  Otherwise, I do wish I could sing as well in the rest of the world as I do when I’m in the shower!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I really like it right here in Indiana–four full and beautiful seasons. I actually like the life and symmetry of fields, as well as the undulation of hills–both of which Indiana is blessed with.

What book are you reading?

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asberger’s by John Elder Robison (my oldest nephew has Asberger’s)

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a major introvert! I love meeting new people and can be very animated, so people are quite surprised when I say that I’m a huge introvert. Meyers-Brigg defines that as whether you are energized by people or need downtime after being around people. After being around people for awhile, I need to retreat and re-energize in solitude.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

WPCI (and NFPW) is more than a professional group good for networking and career assistance. That’s why I joined, but I found that these are women who care about each other and support each other in their careers and their personal lives. I did not expect such a sisterhood when I joined!

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

http://www.archindy.org/criterion

Meet a Member: Cheryl Miller

Posted March 13, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Kansas, Uncategorized

Cheryl Miller had the honor of representing Kansas as Communicator of Achievement in 2016 when the affiliate hosted the NFPW national conference. It was a great conference to showcase Kansas and some of the key members of the affiliate. She is a 12-year member of Kansas and NFPW. I hope you enjoy getting to know this outstanding member.

Name: Cheryl K. Miller

City and State: Wichita, Kansas

Cheryl Miller, fourth from left, is recognized with other COA candidates at the 2016 conference in Kansas. Photo by Monica Springer.

Cheryl Miller, fourth from left, is recognized with other COA candidates at the 2016 conference in Kansas. Photo by Monica Springer.

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Wichita Professional Communicators, Kansas Professional Communicators, National Federation of Press Women. No leadership or committee positions at this time.

Years a member of NFPW: 12 years

Tell us a little about you. 

I do a little of everything as a senior assistant dean for Wichita State University’s Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I am responsible for general public relations and marketing work for Fairmount College, including the college newsletter, college website, catalogs and fact sheets. I coordinate the college tenure and promotion process, chair evaluations and annual college faculty elections. I am the liaison between faculty governance committees and the dean. I also teach a section of Comm 301, Writing for the Mass Audience, or Comm 502, Public Information Writing, depending on the semester. I also coordinate posthumous degrees, serve as college commencement coordinator, and coordinate major college events such as Constitution Day and the Watkins Visiting Professorship Lecture Series.

I have master of arts in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University. I also have a bachelor of general studies in communication and a bachelor of business administration in personnel administration from Wichita State University.

My interests include birding, hiking and singing. I am the vice president for the Kansas Ornithological Society, a voting member of the Kansas Bird Records Committee and sing in the Wichita Symphony Chorus.

Any career advice you would give?

It is important to have a broad skills base. In addition to having good writing and editing skills, communicators must also be proficient in interviewing, social media, basic graphic design and basic photography.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’d like a cabin in the woods.

What book are you reading?

Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I was an extra in “The Parade,” a TV movie starring Maxwell Caulfield and Rosanna Arquette.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I have benefitted greatly from the interpersonal interactions, mentoring, conferences and contests.

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

http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.miller.399488

Meet a member: Verna Gates

Posted January 17, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Alabama, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,
Verna Gates

Verna Gates

The Alabama team is hard at work finalizing plans for this September’s NFPW conference in Birmingham. Verna Gates is a bundle of energy and is known for being a hard worker. She also has a talent in putting great professional tours together. She is using that talent to plan the NFPW pre and post tour in Alabama. She’s a character and participants should have a great time exploring Alabama. Meet this outstanding member and then register for the conference tours. 


Name:
Verna Gates

City and State: Birmingham, Alabama

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Alabama Media Professionals, COA 2009, Alabama, and  runner up National COA

Years a member of NFPW: 19

Tell us a little about you.

I was born with too much energy. My interests range from journalism to storytelling to ethnobotany (cultural study of plants).

My career started when I called a new cable news service every day until they let me answer the phones for two days. I left four years later. That’s how I landed on the start-up crew of CNN. My career has been a fabulous adventure. I was a stringer for TIME Magazine, Reuters, The Guardian, and still work for an NPR station as a commentator and special correspondent. When Reuters closed its Southeast bureau, I lucked out when I popped into the Alabama Department of Tourism to visit a friend. I found myself inviting my journalist friends on press trips to my beloved home state. It is a blast! And it is a lot more fun taking people to eat haute cuisine, drink fine wine and spin around in Space Camp than it is to cover tornadoes and felony trials.

The science part of my brain founded a non-profit in 2006, Fresh Air Family, that teaches outdoor environmental biology to kids and families. We cover the state, but are based at the second largest urban park in the nation with 1045 acres. In 2016, my tiny staff of three, plus as-needed naturalists, served 1,164 kids in our award-winning Gross Out Camp (it’s science but please don’t tell the kids) and 1,328 kids in our school field trip program, and 8,000 people on weekend field trips. In our camp program, nearly 60 percent of the kids come on scholarships. We work hard to change the world!

I am also a storyteller, having won the Biggest Liar in Alabama contest, twice. It is a tall-tale competition, but in the South, we call it what it is, lying. It is something I do just for fun. With my ethnobotany, I also speak quite frequently on plants and botany.

As I said, too much energy!

verna-bermuda-at-the-white-party

Verna Gates in Bermuda.

Any career advice you would give?

Always, always give it your best. When you always do your best, people notice. And they call you. TIME, Reuters, The Guardian and NPR – all called me.  So did Alabama Tourism. And keep re-inventing yourself. I must be on the 10th upgrade by now!

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to sing well.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I choose to live in the heart of American culture — the Deep South. Where we don’t hold back on the butter in the batter, we still hold doors open, and the kids say “yes, ma’am.” Alabama is also number 5 in biodiversity in the nation and for a nature nerd, it is nirvana!

What book are you reading?

I have a review copy of Hairy, Scary and Mostly Merry Fairies — a nature book for kids.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I played first bass in the all-state orchestra in North Carolina when I was a sophomore in high school. And I have won the lottery three times. I have the $16 to prove it!

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I get great leads, great info and have made lifelong friends. As a single person, my affiliate has been so supportive. When I had major surgery, they organized a dinner caravan that was a life-saver.

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

http://www.vernagates.com and Verna Gates on Facebook.

Meet a member: Marilyn Saltzman

Posted January 9, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Colorado, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

Unfortunately, there continues to be shootings at schools across the country. One that really hit home for me happened in Littleton, Colorado in 1999. I knew people living in the Littleton area and an NFPW friend was the public relations manager for the school district. Marilyn Saltzman handled this difficult situation in a professional manner with the eyes of the world on her school district. It was not an easy task, but she handled it like the professional she is. Lessons learned from this experience have helped many others prepare for something no one wants to have to handle. She is another outstanding NFPW member I am honored to call a friend.

Name: Marilyn Saltzman

City and State: Conifer, Colorado

Marilyn Saltzman

Marilyn Saltzman

Affiliate and any leadership positions: currently newsletter editor and program committee member for Colorado Press Women.

Years a member of NFPW: 40 years in 2017!

Tell us a little about you.

I have been a journalist, school district public relations manager and college adjunct professor, and most recently own Saltzman Communications,  a public relations consulting business. An avid volunteer and community activist, I am on the board of Mountain Resource Center, a community-based nonprofit offering health and human services. I am the adult education chair of Congregation Beth Evergreen and serve on several other synagogue committees. My two grandchildren are a constant source of joy and learning. Irv and I have been married for 48 years.

I am former president of Colorado Press Women and the Colorado Chapter, National School Public Relations Association. I co-chaired the 2006 NFPW Conference in Denver with Ann Lockhart and have been CPW’s Communicator of Achievement three times.

I worked in the Communications Services Department for Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado, for 20 years. In 1999, I experienced the most emotionally difficult and challenging time of my career as public relations manager during the Columbine tragedy where 12 students and teacher Dave Sanders lost their lives. I was in charge of both media and internal relations. We had media from around the world on site and on the phone, and we worked hard to take care of our community and our local media first. We also coordinated a visit with students and staff from then President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton…from working with White House staff and the Secret Service to asking Walmart to donate an umbrella because rain was in the forecast, and Air Force One didn’t have one on board.  It was a grueling 24-7 job for several weeks, and I couldn’t have made it without the support of CPW, NFPW and National School Public Relations Association colleagues

I have co-authored four books, “Building School Communities, Strategies for Leaders,” “Dave Sanders, Columbine Teacher, Coach, Hero,” Reflections, Learning by Doing,” and “Maybe Tomorrow: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust.”

Marilyn Saltzman, photo by Linda Kirkpatrick

Marilyn Saltzman, photo by Linda Kirkpatrick

Any career advice you would give?

Make the most of the amazing women in NFPW as mentors, colleagues and networkers.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Not so much a talent, but I am working on the Jewish soul traits of patience, gratitude and honor.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love living right here in Colorado, and I love traveling the world – most recently a safari in South Africa, Zambia and Malawi.

What book are you reading?

I like to read both fiction and nonfiction, often at the same time. I just  finished “A Little History  of Religion,” a nonfiction book I loved,  and “The Yellow Eyes of the Crocodile,”  a bit too much of a soap opera for me.  Next up, “For All the Tea in China,” for my book club.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I co-authored a romance novel, “Love’s Eternal Flame,” with 11 other women. It began with a weekend mountain retreat and lots of wine.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

CPW and NFPW have been part of my life through most of my career. Many of my dearest friends are press women.  They have been a source of inspiration, motivation and support. And we know how to have fun together!

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

I don’t have a website but am on Facebook.

Meet: Ann Heinrichs

Posted December 29, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

When I think of people I have met through NFPW, one interesting person who comes to mind is Ann Heinrichs of Chicago. Ann is not only bright and interesting, she is also a warm, gracious, and an all-around nice person. She is a talented writer who is taking a break from writing after leaving a legacy of 240 plus published books. I hope you will take the time to learn a little about her.

Name: Ann Heinrichs

City and State: Chicago, Illinois

Ann Heinrichs at the Tuareg camel races in Agadez, Niger. The Tuareg are known as the “blue men of the desert” because the indigo dye in their turbans soaks into their skin.

Ann Heinrichs at the Tuareg camel races in Agadez, Niger. The Tuareg are known as the “blue men of the desert” because the indigo dye in their turbans soaks into their skin.

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Illinois Woman’s Press Association: Communicator of Achievement (2006); Board Member (2007–2009); Communications Contest Chair (2008–2009); Illinois’s FAN (First Amendment Network) Representative

Years a member of NFPW: I was a member from 1998 through 2014. If I ever again write anything besides emails and meeting minutes, I will happily join again!

Tell us a little about you.

I never meant to be a writer. I became one only when I was living in a $25-a-week hotel and needed some way, however wacky, to make checks come in the mail. First I was a music critic, then an advertising copywriter, then I began writing juvenile nonfiction books. In 2001 I finally quit my day job to write books full time. Then came the recession, and my book-writing career hit the wall. So I went back to school and got a library degree. Now I’m a cataloging librarian, though I still think of myself as a writer … masquerading. Happily, I have left a “legacy” of 240+ published books.

Ann in her element: On the Erg Chebbi, a massive dune in the Moroccan Sahara.

Ann in her element: On the Erg Chebbi, a massive dune in the Moroccan Sahara.

World travel is my pleasure. I’ve been … well … all over. The Middle East was my favorite destination until it became too dangerous. Now Africa is my favorite; I’ve been there eight times. Several places I visited, I was able to parlay into book contracts. Here at home, my current creative outlet is ebru, the Turkish art of paper marbling.

Any career advice you would give?

This will probably not appear on any Best Practices list, but my real-world-tested advice is: Push, hound, beg, grab, leap at openings, keep calling and emailing, until they cave and give you an assignment. That’s what I did at a time when I was low on experience but desperate for income. Pretty soon I was a seasoned, in-demand professional.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Fearlessness. Sure, I’m macro-fearless—scaling Kilimanjaro, trekking out into the Sahara, bouncing across the South China Sea in a rickety motorboat, climbing Mt. Sinai at 3 a.m. on a camel plodding along a narrow path with a sheer drop-off, and so on. But what I need is micro-fearlessness—to not be afraid of my own shadow, sounds in the night, cold weather, big black dogs …

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Morocco—in either Marrakech, with its fragrant souks full of fresh breads, veggies, mint, olives, and dates; or Merzouga, on the edge of the Sahara, where you can procure a camel and a Berber guide and just take off.

What book are you reading?

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, by Joshua Hammer; and The Seven Storey Mountain, by Thomas Merton.

 

“Ebru Starry Night with Comet”— one of four of Ann’s ebru paintings selected by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to be displayed throughout 2017 in their Springfield offices.

“Ebru Starry Night with Comet”— one of four of Ann’s ebru paintings selected by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to be displayed throughout 2017 in their Springfield offices.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

(1) I have a bachelor’s and master’s in piano performance. (2) I am a desert freak (probably pretty obvious already!). Not the kind of desert that’s “teeming with wildlife,” but rather the empty, desolate type, the epitome of nothingness.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Although I’m not an active member at the moment, the people I’ve met through IWPA/NFPW remain very precious to me. They continue to inspire me, delight me, and provide support for whatever I’m going through.

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

You can find me on Facebook.

Meet a Member: Kathryn Cόrdova

Posted November 30, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: New Mexico, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Another dedicated, long-time NFPW member is Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova of New Mexico. She is always willing to help out and also one of the first to express appreciation for the hard work of others. I remember the  nice thank you note and gift she sent me after the NFPW conference in Idaho in 2008. I was impressed with her thoughtfulness. She is also a talented writer and teacher. She is also willing to share her talents with others. I am proud to call this unique and unbelievable member a friend.

Name:  Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

City/State: El Prado (Taos County), New Mexico

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Affiliate and Leadership Positions:

New Mexico– Past positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Communicator Of  Achievement Chair.

NFPW– Communicator Of Achievement Chair; Membership Chair; Student Membership Chair; POPPS Vice President/ Treasurer and President; NFPW Treasurer; and NFPW Second Vice President.

Years in NFPW: 27

Tell Us a Little About You:

I prepared for dual careers in Journalism and Education, as these were the times when women did not receive many opportunities in the newsroom.  Fortunately, I was able to work at both careers as a teacher and a freelance writer.  I have also served in editorial positions on community publications and professional newspapers and magazines.  Throughout the years, I have written four different columns, and continue to write one, “Know Your Neighbor” on a weekly basis for our community’s newspaper.  I have also contributed to and written books, mainly biographies.  Family is very important to me.

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Career Advice: 

People should work at what they enjoy and about what they feel passionate.  Doing so brings joy to the worker and those around him or her.  When one is happy, it is contagious and obvious in the finished product.  We are all lifelong learners, and as such, must embrace learning something new as much as possible.

Which talent would you most like to have?  Art.  The best I can achieve in regard to completing an art piece is to draw a stick doll.

If I could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love where I live right now.  I enjoy traveling, but it’s always a joy to return home.

 What book are you reading?

I’m an avid reader.  I just started the book Laci, about Laci Peterson, by Michael Fleeman.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As a Doctor of Education, I teach courses such as Children’s Literature and deep-thought texts.  As a former high school teacher, I taught American Literature. Therefore, it may surprise some to learn that I love to read and write (unpublished) what my dad used to call “trashy books.”

Why your affiliate and NFPW are important to you. 

An organization is only as good as its members.  I would never trade the friendships I have made, the people I have met, things I have learned and the places I have visited as a result of attending conferences, meetings, etc.  The networking is available to all the members, and it’s refreshing to note that the Press Women organization does not confine itself to only one small facet of the careers and interests of the members.  The broad base is very appealing.

What is the best way to follow you- website, Twitter, Facebook, etc.?  Much to the chagrin of my children, I do not follow social media.

 

 

Meet a Member: Cecilia Green

Posted November 21, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Illinois, Kansas, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Some members make a conference more fun and one of those people is Cecilia Green of Illinois. She is a dedicated professional who is always ready to help others succeed. She is a dependable member and an injured foot didn’t even slow her down for the pre-tour and conference in Alaska. She is a unique and unbelievably talented member I am honored to call a friend.

Cecilia Green

Cecilia Green

Name: Cecilia Green

City and State: Bartlett, Illinois

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Illinois Woman’s Press Association, past president of IWPA. When I lived in Wichita, I served as president of Wichita Press Women, now Wichita Professional Communicators. I was privileged to serve on the NFPW board as public relations chair during Vivian Sadowski’s term as president.

Years a member of NFPW: 31 years

Tell us a little about you

I “rewired” in 2009 from 25 years of doing PR and marketing for nonprofit associations in Chicago to being director of an Arts Center in Bartlett with a gallery and studios for teaching artists and musicians. It is a volunteer position that keeps me very busy at least 4 days a week. I’m also on the Economic Development Commission for the Village of Bartlett and do PR for Bartlett Heritage Days. When I’m not working, my rescue toy fox terrier Tanner and I hang out or I travel to see my  kids.

My husband Darrell’s work at the Art Institute of Chicago takes him around the world and I’ve been fortunate to tag along in the past few year to Scotland, Ireland, India, Norway and Russia.  Jill Miller, my daughter, is an NFPW member, has her own consulting business and the Finishing School for Modern Women in Wichita. Jennifer Miller lives in Treasure Island, Florida and is a professional French horn player. Michael Miller and his wife Carla live in Lakewood, Colorado with my two grandchildren Sophia, 5 and Desmond, 7.

 

NFPW members Cecilia Green, right and daughter, Jill Miller.

NFPW members Cecilia Green, right and daughter, Jill Miller.

Any career advice you would give?

If you are a good writer, the world is open to you; so many opportunities in so just about any field if you know how to communicate. I always told students to  look at associations for professionals and trade associations if they want to be in the nonprofit world. It’s good pay for a fascinating career meeting business people from all over the world.

Which talent would you most like to have? 

I wish I was a better public speaker.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Closer to my family; we’re considering going back to Wichita when my husband retires in 5 years.

What book are you reading?

Just finished “The Girl on the Train” and am starting on Virginia Professional Communicators member Nancy Beasley’s “Little Lion.”

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That some people think I’m standoffish but I’m really very shy and don’t easily approach people I don’t know well.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

IWPA and its mothership are steadfast in holding to its values and mission. It’s one of the most supportive organizations I belong to. I look forward to its conferences every year.

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

Personal Facebook account and Arts in Bartlett Facebook