Journalist Hahn known for her love of four feline kids and being Donny Osmond fan

She was the first to volunteer to help find speakers for last year’s National Federation of Press Women conference in Salt Lake City. She loves to share information about her adopted pets and since as a 12-year-old she fell in love with Donny Osmond and his famous “Puppy Love.” She works hard for her Nebraska affiliate as I witnessed last weekend at their spring meeting. She enjoys sharing her talent with others. She is a friend and a unique and unbelievable NFPW member. Enjoy learning more about amazing Terri Hahn.

 

Name: Terri Hahn

Terri Hahn with Donny Osmond

Terri Hahn with Donny Osmond

City and State: Osceola, Nebraska

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Nebraska Press Women; currently serving as contest co-director and publicity/social media chair. Past president and other various board positions.

Years a member of NFPW: 24 (since 1990)

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

Most people don’t know my first college degree was in interior design. I graduated with that degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1981 – right as the nation’s housing market was tanking. No one was buying OR remodeling and there just weren’t any jobs. I continued my retail job for several years until I decided there had to be something better out there. I’d always been interested in journalism (I actually tried to take classes while working on my design degree, but there were always conflicts) so I decided to give it a go. I started back at UNL in 1986 and added a journalism option to my original degree. I can honestly say it was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. After graduation I worked for four years at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kan., and my coworkers there were the ones who tuned me into Kansas Press Women and NFPW. I’ve been working as the features editor at the Grand Island Independent since 1993 and have been a member of NPW since that time.

That’s the professional side. Now the personal side. I’m known around the office as 1) the crazy cat lady or 2) the crazy Donny Osmond fan. Whatever. I love cats and live with four feline kids – Muffy, Charlie, Hallie and Maddie – all rescues. Three are from the street, the other from the local humane society. They are great company and I wouldn’t part with them for the world, even when Muffy is begging for breakfast two hours before the alarm goes off and Charlie is chewing on my hair.

As for the Donny Osmond part: I’ve been a fan since I was 12 (the “Puppy Love” days), but just got back into the fan loop a few years ago right after my mom died. The women I met through an online fan forum the winter after she passed away have become my second family. The fan thing is as much about them as it is about the man himself. But, yes, having him sit on my lap during a bus trip to Hoover Dam was pretty special. I won’t deny it.

Terri  Hahn

Terri Hahn

Any career advice you would give?

That’s a tough one. As much as I love journalism and my job, it’s a tough field to be in these days. The hours are lousy, the pay is worse – at least at a daily newspaper. My advice would be to be flexible and be willing to adjust to the rapidly changing world of news gathering. If you’re not willing to change, you’re going to be left in the dust.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I can think of a couple. I would love to be able to sing and dance. I have no skills in either area. I used to have a cat who would leave the room when I sang along with the radio. Seriously. I’m that bad. I also wish I could be one of those people who write clever headlines. I’m always looking at them and thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?”

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

A restored Victorian in the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

What book are you reading?

Currently, none. (Is that bad?). The one on my desk I want to read was an entry in our communications contest, “From Picas to Bytes: Four Generations of Seacrest Newspaper Service to Nebraska.” I need to ask the author if I can keep it for a few weeks before I return it to her.

I love biography and history books, as well as mystery stories. One of my projects I’m working on now is getting all my books out of storage and organizing a library in my basement family room. I’m almost there. Having all my books under one roof after more than 20 years is wonderful.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve considered starting a professional organizing business. Although you wouldn’t know it to look at my house right now (too many ongoing projects), I’m a good space planner and have a knack for getting a lot of stuff into very little space. I’m available for consultation if anyone needs some help.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I don’t have a lot of close family and my NPW sisters are just that – sisters. They have also become a second family to me. And I’ve learned so much through NPW and NFPW. I love attending the national conventions that have allowed me to visit places I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and I love the people I’ve met along the way. I’ve learned a lot from both.

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

I’m on Facebook and open to friend requests. I’m also on Twitter, although I don’t tweet a lot. You can find me at @terrihahn. I keep it pretty simple.

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