Seals swaps a career in newsroom management for rewards as tree steward volunteer

Trees help make the world a beautiful place for all of us to enjoy. Louise C. Seals has found a volunteer job as a tree steward in Virginia as a fulfilling way to keep active and make her community a better place. She is too busy to slow down and continues to be a role model for others. Meet another unique, unbelievable long-time NFPW member who is making a difference.

Name: Louise C. Seals

Louise Seals

Louise Seals

City and State: Richmond, Virginia

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Virginia Press Women — former president and former treasurer, former COA, recipient of Press Woman of the Year award; I am treasurer of the Virginia Press Women Foundation Inc., and formerly was president.

Years a member of NFPW: 31

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

I’m enjoying the liberation of retirement and age. I was never known for subtlety — which will bring chuckles, if not guffaws, from those who know me — and although I am more aware now of others’ feelings than ever before, I am impatient with BS and power games.

My volunteer work as a Richmond Tree Steward keeps me thinking, moving and very engaged. Part of the group’s mission is public education about the benefits of the community forest and how to care for trees, which lets me use my journalism contacts and skills. But the most rewarding part is making an immediate difference through planting and pruning street and park trees. After more than 2 decades in newsroom management, I crave instant gratification, and this volunteer role provides it.

I’m also sought out as a mentor sometimes and enjoy that as well. Cynthia Price says I’m not retired – I’m just not getting a paycheck. But I feel I am being paid.

Any career advice you would give?

Stay flexible because opportunity doesn’t always knock when it’s convenient. Guard your integrity in every decision you make; honesty is a communicator’s hard currency and once sullied can never be completely regained.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to have the ability to sing. I was in my grade school choir only because I got to try out with my best friend and she could sing.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’d split the year between Richmond, which I love and where many dear friends live, and the Southwest — probably Arizona or New Mexico.

What book are you reading?

“The Philadelphia Quarry,” a crime thriller set in Richmond by Howard Owen, a former colleague.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My age and the fact I don’t color my hair to cover up gray — yet. The next birthday is the really big 70.

Louise Seals

Louise Seals
Brightroom Photography

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I’m old enough to remember being told that women couldn’t do certain jobs or had to work their way into those jobs from menial positions that men did not have to take. Pay differentials were huge. VPW and NFPW were important forces in working for change, and they gave me a way to contribute to that battle. Networking was and still is important, but the greatest benefit was one I didn’t expect — lifelong friendships.

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

Just Facebook — I post only when I think I have something to contribute, but follow friends and acquaintances — and LInkedIn (needs to be updated).

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