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Meet the 2017 ACES board candidates

February 14, 2017 By ACES Staff ACES News

Seven ACES members are running for six spots on the American Copy Editors Society’s executive committee in the 2017 election. Candidates for secretary and treasurer are unopposed. The top four of five nominees for the at-large positions will be seated. All terms are two years in length.

The candidates are presented in order of the position sought and then in alphabetical order. Click on each name to see biographical information and their answers to questions about what they can offer ACES and what their ideas are for the future of the organization.

All information, including photographs, was provided by the candidates. Some candidates nominated themselves; some were nominated by other ACES members.

Electronic ballots will be available Feb. 15 to March 1, and voting information will be sent to each eligible member in good standing as of Feb. 1 via email. If you do not receive an email, please contact ACES Secretary Brady Jones.

Candidates

Treasurer: Sara Ziegler

Secretary: Neil Holdway

At large:



Sara Ziegler

TREASURER: Sara Ziegler, Law360 (incumbent – self nominated)

I’m a copy editor at Law360, a legal newswire.

saraziegler@copydesk.org

Nominee contributions to ACES:

I have been treasurer for the past two years, responsible for the finances of ACES. I have also helped run the headline contest and the ACES Education Fund auction.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate?

I take seriously my role as the steward of ACES’s finances. I want to be the best caretaker possible of our resources, and I strive to make my work transparent.

What do you envision for your future role in ACES?

ACES is on solid ground financially, and I intend to keep that going. I want to put our money to the best possible use for all of our members.


Neil Holdway

SECRETARY: Neil Holdway, Daily Herald (Chicago) newspaper (incumbent – self nominated)

Assistant managing editor/copy desk: I’m the lead editor at night overseeing and producing news front pages and the website, I help plan our front-page coverage, I help set and communicate policy and style, and I oversee nine copy editors.

nholdway@me.com

Nominee contributions to ACES:

ACES treasurer 2005-2015, then a board member at large. Education Fund treasurer since 2005. Worked on ACES newsletter 2002-13. Helped organize 2003 national conference in Chicago. Led redevelopment of ACES’ website 2012-14, and I’m the project manager for ACES’ 2017 branding and website update. I’ve led several training sessions for or on behalf of ACES, 2003-16.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate?

As treasurer I was a leader in the operations and record-keeping of ACES, and I will continue that as secretary. I’ve also had the technical acumen to ensure ACES’ website and all its online forms run smoothly over the past several years. I plan to help guide ACES’ future using members’ and fellow board members’ advice, and be a face of ACES nationwide.

What do you envision for your future role in ACES?

With ACES membership larger than ever and national conference attendance at its highest ever, and with our regional boot camps in demand, ACES must keep striving to provide excellent customer service and smooth operations for its members, and it must continue to tweak and update our training offerings to meet what editors of all kinds are seeking.


Samantha Enslen

BOARD: Samantha Enslen, Dragonfly Editorial (incumbent – self nominated)

Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial, an agency that offers copywriting and editing services to companies worldwide.

sam@dragonflyeditorial.com

Nominee contributions to ACES:

I’ve spoken at ACES events over the past few years. I’ve also been able to build Tracking Changes, ACES’ quarterly journal. I get to work with ACES members around the country to explore their ideas and develop content for the journal. I also manage its design and production.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate?

I’m a copyeditor who runs an editorial agency. That gives me two perspectives. Editing day in and day out keeps me focused on the tools and resources that working copyeditors need to do their job well. And the skills I’ve learned running a business translate into helping run our organization effectively.

What do you envision for your future role in ACES?

I think the biggest challenge facing ACES is our growth. Growing is good — but managing a big organization with a volunteer board is tough. Over the next two years, I’d like to focus on standardizing our operating practices and adding paid staff positions to better support member needs.

Over the next year, the ACES board will be working on strategic planning initiatives for the near- and long-term future. Thinking about the next 3-5 years, what three initiatives should be our top priorities and why? 

  1. First, I want to ensure that we offer prompt, efficient member support. That means we need a modern, easy-to-use website and member registration system. It also means we should consider hiring support staff who can help members with questions like, “I’ve lost my member number,” or “I forgot to sign up for the conference banquet. Help!” These are not glamorous duties, and implementing them is not a glamorous strategy. But we are growing, and we owe it to our members to make interacting with ACES easy, not annoying.
  2. Second, I want to develop an online resource base for our members. Currently, our website mainly houses news and event information. But how about a list of freelance rates? A downloadable set of proofreading marks? An index of style guides? I’d like our website to be a place where all editors can get current, relevant information about our profession.
  3. Third, I’d like to bring a greater focus on core skills to our conference: basics of grammar and punctuation, tips for creating a style sheet, ideal production workflows, and the like. I want members to leave our conference with tangible skills they can immediately apply to their work.

Sheri Gibson

BOARD: Sheri Gibson, Louisiana Art & Science Museum (self nominated)

Management of website, social media, digital and print publications, and exhibition and promotional signage; copywriting; graphic design; editing of internal and external documents

sgibson@lasm.org

Nominee contributions to ACES:

I attended this year¿s annual conference in Portland, and will be attending the 2017 conference in St. Petersburg, at which I will also be providing a presentation. I follow and engage with ACES on social media, and am also planning on enrolling in the Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate?

As the only editor for my organization, juggling many different types of duties, I have come to understand the significant value of ACES as a professional resource. I would be honored to share what I have learned and help others become more engaged with this wonderful resource and organization.

What do you envision for your future role in ACES?

I would like to help increase an awareness of the organization and a more wide-spread recognition of the importance of quality editing.

Over the next year, the ACES board will be working on strategic planning initiatives for the near- and long-term future. Thinking about the next 3-5 years, what three initiatives should be our top priorities and why? 

  1. The development of more active local chapters would strengthen our professional community through increased opportunities to directly participate in ACES and interact with others in our field. This would help elevate awareness and membership levels of the organization, but, even more importantly, it would aid professional development and support. Because of this, one of my top priorities would be to identify new ways to promote and facilitate the creation of active local chapters.
  2. Since it can be difficult for many to attend the annual conference and because of the growth of digital media, the addition of more regional Digital Bootcamps throughout the year would also be beneficial. Partnerships with social media associations could help increase attendance.
  3. Enhancement of the Job Bank would be another priority for me. Attracting businesses to recognize ACES as the top recruitment source for our industry, as well as an increased participation of posting by members, would be a wonderful benefit to individuals seeking new opportunities in their careers.

Nick Jungman

BOARD: Nick Jungman, University of Oklahoma (incumbent – self nominated)

I manage the department that includes the student newspaper and the yearbook at the University of Oklahoma. I also teach news editing.

nickjungman@ou.edu

Nominee contributions to ACES:

I have been a presenter at every ACES conference since 2011. During my term on the board, I have chaired the annual headline contest and created the new booklet that features the contest. I coordinated the ACES boot camps in Norman, Oklahoma, and Miami in 2016.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate?

I have 22 years’ experience as an editor and educator. I have been a passionate advocate for editors and their importance in any publishing environment. Much of my experience has involved exploring how editors’ roles must adapt as publications switch to digital platforms.

What do you envision for your future role in ACES?

The next two conferences, in Chicago and Providence, offer opportunities for ACES to expand its reach to new members. My background is in editing for journalism, but I see great potential for students to have careers editing in other fields, and I’d like ACES’ outreach to other industries to continue.

Over the next year, the ACES board will be working on strategic planning initiatives for the near- and long-term future. Thinking about the next 3-5 years, what three initiatives should be our top priorities and why? 

ACES must continue to beef up the training it offers and make sure that training is relevant to editors across industries and to editors at different experience levels. Similarly, we’ve made strides in recent years in making sessions at the annual conference more sophisticated, but there is more we can do. We have an all-volunteer model for leading both training and conference sessions, but our organization may be large enough now to invest in speakers and trainers, and that’s something we need to explore.


Maisha Maurant

BOARD: Maisha Maurant, Health Alliance Plan (nominated by Christine Steele)

I am HAP’s chief corporate editor and chief of website content. I manage strategists, writers and graphic designers to develop internal and external communications.

mmaurant@hap.org

Nominee contributions to ACES:

At the ACES 2016 conference, I participated on the Women in Management panel.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate?

I have more than 20 years of diverse communications experience. As a result, I understand the importance of copy editing in a variety of environments:  newsroom, nonprofit and corporate. This puts me in the ideal position to advocate on behalf of ACES’ varied membership.

What do you envision for your future role in ACES?

I would like to work with the board to create more resources for ACES members working outside traditional media. I also have a strong interest in growing our support of digital communications. Finally, I’d like to support our programs that focus on training young editors.

Over the next year, the ACES board will be working on strategic planning initiatives for the near- and long-term future. Thinking about the next 3-5 years, what three initiatives should be our top priorities and why? 

  1. We have to ensure that our members’ growth is keeping pace with the transformation of the media landscape. To position ourselves for career advancement or a career change, both new and experienced editors should learn skills across genres and platforms (e.g., digital). Success in this area will mean expanding our existing programs and resources.
  2. ACES does a great job at leveraging the expertise of our members to train other members. I’d like us to have a similar, sustained campaign outside ACES. We should be promoting them as educators, buying their books and driving traffic to their sites at the board level and as individuals. I’d like to work through the board to more prominently feature and actively pitch our members’ expertise. In return, ACES expands its influence and attracts more members.
  3. Sometimes, our members need person-to-person support as much as career resources. We should continue to grow our social network – leveraging local chapters and events, as well as our online communities. 

Heather Saunders

BOARD: Heather Saunders, Just the Write Type Editing (self nominated)

Editor and proofreader specializing in STEM and medical projects.

just.the.write.type.editing@gmail.com

Nominee contributions to ACES:

I am passionate about ACES and have attended every conference since becoming a member. Shortly after becoming a member, I became interested in encouraging more freelancers to be involved and volunteered to help develop the ACES Freelancer Directory and assist with updates. I participated as a trainer at the ACES Boston Boot Camp and as a guest on #ACESchat in 2016 and will be a session panelist at the 2017 conference.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate?

As the ACES Freelance Directory Coordinator and with three years of experience coordinating events for the EFA Boston chapter, I have experience contributing to a volunteer organization. As a freelance STEM editor, I can represent the growing freelancer membership, as well as editors specializing in STEM fields.

What do you envision for your future role in ACES?

As conference attendance has shown, the number of freelancers and editors working in non-journalistic fields is increasing. I envision continued expansion into offerings for other types of editing (fiction, medical, technical, etc.) and freelancers. Further, I envision increased interorganizational communication, which could present opportunities for growth and richer experiences within ACES.

Over the next year, the ACES board will be working on strategic planning initiatives for the near- and long-term future. Thinking about the next 3-5 years, what three initiatives should be our top priorities and why? 

ACES has developed a strong sense of community among editors from many different fields. I believe ACES can be positioned to enrich this sense of community by encouraging smaller meet-ups and increased involvement in local chapters so members can continually develop and collaborate between yearly conferences and regional boot camps. Also, ACES could continue to provide professional development by delivering more training and educational opportunities for intermediate and experienced editors. Further, it would be beneficial to encourage editors to consider how the changing faces of journalism and publishing are likely to impact their future.

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