Industry Involvement

At times it may be as entertaining as rounding up a pack of wild (or not so wild) horses, but being involved, volunteering and giving back to the community is always important.

SIG (Special Interest Group) Leader of Month-long Course

Topic: Writing for Trade Publications


Participants learned how to target an industry or trade publication, discover new markets, trends and niches while developing a plan to increase their trade publication income in 2016. 


2016 ASJA Writers Conference at The Roosevelt hotel in New York

Moderator, May 2016

Balancing Act: How to Pursue Passion Projects and Big Payouts

Panel discussion will cover:

  •  How to strike the right balance by treating your freelance writing career as a business while making time for writing that you truly enjoy
  • How to source different revenue streams including journalism, content marketing and public relations to have a successful career
  • How to evaluate projects and strike a balance from week to week
  • How to decide when to commit to a project and when to decline
  • What passion projects to take on and why
  • How to be a better negotiator

Prior to 2016...




President, IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT and Board Member, 2007-10 

Served on the board (2007-08) and then supervised as president (2008-09) and as past president (2009-10) the largest Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) chapter in the country with more than 400 members and $134,000 in reserve.

  • Led a board of 24 members including Chicago Tribune managing editor, Associated Press news director and CNN’s Chicago bureau chief.
  • Served as club spokesperson; responded to media requests on industry trends and issues.
  • Orchestrated the annual Peter Lisagor Awards media awards banquet for 300 journalists Chicago which included:
    • Find a new banquet location (Union League Club)
    • Coordinating more than 800 entries to be judged anonymously in four states
    • Crafting the first multimedia PowerPoint presentation for award recipients
    • Coordinating keynote speaker presentations
    •  Wrote the script for co-master of ceremonies
    • Gave a president’s “state of the journalism industry” address.
  • Ushered club into the digital age with new website and presence on social media.
  • Oversaw monthly programming including FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) events, “burger nights” at Chicago’s famed Billy Goat restaurant, and gave public assistance both monetary and via public indemnification to jailed journalist, Mike Anzaldi.
  • Wrote, on behalf of the Headline Club, and received a $15,000 grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation to assist investigative reporting projects. 



As president, my board and I led the Chicago Headline Club to a 2009 Circle of Excellence Award for First Amendment/Freedom of Information from the Society of Professional Journalists' national office in Indianapolis.

From SPJ headquarters:

The large chapter honoree for First Amendment and FOI activities is the Chicago Headline Club, which hosted its seventh annual First Amendment Forum in October. The topic of the event was “What do journalists want the next U.S. president and administration to do to insure a free news media?” and several panelists, including the Illinois First Amendment Center and local experts in FOI issues, attended. The chapter also assisted journalist Mike Anzaldi who was charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer. Thanks in part to the chapter’s efforts, Anzaldi was absolved of any wrong-doing.

Society of Professional Journalists
NORTH CENTRAL Florida Pro chapter

Founding BOARD MEMBER, 2005-07 

  • Part of founding board that created the North Central Florida Pro chapter to help the rural region that wasn't previously served by SPJ.
  • Creating local programming and helped to host and launch inaugural awards banquet.


Society of Professional Journalists
National Office

Founding co-chair, 2004-05 

  • Created and co-chaired the inaugural SPJ Freelance Committee.
  • Created online forum to assist freelance journalists on a national basis.
  • Organized and moderated three panels about freelancing at Society of Professional Journalists National Convention in New York.  
  • Alternated writing columns in Quill, SPJ's bimonthly magazine with co-chair.