Neil Holdway's term as President of the ACES Board has ended

Neil Holdway's term as President of the ACES Board has ended

April 16, 2024 By ACES Staff

Neil Holdway's two-year term as president of the Board of Directors of ACES: The Society for Editing ended on April 6, 2024, with the close of the association's 28th annual conference, ACES 2024 San Diego: Unleashing Creativity.  

That doesn't mean Holdway's years of service are over. He is now past president of ACES, a nonvoting Board officer. In that capacity he also serves as the chair of the new Recruitment and Development Committee, and as such will coordinate the national Board elections with the assistance of the vice president for records.

"Since I first started at ACES, Neil has been a supportive, insightful partner," said Gigi Sutton, the ACES executive director. "I am so appreciative of his leadership and guidance and I will miss his steady presence." 

Celebrated in San Diego

Holdway's innumerable contributions to ACES were celebrated during the Closing Session of the conference. Incoming President Heather Saunders showed slides with accolades from past and present ACES leaders, interspersed with photos of him from over the years. 

"Neil was a fixture at ACES when I joined and I was immediately impressed with his quiet presence in the room," said Saunders during the session. "He's been generously giving of his time, energy, wisdom, sharp editorial eye, and industry insight since he joined the Board in 2005."

“Neil has been a strategic and stabilizing hand in the growth of both ACES and the foundation," wrote Teresa Schmedding, who served as president of ACES from 2010 to 2018. "His rare mix of math, grammar, and leadership skills has played a critical role in the success of the organization." 

Wearing all the hats

Holdway, who recently retired as deputy managing editor/late news at Daily Herald Media Group, has been deeply involved with ACES since at least 2005, as Saunders noted, when he became Board treasurer. He held that position until 2015, managing the association's finances, including the investments and bookkeeping. 

During that time he led the organization's website and database redevelopment, from 2012 to 2014. As a Board member at-large and subsequently, he had primary responsibility for online forms and systems. He led the redesign of the ACES' brand and website in 2016 and 2017.

He became an officer again when he served as secretary from 2017 to 2021. He also served as vice president for a year. He became president in 2022.

Consummate leadership 

Holdway is known for "his precision and grace," along with his "encyclopedic memory for the contents of every ACES Board meeting," as Alysha Love, ACES vice president for finance, put it. 

“Neil was an ideal mentor when I joined the ACES Board, sharing with me his mastery of the organization's finances, and his support was invaluable when I became Board president," wrote former ACES president Sara Ziegler.    

Fiscal savant

Holdway is particularly appreciated for his financial skills. 

“His coolheaded approach is reflected most clearly in his time as treasurer," wrote Mark Allen, ACES president-elect. "After the Great Recession and ensuing newspaper crisis, while other organizations were bleeding cash, our reserves grew, thanks to Neil’s stewardship. He’s the quiet math guy who saved ACES.” 

During his time on the ACES Board, Holdway served concurrently as treasurer of the ACES Education Fund, from 2005 to 2023. He remains on the Board of the ACES Education Fund, where his fiscal prowess is deeply appreciated. 

“Largely because of Neil, between his financial savvy and his far-ranging vision, both organizations are financially healthy," wrote ACES Education Fund past president Merrill Perlman, who is a current Board member. "If he ever decides he needs another career, he'd do extremely well as a financial adviser."

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