Posted tagged ‘Virginia’

Meet a Member: Sunni Brown

June 1, 2018

Sunni Brown has only been a member of NFPW for two years, but she is one who immediately jumps in and gets involved. She is active in Virginia Professional Communicators and has worked to promote her affiliate and NFPW. Her boss, Cynthia Price, is always singing her praises for all her efforts. Sunni is a talented professional and a great asset to both organizations. Take time to get to know this unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Sunni Brown

Sunni Brown

Name: Sunni Brown

City and State: Richmond, Virginia (originally from West Jefferson, NC)

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Virginia Professional Communicators, Social Media and Website Manager

Years a member of NFPW: 2

Tell us a little about you.

I am a mother, wife and communications professional. I graduated from Emory & Henry College in Southwest Virginia, and almost immediately entered the career world of TV news. I worked at an NBC affiliate in Bristol, VA/TN for almost three years as a producer, assignment editor, videographer and reporter. I then moved to Richmond, Virginia for a job at the NBC affiliate here. I worked at NBC 12 for five years as a reporter and anchor, primarily on the morning show. Due to the grueling schedule of broadcast journalism, I decided to switch things up and pursue a job in media and public relations. I worked at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles as the media spokesperson for three years. Since 2014, I have worked at the University of Richmond as the assistant director of media and public relations. Working closely with the STEM majors out of the School of Arts and Sciences and Richmond School of Law, I pride myself on communicating complex information in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. My efforts have resulted in placements in The New York Times, National Geographic, Voice of America and more.

Personally, my husband Travis and I have been married for nearly 9 years, and we have four children ages 6 and under – three boys – Bonnar (6) and twin boys Sully and Cooper (2) and one girl – Gigi (4).

I recently received my Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies.

Any career advice you would give?

Search out opportunities outside of your day to day responsibilities to advance your skills. For example, in my day to day job, I don’t do a ton of web and social media work. It’s a minimal part of my job; however, I know that down the road as I’m looking for career advancement, I know those skills will be important. It’s one of the things I love about being part of VPC. In serving as the web and social media manager, I am gaining invaluable skills. Most recently, I was able to figure out how to run our spring conference registration, including connecting it to PayPal, through our website for free!

Sunni Brown, left, sporting her Spider Proud shirt with Cynthia Price, her boss, who introduced her to VPC, and Lindsey Campbell, right.

Sunni Brown, left, sporting her Spider Proud shirt with Cynthia Price, who introduced her to VPC, and Lindsey Campbell, right.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Singing – hands down! I love to sing, but I can’t. I really wanted to be a country music star.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

San Francisco. It’s my favorite city – and the weather is so nice!

What book are you reading?

I just finished reading “A Man Called Ove.” It was delightful.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I love pulling this one out of my pocket at parties or for icebreaker games at networking events. I’m a virtual seismologist. As part of my graduate program, I took a science seminar on natural disasters, and one of the things we had to do was learn about predicting earthquakes. It was fascinating.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Being part of VPC and NFPW for only a few years has already allowed me to grow my professional skills, make professional connections and gain new friends. I love that the organizations are so diverse with writers, PR professionals, journalists and more.

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

@SunniBBrown

 

Meet a Member: Gloria Watkins

December 11, 2015

I became good friends with Gloria Watkins during the 12 years she has spent working for NFPW through our management team, American PressWorks.  She joined us on the Idaho pre-conference tour to Sun Valley and Red Fish Lake in 2008 and I enjoyed getting to know her even better. She has been a delight to work with over the years and I will miss her in the NFPW office as she retires and NFPW transitions to a new management team. Meet my friend Gloria. I am glad we can be friends forever.

IMG_0686

Gloria Watkins

Name: Gloria Watkins

City and State: Alexandria, Virginia

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Membership Services Manager, Contest Manager, Conference Registrar

Years a member of NFPW:

I have worked in the national headquarters of NFPW for 12 years.

Tell us a little about you:

I was born in Opelika, Alabama, and moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, when I was two years old. I left home when I was 18 years old and moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Navy Department. I then transferred to the Department of Commerce. I was married for 48 years to Donald Watkins, until he passed away in May this past year. My greatest accomplishments were giving birth to my son Michael and my daughter Korey. I have two handsome grandsons, Evan and Brett and a wonderful daughter-in-law named Sarah. I had not played a lot of sports as a youngster, but when I was dating my soon-to-be husband I realized that I should learn how to ski and play tennis because those were the sports Donald loved. We skied a lot and even honeymooned in Aspen, Colorado. But soon we gave up skiing for year round tennis. I played a lot of competitive tennis until I took up golf. Now that is the sport that I love. I also keep busy playing a card game called Hand and Foot (a form of canasta) and occasionally I play BINGO. I love playing any kind of game.

IMG_0723

Gloria Watkins, center, enjoys breakfast at the Snow City Café in Anchorage with Tonda Rush, left and Carol Pierce, right.

 

Any career advice you would give?

I think that you have to love your job in order to look forward to going there every day. It doesn’t matter how much stress you are under or what kind of day you are having, but when you answer the telephone, you have to put a smile in your voice. The NFPW members are very special to me and I have enjoyed many hours on the phone with them.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to sing. As it is, I cannot carry a note. I sing in the car when I am alone, but if my kids are in the car with me they beg me not to sing.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would like to live someplace warm. I cannot handle cold weather any more. Florida is a possibility or maybe Arizona.

What book are you reading?

I am reading The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman and just finished The Concrete Killing Fields by an awesome NFPW member by the name of Pat Morgan.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

When I was 4 ½ years old, my sister and I spent the summer tap dancing in the Daddy Dave’s Juvenile Review on Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After the show we would go to the main ballroom where Harry James and his band were playing. Harry James used to pull me up on the stage and twirl me around. For anyone not familiar with Steel Pier, it was a huge pier that jutted out into the Atlantic Ocean. People paid admission to go to the shows. The most famous act was a horse that used to dive from a platform into the water.

Why is NFPW important to you?

I worked for NFPW for two years before I finally was asked to attend the national conference in Denver. I remember how excited I was to put a face to the many names that I had been working with. It did not take long before these working relationships turned into true friendships. When my husband passed away, I was overwhelmed with all of the beautiful cards and hand written notes that I received from our members. Although I will be retiring in December, I know that I have made friendships for life.

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

I am on Facebook.

 

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: Gwen Woolf

August 4, 2015

Where do you begin to describe Gwen Woolf? If you want a task done professionally and right the first time, just ask Gwen to do it. I witnessed the professional and organized way she lead the NFPW communications contest for several years. That was a big job and she made the effort look easy. The past two years she has professionally handled the NFPW High School Communications Contest. I am amazed at her organization skills and how she can professionally handle everything she says she will do. On top of that, she is a great person, a talented writer and fun to be around. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member. I am glad I can call her a friend.

 

Gwen Woolf

Gwen Woolf

Name: Gwen Renea Woolf

City and State: Spotsylvania, Va.

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Virginia Press Women president 2008-10. I served on the board for years in a variety of positions, including communications contest director for four years; first and second vice presidents (membership, newsletter); district director; and conference director.  I’ve received the affiliate’s Distinguished Service Award and Communicator of Achievement Award. Thanks to Cynthia Price’s encouragement I’ve gone on to serve as NFPW’s communications contest director and high school contest director.

Years a member of NFPW: 43 years

Tell us a little about you.

Professionally, I’ve loved newspaper work since being co-editor of my high school paper. I was fortunate to be hired at The Free Lance-Star, the daily newspaper in Fredericksburg, Va., right out of high school. I spent my entire 42-year career there—as a reporter, copy editor, wire editor, special section editor and weekly magazine editor. (I was happy and challenged there, so why leave?)  I earned my B.A. degree in American Studies through 12 years of part-time classes at Mary Washington College while working full time.  I’ve received more than 75 state and national journalism awards. Since my retirement in 2010, I’m enjoying a new career of freelance arts and travel writing for such publications as Recreation News, The Virginia Sportsman, Boating Times, Chesapeake Bay, Civil War News, and a couple others.

Personally, I was a Marine brat, living in various states while growing up. I’ve been married for 42 years to Lee Woolf, who was hired at The Free Lance-Star as a sports reporter five years after I started working there.  My maiden name also was Woolf, so I’m actually Gwen Woolf Woolf! We worked together at the paper for decades until our retirements. We have traveled to such places as Africa, Australia, Scandinavia, the British Isles and France, and there are many more places on our bucket list. We chose not to have children, but have doted on our dogs and cats.  Two of my passions are staying in hotels (the bigger, more historic and more luxurious the better, but I’m fascinated by all of them) and animals (I adore all kinds of animals, am a longtime vegetarian, and a member of PETA—I feel strongly against exploiting animals in any way.)

Gwen Woolf

Gwen Woolf

Any career advice you would give? Follow your curiosity. Constantly look for ways to improve your work. Never lose your enthusiasm, determination or sense of humor. Work hard, but take time to enjoy the “little moments” with co-workers, for it will be those memories you cherish the most when you’re retired.

Which talent would you most like to have?  Interior decorator.  I have my own tastes (bright colors, wicker furniture, Oriental decorative items); I like rearranging my furniture (to my husband’s chagrin); and I enjoy home tours and watching HGTV, but it would be difficult to envision how to decorate someone else’s home from scratch.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Los Angeles, Calif. I love the warm weather, the entertainment business and all that Hollywood glamour. I’d love to have a first-hand view of “red carpet” events.

What book are you reading?  “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?”  Enough said.

Gwen Woolf, left, with other NPFW members at the National Atomic Testing Museum this spring following a board meeting.

Gwen Woolf, left, with other NPFW members at the National Atomic Testing Museum this spring following a board meeting.

What would people be surprised to learn about you? I’ve been a diehard fan of “General Hospital” since the early 1980s, when the love story of Luke and Laura was big. Tony Geary (Luke) recently retired and left the show, but I’ll continue to tune in, especially for my favorite character, Sonny Corinthos—the handsome mobster with the heart of gold.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you? Great friendships, and a sense of belonging to another “family.” The opportunity to grow professionally through conferences and holding leadership positions; to receive recognition through awards; and to travel to places I might not otherwise have seen. The chance to “give back” to the profession and organizations that have given me so much.

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

Facebook, LinkedIn.  I’m not big on technology, but am gradually “plugging in.”

Meet a Member: Sande Snead

July 7, 2015
Sande Snead with Roger Mudd

Sande Snead with Roger Mudd

NFPW has so many outstanding members who bring honor and professionalism to the communications field. One of our members who has served as affiliate president, is an outstanding communications professional and shares her talents with others in Sande Snead. She is always willing to help others. She is another unique and unbelievable member of our organization. Meet another outstanding woman I’m honored to call a friend.

Name: Sande Snead

City and State: Richmond, Virginia

Affiliate and any leadership positions: former VPW President, VPW Foundation Board Secretary

Years a member of NFPW: Joined in 1997

Tell us a little about you.

I have 30 years of experience in public relations, marketing and advertising and now enjoying the best work experience of my life as a consultant with Rhudy & Co. I work from home and have all of the interesting and challenging work I could ever want. I’m constantly solving problems. I have two grown girls and live in the city with the love of my life and our yellow lab.

Any career advice you would give?

Never lose touch with good contacts. Collect business cards, get LinkedIn, be friends on Facebook and stay in touch!

Which talent would you most like to have?

What a great question! I am a people pleaser and just wish I could figure out the right thing to do to make everyone happy — my Mom, my kids, my clients, my friends, etc.

Sande Snead interviews Governor Doug Wilder

Sande Snead interviews former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Richmond in spring and fall, the river in the summer and Florida in winter. And I do!

What book are you reading?

Wilbur Smith’s Assegai but also Donna Highfill’s Real People, Real Change

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I can still walk on my hands!

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

You know, I placed a lot more emphasis and importance on Virginia Professional Communicators and NFPW when I was president of the Virginia affiliate. I think I will get more involved again, but I’ve been focusing a great deal of my “free time” on raising money for blood cancer research for the Leukemia & Lyphoma Society.

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

http://www.sscommunicationsonline.com

https://www.facebook.com/sscommunicationsonline

Twitter: sandes1

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!

Meet a Member: Bonnie Atwood

April 7, 2015

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

Virginia’s Kim Loehr uses communication skills to help promote safety for two organizations

November 16, 2014

One of the highlights of hosting a weekly blog is getting to know some of the outstanding NFPW members better. I met Kim Loehr at an NFPW conference and was amazed at all her accomplishments and I just knew a portion of the things she has done. She is an outstanding communicator who is active in many worthwhile activities. My friend’s daughter-in-law was struck by lightning several years ago and she has been in a coma ever since. I applaud the efforts Kim is doing in helping raise the awareness of lightning safety. Kim is helping to make a difference in our world. Enjoy getting to know unique and unbelievable Kim Loehr.

Name: Kimberly (Kim) Loehr

Kim Loehr

Kim Loehr

City and State: Richmond, VA

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I’ve served as a conference co-chairperson for Virginia Professional Communicators (formerly Virginia Press Women).

Industry and community leadership positions:

Past president/current board member, United Lightning Protection Association (ULPA), Board member/registered continuing education course provider, Lightning Safety Alliance (LSA), Three term board director for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Virginia, Two term board director for the Richmond Catholic Diocese Advisory School Board, Alumnae class correspondent, Saint Gertrude High School.

Years a member of NFPW:

I think it’s been about ten years.

Tell us a little about you.

I’m married to the love of my life, Bobby Jones, who played professional hockey as a goalie for the Richmond Renegades many years ago and is now a partner at Westover Bon Air Insurance. Together we have five sons, (mine: ages 19, 21 and 28) and his (20 and 23). I’m a Richmond native, born and raised and still live and work in my hometown of Bon Air. I have a B.A. in Journalism from Radford University and would love to head back to school for a masters degree some day when I’ve finished educating the boys.

I’m working two full-time positions: vice president at Loehr Lightning Protection Co. Inc. in Richmond, and as communications director for the not-for-profit Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) based in Maryville, MO. My industry work includes serving as a partnership member on the NOAA/National Weather Service Lightning Safety Awareness Team. I’m responsible for PR efforts and events in connection with “National Lightning Safety Awareness Week” which NOAA sponsors annually each June. Before the campaign began in 2001, lightning was responsible for more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes combined. Meeting lightning victims who have survived horrific injuries has really changed my outlook about the industry and influenced the focus of my work. I’m pleased to say that our LSA Week campaign has been instrumental in reducing deaths, injuries and even property damage across the country. It’s work that I’m very passionate about. (Lightning deaths in the U.S. were at an all-time record low of 23 in 2013.) I was honored to receive a Certificate of Appreciation by NOAA in August of 2009 for “Personal dedication and outstanding contributions to the National Weather Services’ Lightning Safety Awareness efforts.

My love for journalism began at St. Gertrude High School, where I served as a youth correspondent for the “Young Virginians” section of The Richmond News Leader. As a teen correspondent, I enjoyed an introduction to interviewing, reporting and deadlines. (And yes, we typed on electric typewriters with carbon paper back then.) The community news assignments provided a sneak peek into an exciting world where I could meet fascinating people and learn about new happenings in the city. Oftentimes I felt like Nancy Drew (my childhood heroine) heading out to solve a mystery; especially the time I worked “undercover” on a story about modeling scams in Richmond. The youth correspondent experience helped pave the way for other freelance jobs I took over the years, including writing and designing the Pulse newsletter for the Virginia Department of Health and writing for my community newspaper, The Chesterfield Observer.

Kim Loehr during an interview for the Today Show.

Kim Loehr during an interview for the Today Show.

While I enjoyed reporting, I discovered that I LOVED public relations and marketing. My first high profile job in PR was as marketing communications specialist for small appliance giant Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex. While at HB/PS I wore many hats, serving as a copywriter, PR manager, trade show coordinator and marketing representative. I wrote just about everything imaginable, including: press releases, box and catalog copy, corporate statements and speeches, magazine ads and even “Use and Care” manuals for the appliances. When family obligations forced me to leave my full-time position, the company kept me on as a freelance copywriter and then offered me a spot as the on-air company spokesperson for home shopping networks, QVC and Value Vision. The gal HB/PS had hired was smart and lovely, but she didn’t know how to use the appliances and didn’t know a thing about cooking — you just can’t fake that stuff in an eight minute live TV spot  As a copywriter, I typically took the appliances home so I could work with them, learn the feature/benefits, do a little recipe development for the PR angle and also manage to feed hungry kids. So, when HB/PS was in a panic for a new on-air spokesperson, I was waiting in the wings–apron on and ready to go. It was an awesome experience and my kids got a kick out of seeing me cook on TV.

Any career advice you would give?

I’m probably the worst person to give advice, but I do have a great work ethic, so I can see that quality has really paid off in my career. My advice to young people: work and act with a sense of urgency. Write your to-do-list and get it done It sounds so basic, but sometimes it seems as though the sense of urgency to make a decision, finish a project, complete a budget, etc. has become a lost art. I’m a doer so I tend to get impatient when there’s too much debate and not enough action. I also think it’s important to be flexible, open-minded, have a sense of humor, roll with the punches and never burn bridges. I’ve worked in male-dominated industries most of my life, and since I’m surrounded by raucous guys at home, it’s safe to say that I’m not easily shocked or offended.

Kim Loehr being interviewed by a Tampa TV station.

Kim Loehr being interviewed by a Tampa TV station.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I really wish I could sing. I love music and have a great memory for lyrics and songs, but my husband says my singing is “challenged” even though I performed in choirs and Glee Club as a youth. It would be really nice if I had the “tech-savvy” gene that my youngest has, too.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

In my mind’s eye I see myself living in a little cottage on the water in a quiet little river town–or maybe in a cozy log cabin in the mountains. I love nature and the outdoors, and the older I get the stronger the urge to find that quiet little place in the sun.

What book are you reading?

I just finished reading White Oleander by Janet Fitch and found it to be a heartbreakingly honest and gripping tale of raw humanity. The story was told in a believable and compelling voice that really touched me. I picked this paperback up at a yard sale, so it was a definite score. I recently started reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It was a gift oldest son, who no doubt had an ulterior motive. (I have to admit that the book is speaking to me in ways, I hadn’t expected.) I gravitate toward fiction because it’s my favorite escape, but family members keep giving me self-help books as “gifts,” so what does that tell you?

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I think people who don’t know me might be surprised to learn that I love to dance (grew up taking ballet, tap and jazz). My secret wish is that I could become famous just to land a spot on my favorite show, “Dancing with the Stars ” I also love to cook and make my own pasta sauces and salad dressings which are pretty popular with friends and family. In my “former” life, I was a single mother, so I have great respect and appreciation for mothers who go it alone. I’ve walked in their shoes and understand the tough sacrifices we mothers have to lovingly make for our children. Oh, and I think it would surprise some of the gals to know that I have a passion for sports and used to play softball on rec leagues in college and then later in life for a women’s church team.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The networking opportunities and the friendships are so important to me. I always leave a VPC or NFPW conference feeling energized and pumped up to conquer my next career challenge. Membership has provided the opportunity to meet and connect with a diverse group of smart, energetic, brave, savvy and kind women. I’m in awe of talents and accomplishments of these women and so enjoy reading and hearing their personal stories—some of these women, especially the “trailblazers” are truly amazing. They are such an inspiration and even though our views sometimes differ on topics and politics, I adore my fellow NFPW members and cherish our time together at conferences and events. I loved Marianne’s biography of the NFPW presidents. I read it on the plane ride home from Utah last year and just savored every story. I love reading Teri’s blog, too. Wow, do these women rock.

Ways to follow you:

Website: lightning-risk.org

Facebook: Building Lightning Safe Communities, Loehr Lightning Protection and personal page

Twitter: Kimberly Loehr @lightningkim

Email kiml@lightning.org

Award winning writer and editor Julie Campbell shares passion for history through leadership

November 11, 2014

She is the NFPW student membership chair and is looking for students to join affiliates and participate in the communications contest. The post is a natural with her experience at Washington and Lee. When I think of Julie Campbell I think of her first book “The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History,” and the much deserved honors awards she won for the effort. She is a talented writer and editor and I am honored to be able to call her a friend.

Name: Julie Campbell

City and State: Lexington, Virginia

Julie Campbell

Julie Campbell

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Virginia Press Women, now called Virginia Professional Communicators. I have served as the affiliate’s president, vice president for membership, and now treasurer. For NFPW, I’m the student membership chair and a member of the Education Fund board.

 

Years a member of NFPW: 15

In a couple of paragraphs, tell us a little about you.

I was born in Boulder, Colorado, and grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have a B.A. from Arizona State University and an M.A. from the University of Arizona, both in history.

I started my publishing career in Denver, Colorado, working first for a lifestyle magazine and then for trade magazines for the plastics industry. With that valuable experience, I moved on to a satisfying career in historical editing, first at the Arizona Historical Society, in Tucson, and then at the Library of Virginia, in Richmond. After state budget woes led to the demise of the magazine I edited, Virginia Cavalcade, I wound up at Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia. I started out editing the alumni magazine and am now the associate director of communications and public affairs.

I love the communications field, but I had my favorite job ever during my college years: three summers as a camp counselor in Prescott, Arizona. I have stayed in touch with the owners, and if I ever need a summer job again, I’m calling them up. I still remember the goofy songs and how to make biscuits in a Dutch oven over a campfire.

Any career advice you would give?

Keep in mind that anything can happen. I sure never expected to be working in university communications, but then I sure never expected to be laid off. The transition into a new field was rocky at times, but my unexpected career eventually blossomed into something I truly enjoy.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Singing. Or dancing. How about both? On Broadway.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

New Orleans from November to April; Santa Fe the rest of the year.

What book are you reading?

I just finished The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver. After I read the last page, I closed the cover and marveled out loud, “Barbara Kingsolver, how do you do it?” Next up is Family Linen, by Lee Smith. I have been on a Lee Smith kick this year.

Julie Campbell, right, with her good friend Marlene Cook at an NFPW conference.

Julie Campbell, right, with her good friend Marlene Cook at an NFPW conference.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am a proud graduate of the Katharine Gibbs School, the once-famous, now-defunct secretarial school. After college, I took a two-month course at the Gibbs branch in New York City that provided practical job skills for liberal arts graduates. You were supposed to get an entry-level job as a secretary in your desired field and then move up. It worked; my first publishing job was as a secretary at Colorado Homes and Lifestyles magazine, in Denver.

 

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The educational content of our state and national conferences is useful and interesting. My involvement on the boards of both organizations is helpful to me professionally, and I like working to keep us strong and relevant. The best part, though, is the friendships. At this year’s NFPW conference, I made it a point to spend extra time with people I see only once a year, to get to know them a little better. That gave the conference an extra glow that I’m still carrying with me.

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

Website:       JulieACampbell.com

Twitter:         @anniemac1900

Facebook:    The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History

Personal page

Motley shows NFPW loyalty, delivers marketing strategy on national level

April 16, 2014

She is a popular national speaker, has over 200 professional awards and helps national clients communicate better. In her spare time, she will publish  book soon. What an awesome, unique and unbelievable NFPW member.  Meet Christina Motley.

 

Name: Christina M. Motley

Christina Motley

Christina Motley

City and State: Raleigh, NC

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

North Carolina, previously Virginia affiliate. Previous positions include NFPW conference host (helped plan the conference when it was in VA), High School Communications Contest coordinator, three times VA Sweepstakes Winner and contributor to newsletters and held a board position years ago.

Years a member of NFPW: since 1992

Tell us a little about you.

As CEO and CMO of Christina Motley, LLC—a Triangle North Carolina-based strategic integrated marketing and communications company—Christina and her team deliver Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) services on demand and on point marketing strategies WHEN & WHERE™ national clients need it.

Her management and marketing expertise in both corporate and agency environments, combined with her education, allows Christina to bring a unique perspective and unusual breadth and depth of knowledge to help clients build brand loyalty, foster customer engagement and drive new business.

Her leadership in operations, sales, talent acquisition and human resources has benefited many clients, including many the top Fortune 500 brands and earned her over 200 awards and accolades for leadership, creativity, writing, management, entrepreneurship and marketing.

A popular keynote speaker and member of the National Speakers Association, she provides dynamic presentations on leadership, marketing strategy, team building, content marketing, social media, writing and other topics designed to motivate, celebrate and empower her audiences.

Christina Motley

Christina Motley

As a successful writer, her articles have been published online and in print in regional, national and international publications.

Her first book–The Greater Roanoke Region: Your Open Door to Technology, Education and Scenic Beauty– won first place state and national awards from the National Federation of Press Women and continues to generate awareness and tourism for Roanoke Valley, Virginia.

Her third book–Reflections of a 150 Year History:  Roanoke County, Virginia Fire & Rescue– is scheduled for release in 2014.

She serves on the Board of Advisors for EntreDot, TransformED Leadership, Inc. and Career Pro, Inc. She remains active in a number of industry associations both nationally and locally and regularly volunteers in the community.

A South Carolina native, who spent most of her life in Virginia, Christina lives in Raleigh, NC with her daughter, Morgan M. Maccherone, and their dog, a Golden Retriever named Bella.

Morgan graduates this spring as valedictorian of the largest high school in Wake County.  Christina’s greatest compliment is that Morgan calls her the “World’s Best Mom.”

Any career advice you would give?

Get involved early. I started with a Girl Scout newsletter, high school newspaper and college paper. It has served me well. I also believe you have to give to get and am a huge advocate of internships.

Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could play the piano by ear.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Vancouver Canada

What book are you reading?

I practice daily reflections from A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson. Professionally I just finished Seth Godin’s All Marketers are Liars.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a self taught chef and an expert downhill snow skier.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

NFPW is the first professional association I joined so I feel a sense of loyalty to it. It  represents freedom of speech, the expression of writing and the importance of good, effective communications. As a professional writer and marketer with degrees in journalism and English that is of utmost important to me.

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

New media
Website: http://www.christinamotley.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/christinamotley
Blog http://www.christinamotley.com/blog/
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/CMMarketingInsights
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/christinamotleyllc
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/christina-motley-llc
LinkedIn  http://www.linkedin.com/christinamotley
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/105894678948573766177/posts
Resources http://www.christinamotley.com/resource-registration/