Meet a Member: Jill D. Miller

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

Tags: , , , ,

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

Jill D. Miller

Jill D. Miller

Name: Jill D. Miller

City and State: Wichita, Kansas

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

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

Tell us a little about you.

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

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

Any career advice you would give?

Jill D. Miller

Jill D. Miller

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

Which talent would you most like to have?

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

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

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

What book are you reading?

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

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

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

Jill D. Miller

Jill D. Miller

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

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

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

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

Website: www.jilldmiller.com

Twitter: @jilldmiller

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

Meet a Member: Bonnie Atwood

Posted April 7, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , , , ,

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

Bonnie Atwood

Bonnie Atwood

Name:  Bonnie Atwood

City and State:  Richmond, Virginia

Affiliate/positions:  Virginia Professional Communicators, Immediate Past President

Years a member:                            

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

Tell us a little about yourself:              

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

What career advice would you give?             

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

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

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

Talent you would like to have?  

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

Where would you live?

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

What book are you reading?                       

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

What would people be surprised to learn about you?    

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

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

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

Way to follow you:     

Website: http://www.tallpoppiesfreelance.com

Twitter: Bonnie Atwood @BonAtwood

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

Blog: http://www.onetallpoppy.com

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

Meet a Member: Katherine Keniston

Posted April 1, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , , ,

For the past nearly four years, Katherine Keniston has kept track of NFPW members who pass away during the year. She writes tributes to them in the NFPW Agenda, e-letter and for the Memorial Service during the NFPW conference. She does an outstanding job recognizing member accomplishments. She is a dedicated NFPW member who is always willing to lend a hand to help others. I have enjoyed spending time with her at NFPW board meetings and conferences, as well as several pre and post conference trips. She is an accomplished journalist and a unique and unbelievable NFPW member. Meet my friend Katherine Keniston.

Name: Katherine Keniston

Katherine Keniston

Katherine Keniston

City and state: Beaverton, Ore.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I’m active in Oregon Press Women and coordinate our monthly breakfast gatherings. In past years, I served as president, vice president and secretary, and chaired our communications contest and 50th anniversary celebration.

On the national level, I’m serving my second term as historian. I’ve also been NFPW public relations director.

Years a member of NFPW: 38

Tell us a little about you.

A foretaste of my communications career came when I was 8 years old. As a fan of Elsie the Cow, I wrote a poem praising Borden’s milk and left it on the porch for our friendly milkman. I was surprised and thrilled when my writing ended up published in a Borden’s newsletter! And, the company sent me a letter offering me an advertising job when I grew up (no, I never followed through).

After earning a B.A. in journalism and humanities from Oregon State University in my native Corvallis, I enjoyed some stimulating jobs as women’s editor at the Corvallis Gazette-Times and editor of a community section at the Fort Collins Coloradoan. I loved doing it all – interviews, writing, editing, photography, layout. My career then turned to health care communications, first at Oregon Health & Science University and then at Providence Health & Services in Oregon, a wonderful employer. During my 32-plus years with Providence, I did everything from producing the monthly medical staff newsletter to working as a senior copy editor to writing human interest stories for the Community Benefits Report.

A wave of layoffs eliminated my marketing and communications position two years ago, but I’m taking my time looking for another job because all this free time is quite a treat! I love to travel and have visited all 50 states. Among my other interests are reading, music, movies, good conversation and the great outdoors. I’m an avid fan of Oregon State University sports (Go Beavers!). With a longtime interest in people from other cultures, I volunteer as an English as a Second Language substitute teacher.

Katherine posing as a downhill skier during a pre-conference tour in Utah.

Katherine posing as a downhill skier during a pre-conference tour in Utah.

Any career advice you would give?

Always stay interested and curious. Learn from colleagues whose work you admire. Help and encourage coworkers who are finding their way. Be flexible. Get involved in a professional organization, of course!

Which talent would you most like to have?

To sing with a perfect French accent while playing the piano. That is, I’d love not only to play that instrument, but also to slip easily into various accents and dialects, a la Meryl Streep.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Right here in Oregon. This is such a beautiful and varied state, and it’s important to me to be near my family. However, I’m sure I could enjoy living for a while in any number of places, whether New England or England.

What book are you reading?

A Path Appears, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It’s about ways we can make a positive difference in the world.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As an admirer of the “Greatest Generation,” I traveled to Pearl Harbor for the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack and went to Normandy for the 50-year commemoration of D-Day. Being there for these historic occasions was poignant, inspiring and unforgettable. In Normandy, I was touched when a British infantry veteran gave me one of his badges; I wear it on Veterans Day in his honor.

Katherinek

Katherine Keniston, front row center, on a visit to Yellowstone National Park following a spring board meeting in Idaho Falls. Trip participants are from left, Cathy Koon, Barb Micek, Teri Ehresman, Katherine Keniston, Lori Potter and Cynthia Price.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I think back to something I wrote for our affiliate newsletter shortly after trying out snorkeling in Hawaii. An excerpt: “There, just beneath the water’s surface, an exhilarating new world had opened up to me. In a way, it is the same with Oregon Press Women. We test the waters and we discover a surprising new world opening to us. Think of the professional growth and the warm personal relationships you have found…The times you have given and received encouragement, support, a good argument, a good laugh. The ways you’ve felt rewarded…The intriguing out-of-way places you’ve traveled to broaden your knowledge. Think of the wonderful people…and so much more!”

For me, part of that “so much more” has been attending the national conferences, going on the terrific tours to places as wide-reaching as Cape Canaveral and Nome, and making friends from across our country. NFPW has enriched my life immeasurably.

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

Call me slow on the uptake when it comes to social media.

Meet a Member: Ellen Crawford

Posted March 24, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

One of the true jewels of our organization is Ellen Crawford. She is a hard worker, outstanding communicator and always willing to help with tasks. She keeps track of our spending and does her best to keep our organization in the black and finding ways to cut costs. I look forward to conferences and meetings to be able to spend time with her. Meet this unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Ellen Crawford

Ellen Crawford

Name: Ellen Crawford

City and State: Fargo, N.D.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

North Dakota Professional Communicators. I am the treasurer and have been since 1999. Prior to that, I held various positions: college contest chair, membership directory editor, second vice president/contest chair, first vice president/membership chair and president.

At the national level, I have been treasurer since 2011. Prior to that, I served on the President’s Advisory Board, was the Nominating Committee chair and served as northwest quadrant director on the Education Fund Board.

Years a member of NFPW: I’m starting my 30th year.

Tell us a little about you.

I was born and grew up in Minot, N.D. My parents died when I was in grade school, so I lived with my grandmother and later my aunt and uncle. My aunt and uncle owned a furniture moving and storage company.  I learned to do everything (providing customers with cost estimates, packing, loading and unloading trucks, secretarial duties, preparing tax returns) except drive the trucks. After obtaining two college degrees (B.A. in English and B.S. in mass communication, with minors in Spanish and geology), I spent 26½ years working at The Forum, the newspaper in Fargo. I was a reporter for the first 25 years and a copy editor/page designer for the other 1½  years.

For the last 10 years, I have been a writer/editor for the North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication Department.

In my spare time, I love to read mystery and spy novels, go antiquing, knit afghans for veterans at the VA Medical Center and veterans home, and do yard work.

Ellenboat

Enjoying a post NFPW conference boat ride are from left, Rebecca West, Meg Hunt, Ellen Crawford and Karen Stensrud.

Any career advice you would give? 

My best advice is to develop as many skills as possible, make yourself as indispensable, do the best job you can, and volunteer to serve on committees or take on extra projects. Your boss will have a hard time firing you if he or she has to hire two or more people to replace you.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Speak Spanish like a native

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere near Glacier National Park. I’ve visited the park seven times. It’s my favorite place.

What book are you reading? 

The Escape by David Baldacci

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My mother was born in Latvia. She came to the U.S. after World War II, when a church sponsored her to come to Minot.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I joined for the networking and recognition through the communications contest. Those still are important to me. I like being able to talk to others in the same field who face the same problems, and perhaps have found some solutions. The communications contest validates that I am doing a good job and helps me improve my skills. I also really appreciate the friends I have made through the years and all of the opportunities to learn at conferences.

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

I’m afraid I’m not into social media personally.

Meet a Member: Lana Christian

Posted March 18, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Their are many types of professional communicators. Some write for newspapers and magazines. Others write for blogs and for technical publications. NFPW member Lana Christian shares her writing talent writing about healthcare and life sciences. Many times she is writing for peer-reviewed publications. Just like other communicators, her talent is in telling a story so her audience can understand. Meet another one of the unique and unbelievable NFPW members, Lana Christian.

Name: Lana Christian

City and State:  I currently live in Fairview, Oregon, and previously lived in Indiana.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Indiana and Oregon affiliates; no leadership positions

Years a member of NFPW: 7+

Lana Christian

Lana Christian

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

I write for the healthcare and life science industries, dba CreateWrite® Inc. Much of my writing is full-length articles for peer-reviewed medical journals; but I also write newsletter articles for hospitals, patient education materials, continuing medical education programs, training materials for pharmaceutical reps, and DVD scripts (e.g., “here’s how a stent works”).  Seasonally, I also write grant applications for researchers and medical textbook chapters.

Much of that may sound far afield from what many NFPW participants write each day, but the common ground is that a medical writer still has to be good at “telling the story.” Science standing on its own does not garner grant funding or a journal editor’s green-lighting a manuscript. So the work I do is a combination of science and art. Although scouring medical databases to find appropriate references and interviewing MDs or PhDs are usually part of my work, I always need to write compelling content that tells readers why they should take notice of a researcher’s findings or a doctor’s cutting-edge procedure.

Any career advice you would give?

(1) Never stop honing your craft.

(2) If you admire a writer or an article, ask yourself why. Deconstruct it and learn from it.

(3) Be conscious of how you write what you write, even if it’s “just” a personal blog. Strive to make it something you can be just as proud of as a headliner article in the publication of your dreams.

(4) Learn how to be an ace at asking the right questions during interviews. If you excel at that, then the article will almost write itself.

(5) Everyone can be a better writer next year than they are this year if they keep actively practicing the art of writing.

Which talent would you most like to have?

True entrepreneurship. I have great ideas for several companies but am not sure how to put feet to them.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

In the mountains, away from big cities. I do live in a mountainous area right now, and I’m in a fairly small town; but I’d like to move out of town if I could afford to buy acreage in the country.

What book are you reading?

I just finished Hattie Kauffman’s Falling Into Place: A Memoir of Overcoming.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I wrote my first book when I was 11. (It chronicled my first summer at church camp.) In more recent years, I’ve coauthored or authored numerous healthcare books, as well as a business book, Proofread Like a Pro. One of my biggest accomplishments when I was still working in the hospital environment was to create a career development program for employees who wanted to move up within the system. Called Career Quest®, it became an integral part of that organization’s culture. After I left the hospital setting, Career Quest® was renamed, repackaged and marketed externally. When I’m not writing, I devote time to my passions of hiking, cooking, working with the homeless and international missions.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

NFPW helps me stay connected to a side of journalism that keeps my skills honed for newspaper articles and hospital newsletters. That type of journalism requires a bit different mindset and some degree of different writing skills than the research-heavy writing I often do. I get great satisfaction from both kinds of writing.

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

Website (includes a Contact page) http://createwriteinc.com. I also have LinkedIn profile for my business.

Meet a Member: Gay Porter DeNileon

Posted March 11, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Gay Porter DeNileon is a leader for both NFPW and the Colorado affiliate. She is a hard worker who comes up with great ideas on ways to do things better. It has been a pleasure having her as NFPW secretary. She is dependable and is willing to work behind the scenes and give others credit in an effort to make improvements. She is a respected communications professional.She is a leader and a great asset to NFPW. It is a pleasure to introduce my unique and unbelievable friend Gay.

Gay Porter DeNileon pauses at American Falls, Idaho following the NFPW conference in Idaho in 2008.

Gay Porter DeNileon pauses near American Falls, Idaho following the NFPW conference in Idaho in 2008.

Name: Gay Porter DeNileon

City and State: Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Currently president of Colorado Press Women (also was president 2007 – 2009); former chair of the CPW Program Committee. Current Secretary of NFPW

Years a member of NFPW: 11. I really got involved in 2005 when CPW started planning the 2006 national convention in Denver, that was so much fun and I really learned to appreciate the CPW members, especially the two conference co-chairs Marilyn Saltzman and Ann Lockhart, and then president Judi Buehrer.

Tell us a little about you.

I’m one of those lucky J-School grads (University of Colorado) who has always had a communications job. My college internship with the CU Athletic Department led to a stint covering World Cup skiing and the Winter Olympics with a niche publication called Ski Racing, which led to numerous freelance articles for different publications, including Sports Illustrated and Frontier Inflight. I continued to work in the ski business as the public relations manager for Crested Butte Mountain Resort and as the press liaison for national championships and the Aspen Winternational. Then I was a reporter and editor for a Crested Butte weekly for several years — covering everything from the town council to the local sports to the society news. When I moved to Denver area in the early 90s, I like to say that “my snow melted” and I began to work for the water industry. I’ve worked for American Water Works for 22 years now, first as managing editor and reporter of the association newsletter, then on two other periodicals and more recently as senior manager of editorial development and production of books. Books are a different challenge than writing and editing articles, and I’ve learned a lot along the way.

Gay having dinner with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Hilary, on the beach in Punta Vista, Uruguay

Gay having dinner with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Hilary, on the beach in Punta Vista, Uruguay

Outside of work, I’ve been happily married to Mike DeNileon for 19 years; we have two granddaughters from his two sons and another grandchild on the way. My daughter, Hilary, is a graduate student at Cornell. (I went back to school a few years ago so I could get my master’s before she did and received my Masters in Public Administration in 2009 from the University of Colorado – Denver.) I love to ski, ride my road bike, garden (although Mike is the real farmer; we had a great harvest the last couple of years), water sports, cook, read, bead, travel, spend time with friends. After we go to Alaska for this year’s NFPW conference, I will have visited every state except four — and I’ll get to those within the next decade.

Any career advice you would give?

Ask questions. That’s what reporters do and why we are important. If you don’t understand something, chances are your readers won’t either, so ask for fuller explanations, do more research, and tell the whole story.

Also, everybody needs an editor, and being an editor can improve your own writing.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to be able to do improv comedy — and to be able to break dance. I’ll probably take tap dancing lessons when I retire.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Gay sailing in Charleston Harbor on the NFPW post tour last year.

Gay sailing in Charleston Harbor on the NFPW post tour last year.

Well I grew up in Michigan, so I love the lakes, and I love the mountains of Colorado, so Lake Tahoe might be the perfect combination of both — if my family and friends were close!

What book are you reading?

I just finished The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (loved it!) and am buzzing through The Children Act by Ian McEwan. And I’m listening to The Wishing Trees by John Shors in my car.  I belong to two book clubs and organize the community reading event for the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission (I’m a second-term commissioner) so I’m always on the lookout for a good read.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I was the water industry go-to person on counterterrorism right after 9/11. My involvement in the issue began in 1999 when I became the AWWA staff liaison to a group of water utility executives addressing the industry’s response to Presidential Decision Directive 63, which addressed security and critical industry. In that role, I attended training at Argonne and Sandia National Laboratories and was part of a research advisory group developing a risk assessment methodology for water (and later taught the RAM-W method to water utilities). In May 2001 a peer-reviewed article I wrote on the water community’s counterterrorism efforts and the potential to be attacked was published in Journal AWWA. So four months later, I was the only person in our office tracking the issue when terrorist-driven planes took down the World Trade Center. As the national source for water information, AWWA was inundated with phone calls about how secure the drinking water supply was against terrorist attacks, and I fielded a lot of the calls, set up a web resource center for our members, and my article was widely cited in the media.

Another surprising fact is I directed five plays for the community theater in Crested Butte (and acted in an equal number) and if I had known it could be a career, I might have become a movie director. I’ve got a couple plays in me that I’m hoping to write when I retire.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The active members of my affiliate and the people I’ve met through NFPW are all extremely bright women with interesting ideas and experiences that bring a lot to a conversation or an event. They and the events they plan stimulate me and expand my horizons.

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

LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Pintrest

Meet a Member: Marsha Hoffman

Posted March 5, 2015 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW

Tags: , ,

Marsha Hoffman and her sister, Julie, co-lead the Iowa affiliate as they teamed with Nebraska to host the 2011  NFPW conference in Council Bluffs-Omaha. She is a NASCAR fan, so I is appropriate that I feature her just before the NASCAR weekend in Vegas. She cheers for team Dale Earnhardt Jr. in NASCAR and team NFPW the rest of the year. Meet another good friend, the unique and unbelievable Marsha Hoffman.

Marsha Hoffman at Snowbird Resort in Utah.

Marsha Hoffman at Snowbird Resort in Utah.

Name: Marsha Hoffman

City and State: Council Bluffs, Iowa

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Iowa Press Women: Current treasurer, Communications Contest director and Communicator of Achievement director; past president and vice president.

NFPW: Current 1st Vice President; past 2nd Vice President, Public Relations Director and Web Coordinator, Hospitality Director, 2011 Conference Co-Chair for Iowa-Nebraska “Plains Speaking” Conference, 2004 Iowa Press Women COA nominee.

Years a member of NFPW: 20

Tell us a little about you.

I am an Iowa girl.  I was born in Council Bluffs, and left for four years of college at Northwest Missouri State and for 18 months for my first job as a reporter at the Marshall Democrat-News in Marshall, Mo.  I was known to many of my contacts as “Marsha from Marshall.”

I accepted an assistant editor’s position at my hometown newspaper, The Daily Nonpareil, in 1994.  I was promoted to news editor, then new media editor when NonpareilOnline.com was created in 1995, and then became the news and new media editor thanks to budget cuts.  I later became just the new media editor again and was Internet Coordinator when I was laid off three years ago.

I am now enjoying a second career in Document Control and Quality Assurance at Omaha-based American Laboratories Inc., which is in the manufacturing industry.  I still use my writing and especially editing skills every day, writing and re-writing and redlining documents.  I am also a systems administrator for ALI’s online document system. The host for the system, MasterControl, is located in Salt Lake City.

For hobbies, I play one night of indoor volleyball during the school year and one or two nights of sand volleyball in the summer. Sadly, this session is probably my last in the competitive indoor league I’ve played in for 15 years (comprised of mostly former college players). I’ve found the heart and mind may want to keep up with all of the twenty- and thirty-somethings in the league, but the ol’ body just can’t do it anymore.

Any career advice you would give?

If an opportunity presents itself, take the bull by the horns. I was a newspaper editor when management decided to try this new thing called the “World Wide Web” in 1995. Helping create and develop the newspaper’s website over the years has helped me in my second career as an online systems administrator.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I can’t take a selfie to save my life! I cut my head off almost every time! If I’m trying to take a photo with someone else, usually my sister (fellow NFPW member) Julie, I cut off both of our heads!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

If I could live anywhere, it would probably be a warm-weather climate such as Florida or California. As I’m getting older, I find that I hate when I have to shovel snow.

What book are you reading?

Marsha Hoffman, center, with her sister, Julie on the left and their Mother, Loverta "Bert", at the 2004 NFPW conference in Kentucky.

Marsha Hoffman, center, with her sister, Julie, on the left and their Mother, Loverta “Bert,” at the 2004 NFPW conference in Kentucky.

I have been reading two David Baldacci series – King and Maxwell, and Wil Robie.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I doubt many people know that I collect bells. I have nearly 50, and am seeking a better way to display them – I’m open to suggestion!  My NFPW travels have helped this collection grow exponentially.

I am a big NASCAR fan and penned a NASCAR column for more than a decade while at the newspaper. For the record, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is my favorite driver.

Also, I am also a fan of “Game of Thrones.”  For those in the know, I am a fan of both George R.R. Martin’s excellent “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series as well as HBO’s television adaptation.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The love and support my sister and I received from members when our mother passed away from Alzheimer’s during the holiday season of 2012 is just one example of why I love IPW and NFPW.  We first discovered the memory issues our mother, Loverta “Bert” was experiencing during the 2005 Seattle conference.  It was the last conference mom was able to attend, but every year after and in-between, our NFPW friends asked how she was doing, and also how our father Mike was getting along. We were truly touched when mom was included in the memorial service at the Salt Lake City conference.

Among my other favorite NFPW memories were all of the meetings with Nebraska co-chairs Sherry Thompson and Stephanie Geery-Zenk as Julie and I helped plan the 2011 NFPW conference, which was held jointly by both affiliates in Council Bluffs-Omaha.  We had fun from our initial meetings and for the next two years or so until our “closing meeting” at the bar at the end of the Saturday evening banquet.

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

You can follow me at:

@Marshatres on Twitter

Marsha Hoffman on Facebook

Marshatres on Instragram

Marsha Hoffman on LinkedIn


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