Archive for the ‘NFPW’ category

Meet a Member: Mary Scott

May 17, 2017
Each year the NFPW Education Fund awards First Timer Grants covering registration costs to attend the NFPW annual conference. The grants are offered to encourage members who have never attended a conference before to participate in a conference. The first person to apply and receive a First Timer Grant this year is new member Mary Scott. She is a member of Missouri Professional Communicators. I hope everyone will take the time to get to know her now and welcome her to the conference in Alabama. Meet another unique and unbelievable member, Mary Scott.
Name: Mary Scott
City and State:  St. Louis, MO
Mary Scott

Mary Scott

Affiliate and any leadership positions:  Missouri Professional Communicators

Years a member of NFPW: one
Tell us a little about you.
My mother was “Lois Lane” and I’ve been telling stories since I was little.  Now I do it with sound and pictures in the form of video.  Wanting to go deeper, getting the “real” story, was a skill I learned early & it helped me raise 3 kids as well as get an Emmy nomination.
I really love hearing stories, particularly about new fields or women in non-traditional roles, then retelling those stories in shorter, more compelling ways for websites or social media.   I have a “backstage pass to the World” and I love using it.
Any career advice you would give?
Don’t ever say,”no” to yourself; that’s someone else’s job.
Which talent would you most like to have?  
I would love to be a lie detector.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Central Park West in New York
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I was a USO entertainer for three months after college.
I brought my 22 hour old baby to a Board of Education meeting in 1985.
Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?
Women look at things differently, and talking with each other broadens the picture even more.  I love getting new insights from other journalists here.
Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Meet a Member: Stephanie Geery-Zink

April 20, 2017

Stephanie Geery-Zink was one of the organizers of the 2011 NFPW conference hosted in Nebraska and Iowa. It was a family affair with her talented family joining to help with the celebration. She is a hard working professional and enjoys sharing her talents with others. Enjoy getting to know this talented, unique and unbelievable member of NFPW.

Name: Stephanie Geery-Zink

City and State: Lincoln, Nebraska

Stephanie Geery-Zink

Stephanie Geery-Zink

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Nebraska Press Women. I have served as president, past president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and Legislative/First Amendment (not necessarily in that order!). Helped organize the 2011 NFPW Conference in Council Bluffs/Omaha. I am taking a break from the NPW Board after serving for 16 years, but as a former treasurer I serve on the Finance Committee.

Years a member of NFPW: 19

Tell us a little about you.

I was a journalist from 1991-2009, worked in public relations, then made a jump to nonprofit work as a communications coordinator, and as a development director (fundraising) for Lincoln Community Playhouse for the past five and a half years.

My husband and I have been married for 23 years. Our daughter Schuyler is in her second year at the University of Nebraska College of Law (Class of 2018), specializing in international human rights and national security law. Daughter Keelin is a senior at University of Nebraska High School.

Any career advice you would give?

Keep your options open! You never know where life might take you, so be ready for any eventuality and pay attention to possible career changes. I could have never imagined when I was in the midst of my journalism career that I’d end up working in nonprofits, especially as a fundraiser but it has turned out to be a rewarding career change that draws heavily on my journalism and NPW/NFPW experiences.

Family members from left, Keelin Geery-Zink, Roger Geery, Schuyler Geery-Zink and Stephanie Geery-Zink

Family members from left, Keelin Geery-Zink, Roger Geery, Schuyler Geery-Zink and Stephanie Geery-Zink

Which talent would you most like to have?

My organizational skills are okay, but I could be much better at motivating myself to get more organized. My superpower choice would be never-ending energy.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’m pretty happy where I live now, but would love to be able to travel especially in Great Britain, Ireland and France.

What book are you reading?

“Quitter (closing the gap between your day job and your dream job)” by Jon Acuff and “Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home” by Anita Hill (yes, a book I picked up at the Arizona NFPW Conference in 2012, finally getting around to reading it!).

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I was scared of dogs all my life. Until Winston, an apricot toy poodle, entered my life almost three years ago. He was supposed to be Keelin’s dog, but we latched on to each other and are inseparable. Now I need to pet all the dogs. I am still a cat person too!

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

NPW has provided me with important career and leadership experience through serving as an officer of the organization and organizing conferences (special events planning). I have also made some incredible friendships.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc. I’m on Facebook! A lot!

Meet a Member: Natalie Hoefer

March 22, 2017

Natalie Hoefer is one of the newest members of both Woman’s Press Club of Indiana and NFPW.  She was one of the 13 members attending their first NFPW conference last fall in Kansas, thanks in part to an NFPW Education Fund First Timer Grant. Hoefer is a great addition to our organization. I hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better.

Natalie Hoefer

Name: Natalie Hoefer

City and State: Indianapolis, IN

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Woman’s Press Club of Indiana

Years a member of NFPW: 1

Tell us a little about you.

I am a Catholic who loves my faith. I have a passion for telling people’s stories and sharing information. I love to travel, and I have a gift for writing. So what more perfect job could there be for me than to be a reporter for a Catholic newspaper (The Criterion, the weekly paper for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis)! My job combines all of my interests and passions, including travel–the Archdiocese of Indianapolis encompasses almost the entire southern half of Indiana, covering 39 beautiful counties that I enjoy driving through to meet people with interesting stories to tell. I’ve been a reporter for the paper for four years.

For 21 years prior I was a software trainer but freelanced on the side. That career provided me with lots of travel and the joy of helping/teaching others, but nothing has ever been more fulfilling to me than what I’m doing now!

Demographically, I’m 47, married for a little over 9 years, and have the most adorable gray, blue-green eyed kitty named Percy who is attacking a milk jug ring around my feet as I type.

Natalie Hoefer and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Natalie Hoefer and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Any career advice you would give?

To young women: For any career you think you might be interested in, make connections young. Call someone in the line of work you’re interested in and ask to shadow them for a day, or at least ask for a bit of their time to discuss what a day-in-the-life is like for them, what skills are needed for the job, what education is needed for the job, what character traits are handy for the job, and how to best prepare for the career in question. For “more experienced” women, it’s never too late to change careers. I did, and I’m forever grateful!

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’ve got it–writing! 🙂  Otherwise, I do wish I could sing as well in the rest of the world as I do when I’m in the shower!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I really like it right here in Indiana–four full and beautiful seasons. I actually like the life and symmetry of fields, as well as the undulation of hills–both of which Indiana is blessed with.

What book are you reading?

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asberger’s by John Elder Robison (my oldest nephew has Asberger’s)

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a major introvert! I love meeting new people and can be very animated, so people are quite surprised when I say that I’m a huge introvert. Meyers-Brigg defines that as whether you are energized by people or need downtime after being around people. After being around people for awhile, I need to retreat and re-energize in solitude.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

WPCI (and NFPW) is more than a professional group good for networking and career assistance. That’s why I joined, but I found that these are women who care about each other and support each other in their careers and their personal lives. I did not expect such a sisterhood when I joined!

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

http://www.archindy.org/criterion

Meet a member: Verna Gates

January 17, 2017
Verna Gates

Verna Gates

The Alabama team is hard at work finalizing plans for this September’s NFPW conference in Birmingham. Verna Gates is a bundle of energy and is known for being a hard worker. She also has a talent in putting great professional tours together. She is using that talent to plan the NFPW pre and post tour in Alabama. She’s a character and participants should have a great time exploring Alabama. Meet this outstanding member and then register for the conference tours. 


Name:
Verna Gates

City and State: Birmingham, Alabama

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Alabama Media Professionals, COA 2009, Alabama, and  runner up National COA

Years a member of NFPW: 19

Tell us a little about you.

I was born with too much energy. My interests range from journalism to storytelling to ethnobotany (cultural study of plants).

My career started when I called a new cable news service every day until they let me answer the phones for two days. I left four years later. That’s how I landed on the start-up crew of CNN. My career has been a fabulous adventure. I was a stringer for TIME Magazine, Reuters, The Guardian, and still work for an NPR station as a commentator and special correspondent. When Reuters closed its Southeast bureau, I lucked out when I popped into the Alabama Department of Tourism to visit a friend. I found myself inviting my journalist friends on press trips to my beloved home state. It is a blast! And it is a lot more fun taking people to eat haute cuisine, drink fine wine and spin around in Space Camp than it is to cover tornadoes and felony trials.

The science part of my brain founded a non-profit in 2006, Fresh Air Family, that teaches outdoor environmental biology to kids and families. We cover the state, but are based at the second largest urban park in the nation with 1045 acres. In 2016, my tiny staff of three, plus as-needed naturalists, served 1,164 kids in our award-winning Gross Out Camp (it’s science but please don’t tell the kids) and 1,328 kids in our school field trip program, and 8,000 people on weekend field trips. In our camp program, nearly 60 percent of the kids come on scholarships. We work hard to change the world!

I am also a storyteller, having won the Biggest Liar in Alabama contest, twice. It is a tall-tale competition, but in the South, we call it what it is, lying. It is something I do just for fun. With my ethnobotany, I also speak quite frequently on plants and botany.

As I said, too much energy!

verna-bermuda-at-the-white-party

Verna Gates in Bermuda.

Any career advice you would give?

Always, always give it your best. When you always do your best, people notice. And they call you. TIME, Reuters, The Guardian and NPR – all called me.  So did Alabama Tourism. And keep re-inventing yourself. I must be on the 10th upgrade by now!

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to sing well.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I choose to live in the heart of American culture — the Deep South. Where we don’t hold back on the butter in the batter, we still hold doors open, and the kids say “yes, ma’am.” Alabama is also number 5 in biodiversity in the nation and for a nature nerd, it is nirvana!

What book are you reading?

I have a review copy of Hairy, Scary and Mostly Merry Fairies — a nature book for kids.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I played first bass in the all-state orchestra in North Carolina when I was a sophomore in high school. And I have won the lottery three times. I have the $16 to prove it!

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I get great leads, great info and have made lifelong friends. As a single person, my affiliate has been so supportive. When I had major surgery, they organized a dinner caravan that was a life-saver.

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

http://www.vernagates.com and Verna Gates on Facebook.

Meet a Member: Kathryn Cόrdova

November 30, 2016

Another dedicated, long-time NFPW member is Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova of New Mexico. She is always willing to help out and also one of the first to express appreciation for the hard work of others. I remember the  nice thank you note and gift she sent me after the NFPW conference in Idaho in 2008. I was impressed with her thoughtfulness. She is also a talented writer and teacher. She is also willing to share her talents with others. I am proud to call this unique and unbelievable member a friend.

Name:  Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

City/State: El Prado (Taos County), New Mexico

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Affiliate and Leadership Positions:

New Mexico– Past positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Communicator Of  Achievement Chair.

NFPW– Communicator Of Achievement Chair; Membership Chair; Student Membership Chair; POPPS Vice President/ Treasurer and President; NFPW Treasurer; and NFPW Second Vice President.

Years in NFPW: 27

Tell Us a Little About You:

I prepared for dual careers in Journalism and Education, as these were the times when women did not receive many opportunities in the newsroom.  Fortunately, I was able to work at both careers as a teacher and a freelance writer.  I have also served in editorial positions on community publications and professional newspapers and magazines.  Throughout the years, I have written four different columns, and continue to write one, “Know Your Neighbor” on a weekly basis for our community’s newspaper.  I have also contributed to and written books, mainly biographies.  Family is very important to me.

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Kathryn (Kathy) Cόrdova

Career Advice: 

People should work at what they enjoy and about what they feel passionate.  Doing so brings joy to the worker and those around him or her.  When one is happy, it is contagious and obvious in the finished product.  We are all lifelong learners, and as such, must embrace learning something new as much as possible.

Which talent would you most like to have?  Art.  The best I can achieve in regard to completing an art piece is to draw a stick doll.

If I could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love where I live right now.  I enjoy traveling, but it’s always a joy to return home.

 What book are you reading?

I’m an avid reader.  I just started the book Laci, about Laci Peterson, by Michael Fleeman.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As a Doctor of Education, I teach courses such as Children’s Literature and deep-thought texts.  As a former high school teacher, I taught American Literature. Therefore, it may surprise some to learn that I love to read and write (unpublished) what my dad used to call “trashy books.”

Why your affiliate and NFPW are important to you. 

An organization is only as good as its members.  I would never trade the friendships I have made, the people I have met, things I have learned and the places I have visited as a result of attending conferences, meetings, etc.  The networking is available to all the members, and it’s refreshing to note that the Press Women organization does not confine itself to only one small facet of the careers and interests of the members.  The broad base is very appealing.

What is the best way to follow you- website, Twitter, Facebook, etc.?  Much to the chagrin of my children, I do not follow social media.

 

 

Meet a Member: Cecilia Green

November 21, 2016

Some members make a conference more fun and one of those people is Cecilia Green of Illinois. She is a dedicated professional who is always ready to help others succeed. She is a dependable member and an injured foot didn’t even slow her down for the pre-tour and conference in Alaska. She is a unique and unbelievably talented member I am honored to call a friend.

Cecilia Green

Cecilia Green

Name: Cecilia Green

City and State: Bartlett, Illinois

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Illinois Woman’s Press Association, past president of IWPA. When I lived in Wichita, I served as president of Wichita Press Women, now Wichita Professional Communicators. I was privileged to serve on the NFPW board as public relations chair during Vivian Sadowski’s term as president.

Years a member of NFPW: 31 years

Tell us a little about you

I “rewired” in 2009 from 25 years of doing PR and marketing for nonprofit associations in Chicago to being director of an Arts Center in Bartlett with a gallery and studios for teaching artists and musicians. It is a volunteer position that keeps me very busy at least 4 days a week. I’m also on the Economic Development Commission for the Village of Bartlett and do PR for Bartlett Heritage Days. When I’m not working, my rescue toy fox terrier Tanner and I hang out or I travel to see my  kids.

My husband Darrell’s work at the Art Institute of Chicago takes him around the world and I’ve been fortunate to tag along in the past few year to Scotland, Ireland, India, Norway and Russia.  Jill Miller, my daughter, is an NFPW member, has her own consulting business and the Finishing School for Modern Women in Wichita. Jennifer Miller lives in Treasure Island, Florida and is a professional French horn player. Michael Miller and his wife Carla live in Lakewood, Colorado with my two grandchildren Sophia, 5 and Desmond, 7.

 

NFPW members Cecilia Green, right and daughter, Jill Miller.

NFPW members Cecilia Green, right and daughter, Jill Miller.

Any career advice you would give?

If you are a good writer, the world is open to you; so many opportunities in so just about any field if you know how to communicate. I always told students to  look at associations for professionals and trade associations if they want to be in the nonprofit world. It’s good pay for a fascinating career meeting business people from all over the world.

Which talent would you most like to have? 

I wish I was a better public speaker.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Closer to my family; we’re considering going back to Wichita when my husband retires in 5 years.

What book are you reading?

Just finished “The Girl on the Train” and am starting on Virginia Professional Communicators member Nancy Beasley’s “Little Lion.”

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That some people think I’m standoffish but I’m really very shy and don’t easily approach people I don’t know well.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

IWPA and its mothership are steadfast in holding to its values and mission. It’s one of the most supportive organizations I belong to. I look forward to its conferences every year.

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

Personal Facebook account and Arts in Bartlett Facebook

Meet a Member: Cora Weisenberger

November 7, 2016

A love for writing has helped shape a career for Cora Weisenberger. She has always loved to write. These days she is sharing her talents with Illinois Woman’s Press Association where she is president-elect and chairing the high school communications contest. She is dedicated and dependable and NFPW is lucky to have her as a member. Meet this unique and unbelievable member.

Cora Weisenberg

Cora Weisenberger

Name: Cora Weisenberger

City and State: Chicago Heights, Illinois

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Illinois Woman’s Press Association – Social Media Coordinator (2013-2015); High School Contest Chair (2015-2017; President-Elect (2016)

Years a member of NFPW:

I was a member from 1996 to 2004. After taking time off for graduate school and rebuilding my career, I rejoined in 2013.

Tell us a little about you.

It seems like it was always in the cards that I would be a writer of some sort; even as I kid I pretended to write novels (the subject was usually my long-enduring passion: horses). But it wasn’t until I got to high school that I thought about writing and journalism as a career.  The advisor for the school newspaper said she believed that I could write professional.  That was something that stuck with me.

Eventually, I received my undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in communications and journalism; and a master’s in journalism from the Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. In my career I have worked at a daily newspaper; a B2B publication, a direct-selling business and am now Communication Manager at The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional Association for real estate appraisers.

My husband, Greg, and I live in a suburb of Chicago with our sons David and Jonathan, and our two furry “children,” dogs Abby and Moonie.

Any career advice you would give?

Be flexible. The communications profession is unpredictable. No matter your skills set or your years of experience, you might find yourself out of a job or working in a new media that didn’t exist 5 – 10 years ago. No matter the format, good fundamental communications and journalism skills are needed. Be willing to try something new.

Cora Weisenberger in the rain at Niagara Falls with the American Falls behind her.

Cora Weisenberger in the rain at Niagara Falls with the American Falls behind her.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Anything athletic. I would have loved to have been in the Olympics, but I have no athletic ability whatsoever!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

In the country on enough land where I could have a separate studio for writing and art, and my gearhead husband and sons could have space for their hobby cars.

What book are you reading?

“Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World,” by Matthew Goodman.  Nellie Bly is a well known, but I had never heard of Bisland. In addition to their exploits, this book reveals how hard it was for 19th-century woman journalists (the same time IWPA was formed, incidentally) to get into the profession and to be taken seriously.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I own the farm that has been in my family from more than 100 years.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

They are both ways we can encourage the communicators of today as well as encourage future generations.

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

You can find both me on Facebook. I have a Twitter account but rarely tweet.