Maisha Maurant Organizational Change Consultant Editor and Writer Number of years in editing: 20 years
Why do you choose to serve on the ACES Executive Committee?
I love being able to give voice to the diverse needs of our members and develop initiatives to support them. It also gives me an opportunity to promote our members and their expertise. In doing these things, I'm also able to support our industry continuing to grow. I am also having a great time working with my fellow executive committee members. They’re fantastic – professionally and personally. They really care about doing their best for ACES.
What is your favorite ACES memory?
There have been so many great times. If I have to pick one favorite, it’s from my first ACES conference. It was already special to be back in Portland after interning at The Oregonian in ‘95. At the conference, I ran into two of my personal journalism rock stars – Alex Cruden and Rich Holden. I grew up at the Detroit Free Press where Alex was copy desk chief. He helped me grow into a journalist and an editor. I had not seen him in years. It was wonderful to reconnect. I was also excited to talk with Rich. As an alum of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund editing internship, it felt great to share with him that I was now chief corporate editor at my organization. It was awesome to be able to thank them both again for their guidance and support. With our recent loss of Rich, I am so glad I got the chance to do that.
How do you balance your time as an editor with your time serving on the ACES Executive Committee?
We’re fortunate to have great engagement from committee members and other ACES members who get involved in our initiatives. So when I get busy with my day job, there’s great support from others to keep us moving forward. It also takes patience. Some things we move very quickly on. Others may take a little longer as we balance our commitment to ACES and other responsibilities.
What advice do you have for others who are looking to serve in a leadership role?
I greatly encourage it! Working on the Membership committee and then joining the executive committee has allowed me to get to know ACES and contribute to it in a completely different way. As I’ve worked on behalf of ACES, I have met so many more of our members, learned a lot and built great relationships. I would start by volunteering with one of our initiatives, submitting as session to present at the conference or suggesting new activities you would be willing to work on. Those are great ways to get more deeply connected with the organization and meet others while committing a manageable amount of your time.
What city/state do you live in? If someone was visiting your city/town what is one place you would recommend they visit?
I live in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. If you're in the area, you must go on a tour of the Motown Museum. It spreads across two homes that Berry Gordy bought in the 1950s for Motown Records. The tour guides make it interactive and extremely entertaining as they tell the story of the historic label and its stars. It's cool to see the costumes the Supremes and other acts wore and the albums on the wall that showcase all the music they produced. You’ll be in the original studio where the hits were recorded and see furniture they kept from that era, including the vending machine where a teenage Stevie Wonder bought Baby Ruth candy bars all the time.
Are you interested in serving on the Executive Committee?
ACES conducts elections each February for its Executive Committee. The number of positions varies by year, as the officer and board positions are staggered.
Nominations are accepted Dec. 15 to Jan. 15 each year. Voting takes place Feb. 15 through March 1 each year, by members in good standing as of the previous Feb. 1. Information on the candidates is posted online before voting begins.