Meet a Member: Tara Puckey

Affiliates are a key part of NFPW and strong leadership at the state level can help an affiliate thrive. Tara Puckey is the president of Woman’s Press Club of Indiana and is doing an outstanding job. She is a proven leader and helps keep membership strong. She is constantly on the go as she continues to grow her skills. Meet this outstanding NFPW member I am pleased to call a friend.

Name: Tara Puckey

City and State: McCordsville, Ind. (just outside Indianapolis)

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Woman’s Press Club of Indiana; Vice President, President (currently serving second term)

Years a member of NFPW: Joined in 2008

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Tara Puckey

Tell us a little about you.

After finding the degree program with the least amount of math (math is hard), I picked journalism and graduated with an amazing group of classmates from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis in 2011. While in school, I began freelancing for New York’s Broadway Magazine and Ameriforce, a collective of different magazines all focused on the military, and later added social media management, small business consulting and brand management to the mix . In 2012, I picked up a full time gig with the Society of Professional Journalists after serving two years on their national board as a student representative. As Membership Strategist, I focus on member retention and recruitment, the stability of our more than 150 active chapters and other duties as assigned (nonprofit = multitasking staff).

I multitask the rest of my life, too, I suppose. Currently, I’m wrapping up my MBA in June of this year and will being pursuing my CAE designation shortly after. When I’m not working or studying, you’ll find me teaching dance at a local studio or tromping through tiny Indiana towns in search of the perfect antique find. I’m also pretty easy to track down with a glass of wine and a good book, but my absolute favorite thing is spending time with my husband, Bryan, and two daughters, Alexa and Brooklyn.

Any career advice you would give?

Interview them more than they interview you. Don’t take a job just because the pay is right or it’s where you’ve always wanted to work. Ask questions about the culture, about the atmosphere, about how well everyone plays together in the office. Otherwise, you’ll walk into something you weren’t expecting that makes you uncomfortable or miserable and the money or the position will be the least of your concerns.

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Tara Puckey at a Woman’s Press Club of Indiana event.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Maybe it isn’t a talent, but I’d like there to be more hours in the day. I have a million things I still want to do and learn and experience and there’s never enough time. That’s totally crazy, so if you’re looking for the real answer, I’d love to be able to play the guitar and cook super amazing chef-quality meals. Dang, that was too many.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Manhattan. New York is one of my favorite places because I love feeling like I’m just a little speck in something larger. Small towns don’t quite allow that anonymity that you can get somewhere like New York. But, the hubby won’t go for it, so I guess if I have to take him with me, we might go to Savannah. Or, Memphis.

What book are you reading?

Sitting on my coffee table right at this moment is “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I love the dark. Think low lamps everywhere, mood lighting. My entire family hates it, but it takes me to my happy place.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

WPCI was one of the first journalism organizations I joined when I decided to pursue my career. After that first event, I knew I had found a home. The women (and men) I’ve met through WPCI have not only been mentors, but true friends that celebrate every achievement and mourn every loss. I couldn’t be more thankful for this amazing group of people who consistently remind me why I love this industry so much. I’m honored and proud to be among them and wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support.

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

You can check out my website at tarapuckey.com, follow me on Twitter at @tpuckey and connect on LinkedIn. I’m on just about everything else, too: Instagram, Snapchat, Zoom, etc. and my username is almost always tpuckey. Hope to connect soon!

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