Meet a Member: Tammy Keith

When I think of communications professionals, one of the first names I think of is Tammy Keith of Arkansas. Tammy consistently wins honors in the Arkansas and NFPW communications contest. Last year in Alaska she tied for second place in the overall sweepstakes competition. She was honored as the national sweepstakes winner in 2011. Take a few minutes to get to know this unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Tammy Keith

Tammy Keith

Name: Tammy Keith

City and State: Conway, Arkansas

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Arkansas Press Women, and I am a past high school contest chairwoman.

Years a member of NFPW: Nine

Tell us a little about you.

I got my first reporter’s job at The Jonesboro Sun the summer before I graduated from Arkansas State University (Go, Red Wolves!). A tall, skinny guy sat at the desk behind me, and he was not my type, but he made me laugh. We’ve been married 28 years, and we have two sons, 26 and 23, and one wonderful daughter-in-law. He still makes me laugh. I am senior writer and columnist for the zoned editions of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state’s largest newspaper.

Any career advice you would give?

Don’t be afraid to ask any question or make any phone call. You never know what someone will tell you. Write every kind of story – from obituaries to sports. Experience matters.

Tammy Keith, right, accepts the 2015 Arkansas Press Women sweepstakes award from APW President Debbie Miller. Keith won the NFPW communications sweepstakes award in 2011 and Miller won the honor in 2010.

Tammy Keith, right, accepts the 2015 Arkansas Press Women sweepstakes award from APW President Debbie Miller. Keith won the NFPW communications sweepstakes award in 2011 and Miller won the honor in 2010.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Having math skills above a third-grade level would be handy. I’d like to be a mind-reader, if by talent, you mean super power.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere tropical, but only if my entire family could live there, too.

What book are you reading?

I’d love to say a Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, but I grabbed The Style Strategy by Nina Garcia out of my mom’s garage-sale books to read. Before that, I read Younger Next Year for Women — Live Strong, Fit and Sexy Until You’re 80 and Beyond. At 52, I’m looking for all the help I can get.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

People who haven’t read my column would be surprised to know I gave birth to my second son in the front seat of my car on the Fourth of July. I soon got a new car.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I enjoy being a part of a group of people who love the journalism profession as much as I do and work to make it better. I’ve learned a lot at NFPW conferences, and I’ve met people I’ll never forget.

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

The River Valley and Ozark Edition, for which I primarily write, is available online at http://www.arkansasonline.com/rivervalley. We have a Facebook page, too.

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