Meet a Member: Bonnie Atwood

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

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