Meet a Member: Stephanie Geery-Zink

Posted April 20, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Nebraska, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Stephanie Geery-Zink was one of the organizers of the 2011 NFPW conference hosted in Nebraska and Iowa. It was a family affair with her talented family joining to help with the celebration. She is a hard working professional and enjoys sharing her talents with others. Enjoy getting to know this talented, unique and unbelievable member of NFPW.

Name: Stephanie Geery-Zink

City and State: Lincoln, Nebraska

Stephanie Geery-Zink

Stephanie Geery-Zink

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Nebraska Press Women. I have served as president, past president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and Legislative/First Amendment (not necessarily in that order!). Helped organize the 2011 NFPW Conference in Council Bluffs/Omaha. I am taking a break from the NPW Board after serving for 16 years, but as a former treasurer I serve on the Finance Committee.

Years a member of NFPW: 19

Tell us a little about you.

I was a journalist from 1991-2009, worked in public relations, then made a jump to nonprofit work as a communications coordinator, and as a development director (fundraising) for Lincoln Community Playhouse for the past five and a half years.

My husband and I have been married for 23 years. Our daughter Schuyler is in her second year at the University of Nebraska College of Law (Class of 2018), specializing in international human rights and national security law. Daughter Keelin is a senior at University of Nebraska High School.

Any career advice you would give?

Keep your options open! You never know where life might take you, so be ready for any eventuality and pay attention to possible career changes. I could have never imagined when I was in the midst of my journalism career that I’d end up working in nonprofits, especially as a fundraiser but it has turned out to be a rewarding career change that draws heavily on my journalism and NPW/NFPW experiences.

Family members from left, Keelin Geery-Zink, Roger Geery, Schuyler Geery-Zink and Stephanie Geery-Zink

Family members from left, Keelin Geery-Zink, Roger Geery, Schuyler Geery-Zink and Stephanie Geery-Zink

Which talent would you most like to have?

My organizational skills are okay, but I could be much better at motivating myself to get more organized. My superpower choice would be never-ending energy.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’m pretty happy where I live now, but would love to be able to travel especially in Great Britain, Ireland and France.

What book are you reading?

“Quitter (closing the gap between your day job and your dream job)” by Jon Acuff and “Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home” by Anita Hill (yes, a book I picked up at the Arizona NFPW Conference in 2012, finally getting around to reading it!).

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I was scared of dogs all my life. Until Winston, an apricot toy poodle, entered my life almost three years ago. He was supposed to be Keelin’s dog, but we latched on to each other and are inseparable. Now I need to pet all the dogs. I am still a cat person too!

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

NPW has provided me with important career and leadership experience through serving as an officer of the organization and organizing conferences (special events planning). I have also made some incredible friendships.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc. I’m on Facebook! A lot!

Meet a Member: Bonnie Arnold

Posted April 3, 2017 by tlehre
Categories: Press Women of Texas, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

She was one of the co-chairs of the 2009 NFPW conference in San Antonio, Texas and continues to be an active member of Press Women of Texas and NFPW. She is a talented writer and hard worker. Meet another unique and unbelievable NFPW member, Bonnie Arnold.

Bonnie Atwood

Bonnie Arnold

Name — Bonnie Arnold

City/state — Kerrville, Texas (“Hill Country” about an hour northwest of San Antonio)

Affiliate and any leadership positions – Press Women of Texas; over the years I have been a “district” officer when we had enough members to break up activities into smaller areas, to state president, co-coordinator of the 2009 NFPW conference in San Antonio, director of the High School Contest for Texas more than once, and currently secretary of the state group.

Years a member of NFPW – I joined Texas and NFPW in 1983, and continued membership each year since.

Tell us a little about you – I am a native Texan, though my husband’s military service and then former VA job took us to five other states to live briefly; we worked to stay “home” since then; wife for 48 years this year; mother to two grown daughters (who actually inherited and use the sewing/crafting skills I learned from my mother and grandmother); and grandmother of twin 5-year-olds, a girl and a boy. I like traveling but unrelenting work hours and too few vacation days make it hard to leave the job for the car or airport.

Career advice you would like to share?

I believed my professors in J-School when they said we’d never get rich. It was and still apparently is very true. I think I deserved more money over the years, but working for (relatively) small dailies and weekly community newspapers isn’t a money-maker. But I continued over the years since my first paying newspaper job in 1981, to be “hooked” on the variety of people contact, and the feeling that the readers, too, should be in seats in many of the same meetings I go to – even if I grit my teeth frequently over city council and county commissioner meetings. Otherwise, I guess a couple well-chosen internships or summer jobs would tell you if you really want to stick with it.

Bonnie Arnold, left, with Karla Estrada 2014 High School Communications Award of Excellence winner from Texas;  Judy Gharis, our current elected PWT president; and Angela Smith.

Bonnie Arnold, left, with Karla Estrada 2014 High School Communications Award of Excellence winner from Texas; Judy Gharis, current PWT president; and Angela Smith.

What talent would you like to have?

Not sure about a new untried one. I still sew for myself and grandchildren when I can. The time to try out classes in new things might be nice.

If you could live anywhere, it would be?

First, probably where I am, in a town of about 24,000 with a good community weekly newspaper (2 weeklies and 1 daily here) and being 10 minutes from my office and less than 20 minutes to almost anywhere else I get sent. We have a river to look at, no “rush hour” to speak of; and the big city is about 45-60 minutes away if wanted or needed. Equal second choice would be closer to my only two grandchildren in southeast Georgia, but we haven’t moved in 34 years and that’s a scary prospect.

What books have you recently read?

Who has time to sit and read for fun?! No, really, mysteries for “escape-ism,” especially women authors with women as main characters. I did indulge in a thick biography of Queen Victoria recently when PBS started their new TV series.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

This seems eons ago, when I was in college, I competed in an on-campus beauty (sorry, “scholarship”) pageant to pick a Miss Texas Woman’s University to try to advance to Miss Texas. I didn’t get far ….

Why are your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

My affiliate and NFPW are important to me because of moral support and networking. My Texas friends have been generous as sounding boards and with job advice when asked.

How can people connect and follow you on social media?

“Following me” is a NON-technology thing. I have a cell phone (not a smart phone – it just needs to make and take calls), and email at home and office; and my by-line on top of an average of 5,000-plus words per week at the Hill Country Community Journal newspaper. I’m a little tired now. Is there such a thing as part-time reporter/photographer?

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.