Posted tagged ‘American PressWorks’

Meet a Member: Carol Pierce

September 23, 2015

Carol Pierce has been one of the keys to our organization’s success for the past 18 years. She knows the ins and outs of our organization and is always willing to do whatever she can to make NFPW better. As she prepares for retirement, we look forward to have this unique and unbelievable member as an active member instead of handling the details behind the scene. I am honored to call her a friend.

Carol Pierce

Carol Pierce

Name: Carol Pierce

City and State: Falls Church, Virginia

Affiliate and any leadership positions: NFPW Executive Director since 1997

Years a member of NFPW: 18

Tell us a little about you.

I grew up on the plains in Texas and Oklahoma and learned to love big skies and vast horizons while establishing a deep and enduring friendship with my vivacious sister Susan.

My first job teaching language arts to 7th and 8th graders taught me to expect surprises.

My career in association management taught me to treasure people who volunteer their time to build vibrant communities.

Forming American PressWorks, Inc. with Tonda Rush 18 years ago taught me how to create something out of the sheer joy of solving significant problems with talented people.

Working with thousands of federation and association members throughout the U.S. in hundreds of fascinating venues provided me an opportunity to develop an appreciation for diversity.

With my wonderful husband of 48 years, I’m watching our accomplished son and daughter-in-law and their two perfect daughters thrive, and we are confident the future is in competent hands.

I am grateful every day that the reformed tradition I was born into is continually reforming and provides my connection to the life sustaining gift of unconditional acceptance.

When contemplating the probability for the success of any endeavor, I lean on the Queen’s remark in Alice in Wonderland, “Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast” (Lewis Carroll). Me, too!

From left, Gloria Watkins, Carol Pierce and Tonda Rush being honored at the NFPW conference in Alaska.

From left, Gloria Watkins, Carol Pierce and Tonda Rush being honored for their service to NFPW during the 2015 conference in Alaska.

Any career advice you would give?

Surround yourself with people you like and then do work with them that is the most fun you can imagine.

Which talent would you most like to have?  

I would like to be able to draw a recognizable anything.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would live right here. DC is beautiful and vibrant and filled up with interesting people.

What book are you reading?

I have recently finished Americanah a novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a good read and a must read. I liked it because it challenged my assumptions in a compelling and convincing way

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve been reading with one of my book groups for 39 years and my other book group for 25 years.

Why is NFPW important to you?

It has been my pleasure to work with remarkably talented NFPW women over the past 18 years. I’m smiling just thinking of the women who have served as president and have taken the time to let me know why NFPW is significant in their lives. These smile makers are Jean, Charlotte, Marj, Gwen, Linn, Vivien, Ella, Donna, Meg, Marsha, Cynthia, Lori and Teri. Bet that list makes you smile, too, as one or more of them likely paused along the way to give you a pat on the back.

I greatly admire those who are loaded with writing talent. One of my favorite parts of each NFPW conference is the final resolution because each is unique, well written, insightful, informative and hilarious.

Ways to contact you.

I would love to be friends on Facebook.


Meet a Member: Tonda Rush

June 30, 2015

For the past 17 years, Tonda Rush has worked mostly behind the scenes supporting NFPW through efforts such as the First Amendment Network and financially through matching grants to help NFPW grow. She is one of the organization’s biggest fans. She is part of the American PressWorks team that manages NFPW. Without her support and guidance, NFPW would not be where it is today. She also works tirelessly on behalf of First Amendment issues. Meet this unique and unbelievable NFPW member I am honored to call a friend.

Tonda Rush

Tonda Rush

Name: Tonda Rush

City and State: Arlington, VA

Affiliate and any leadership positions: NFPW Executive Office since 1998

Years a member of NFPW: 40 next year

Tell us a little about you.

I am an unrecovered journalist. I began my career managing a small weekly newspaper, segued into daily newspaper reporting and then went to law school, with the intention of returning to the newsroom with the sheepskin that said I really did know how to report on the courts and crime. (I had been the cop shop reporter.) But before I got back on that track, I was recruited by Jack Landau to join the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to head up a project for reporters being kicked out of courtrooms after a bad 1979 Supreme Court decision. I acquired a passion for First Amendment advocacy there that I have used later in my work on the legal staff of American Newspaper Publishers Association and as CEO of the National Newspaper Association. After Carol Pierce and I formed American PressWorks, Inc., and began providing management services to NFPW, I conspired with Marsha Shuler to create the First Amendment Network (FAN) and we have been a thorn in the side of those who would govern in secret for all these years, we fervently hope.

During my law and management careers, I have continued to write, helping clients with newsletters, writing small books on public policy and ghosting speeches for our client Presidents and directors. I think when I retire, I may find some small owner-operated newspaper and go back to covering local government. Reporting was the most fun I ever had.

Any career advice you would give?  

Don’t wait until you are old to lose your aversion to risk. I did not start my own business until I was seeing my first gray hair. Should have done it much earlier.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Tunefulness. I am sure I was meant to be an opera singer, but I must have stood in the wrong line.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Probably the mountains. Washington, DC, is built in a swamp. Unfortunately, it is where my work needs to be.

Tonda Rush, front right, enjoys a meal with NFPW members Betty Packard Voris, front row left; Carol Pierce, back row left; and Shayne del Cohen, top right.

Tonda Rush, front right, enjoys a meal with NFPW members Betty Packard Voris, front row left; Carol Pierce, back row left; and Shayne del Cohen, back row right.

What book are you reading?

At the moment, I am stuck on Louise Penny books. But I generally prefer historical fiction or readable biographies. Anything by David McCullough fascinates me.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?  

I crochet when I watch TV. It is hard for me to sit still that long otherwise.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?  

I have maintained a membership in the DC affiliate, but my heart belongs in Kansas.

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

I am active on Facebook. Befriend me. Lawyers who represent the press in Washington need friends!