A Look Back at My Career

Last month I retired from the nonprofit where I’d worked for 16 years so that I could pursue creative endeavors. I’ll post more on those endeavors in the coming weeks, but before this year ends, I wanted to share a peek at my 30-plus years in publishing and communications. Here’s a look back at my career.

American Veterinary Medical Association, 1989-1993

I learned the basics at AVMA before computers became widely available. Each editor used a different colored pencil so others could determine who made the changes. We then cut galleys into strips and arranged text and images on dummy pages using pins to hold them in place. We measured things in picas and points. I’m glad I got to see all that before technology changed everything. On a different but related note, I became a lifelong vegetarian while at AVMA.

Mosby, 1993-1998

At Mosby Chicago and Mosby St. Louis, I worked on medical texts, test prep floppy disks, ancillaries, study aids–even the company’s first-ever CD-ROM product. I also switched from production editing to developmental editing. The St. Louis office had a staff development center where you could check out VHS tapes on learning software and time management, and I did so often.

Real Estate Education Company, 1998-1999

Back in Chicago, at REEC (a division of Dearborn Financial Publishing), I developed print and electronic products for the real estate industry. I worked there for less than two years, but I gained valuable experience in nonmedical publishing. I also met friend and drummer extraordinaire Robert Porche’ at REEC.

American Osteopathic Association, 1999-2004

At AOA, I gained the management experience I lacked previously, but more important, I transitioned the association’s peer-reviewed journal from print-only to online. The latter provided the experience I needed to land my best gig yet: managing an online web portal for surgeons.

American College of Surgeons, 2004-2020

Working on the ACS Web Portal was one of the biggest highlights of my career, and when portal technology became yesterday’s news, I became the College’s first-ever social media manager. Next, I helped launch the portal’s successor, ACS Communities, a members-only networking platform.

After 30-plus years in the field, I decided that it was time to pursue my own ambitions, so I left to do that. During those three decades, I made countless friends and got to do a lot of cool things, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I was given. That said, the past is done, and I’ve moved on to the Next Big Thing. Stay tuned.

8 thoughts on “A Look Back at My Career”

  1. I can’t even imagine what miscellaneous information is floating around in your brain after having edited all this variety of information. Thanks for sharing this. By the way, I too remember picas from a very old advertising job. Best wishes for what is to come.

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  2. After all these years, I still begin to explain my time at the AVMA with the explanation of why we used colored pencils. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I wonder if Pete still pulverizes his granola bars. I remember the condition of the paper copy after it was returned it to you. Good times! We should have written a screenplay. You were the only one who truly knew how to edit. Glad you continued on!

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    • So nice to hear from you, Kim! Good times, indeed. I think of those colored pencils as an early version of Word’s “Track Changes.” Thank you for reminding me about the granola bars (lol), as well as for your nice words. I’m glad to know you are doing well, and I wish you the best in 2021!

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