Mark Allen Mark Allen Editorial LLC Number of years in editing: 30 years
Why do you choose to serve on the ACES Executive Committee?
Besides just being part of the fun, I wanted to represent the interests of people like me — displaced newspaper journalists who turned to freelancing and needed a new support network. One of my first thoughts after being laid off was, "I should go to the ACES conference." After the Minneapolis conference, I said, "I am going to make this part of my professional development every year." I ran for the board in 2011 and lost, but I got enough encouragement that I ran again in 2012 and won a spot.
What is your favorite ACES memory?
Sometimes I think of ACES conferences as a collective feeling rather than a series of memories. I've met so many amazing people through the conferences and through ACES membership in general. I suppose a highlight was helping to put on the St. Pete conference and having it actually be a success. But spending a few moments thinking about memories brings back many great moments, all made possible because ACES members generally are bright and convivial and a joy to be around.
How do you balance your time as an editor with your time serving on the ACES Executive Committee?
Poorly. One is usually more fun and emotionally rewarding than the other. I've always believed that we don't have to always love what we do (hopefully, we at least love it sometimes), but that we can find a greater sense of purpose outside of our work life. I try to keep myself on target, and I hope to answer questions 5 and 6 quickly so I can turn on Toggl and start some billable work.
What advice do you have for others who are looking to serve in a leadership role?
Don't wait for the staff or members of the elected board to get you involved. We'd love to recruit you and give you a job, but we're just not that good at it. It's always been easier to do something than to find someone else to do something. But I think ACES is a really well-run organization, and it should be easier now than ever for people to pitch in and play a role. Just let Abbi or any of us know what your interests are. Then step up and be the leader you want to be.
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 Bexley, Ohio, which is a small city within the boundaries of Columbus, Ohio. I'd recommend you visit me and we can take it from there. If not before, do it for the 2023 conference, which will be just a few miles from my house.
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.