In an age of fast-moving technology, a personal approach to service makes Taylor your ideal publishing partner. This is reflected both in our publishing plant and in my approach to the yearbook business.
First here’s why I selected Taylor for my yearbook rep career back in the early 80’s: they offered a professional approach to real world printing with educationally oriented materials. It was a good fit.
During the first 14 years I worked with and for Ron Binns (who retired in 1992) and then Ken Thornberry (who became a vice president of Taylor in 1999). In 1993, Ken and I won Office of the Year Honors, the most prestigious sales and service award Taylor gives. In 1999 I became owner/manager of the South Florida Office with two associates working with me.
I decided to “go it alone” in 2002 after I found that my travel schedule made staff management more time-consuming that I liked. Managing just me my way became my full-time job. That way is based on my journalism education, my teaching experience and my 25+ years of working with schools in South Florida.
I conduct journalism labs, leadership breakout sessions and professional etiquette interactive workshops at journalism conferences nationwide. The college, high school and middle school yearbook programs with which I have had the pleasure to work have consistently met their goals; whether it has been to earn top journalism awards or to sell more books or to meet all deadlines, the yearlong experience became one to be enjoyed.
I seek constantly to grow my knowledgebase:
- my own high school experiences in yearbook, newspaper and literary magazine at Duxbury High School in Massachusetts
- my college publication and classroom “learning” from both the University of Miami and University of Iowa where I won Outstanding Journalism Graduate of the Year honors
My teaching, advising and coaching experiences at
- Washington, (Iowa) High School, where I taught Independent Reading, Mass Media, Journalism, and advised the newspaper
- Attucks Middle School in Hollywood, FL where I taught 8th grade language arts and reading, coached swimming
- Nova High School in Davie, FL, where I taught 9th grade English, advised the Literary Magazine and the yearbook
- Boyd Anderson High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL where I taught 9th grade English, advised at various times the yearbook and always the newsmagazine which I founded, coached swimming
Availability to Customers
When we made that move in 2002, first to Merritt Island and then to the Beach, I set up a residence/office on Fort Lauderdale Beach which I just closed. Having lived in Fort Lauderdale nearly all of my adult life, this decision was heart-rending. But in July, I was able to realign my territory to focus on two basic geographies: Miami south of downtown to 180th and a northern area that starts at Okeechobee Boulevard in Palm Beach County and goes north to Titusville. I then moved my southern residence/office to the Pinecrest area just south of Coral Gables. That keeps me “local” on a regularly scheduled basis for all of my customers and potential schools.
Basically I work one week in the north and the next in the south, working with schools all along the drives back and forth. As this geography has been the bookends to the areas in which I have always worked, the driving is not a big deal. And the fact that I now have succinctly defined areas in which to function makes it even easier for scheduling my so-called life.
You can depend on me to make the next appointment with you as part of each work session; I design this schedule with specific tasks in mind that we will each have accomplished by the next work session together. I count on my advisers and my editors to keep me informed of their needs and their concerns. In that way we can work together to smooth out the process.
What I Offer
For each of my yearbook staffs, I am committed to providing:
• Production, design and computer workshops on an individualized basis
• Layout, copywriting suggestions based on the most current design trends
• Photography expertise, including basic shooting and digital technology
• All production and teaching materials necessary to complete your yearbook
• A comprehensive marketing, advertising and merchandising strategy to increase your yearbook and ad revenues
• Regular budget reviews to keep yearbook financing on track
• Personal inspection of each copy shipment before it is sent to our publishing plant either by FedEx or online
In each of our publishing plants, a manufacturing team will handle your publication’s pages from beginning to end. Each team has a close working relationship, ensuring your pages are handled with the highest care for quality and consistency, allowing for quick turnaround of proofs.
I also offer Life Coaching! Find out more.
In the interim I have “worked” as both a mom and a wife. John, Jason (JT) and Amy are “of course” now all grown up and married, but their formative years were spent while I taught and then rep’d for Taylor. All three have taken their goal-setting skills and value system from competitive swimming into the real world.
John, now married to Mary, lives in Lake Park, FL and serves as a lieutenant on the city of West Palm Beach’s Fire Department currently as a fire school instructor. He continues his lifeguard career part time for Palm Beach County on his off days. Mary, retired after years in store management with Pier 1, runs her vintage clothing business on eBay from their home. The happiest news here is the arrival of Marina Donovan Meskiel last October! If there is anything to be said here about the environment vs genetics discussion it’s that environment (and LOVE) win! Marina is a Meskiel-Donovan through and through. Whenever possible I spend Wednesday nights with them and John has dropped Marina off for us to play for a day a couple of times. Pictures of her and my other wonderful grandchildren are posted on my Facebook pages.
JT and his wife Natalie reside in Malibu, CA, where he has just closed his recording studio. Natalie likewise ended her career as a producer for the Style Network. JT is redesigning the mansion that he formerly used for the studio and will pursue that kind of project for a while until the economy settles down. Nat is busy running her property business in both Southern Cal and Hawaii via a cute little office she built at the house. AND she is a mommy again – Strider now has a little sister: Winter was born in late March – I was able to spend a few days with them in May and got to cuddle up her cute little self.
Amy and her partner Inge have left Berkeley (Amy graduated from Berkeley’s Pacific School of Religion this spring). Inge is now a clinical psychologist and professor at Stanford in Palo Alto. They welcomed Judah in November and so there’s grandchild #3!!! He is a wonderful child with whom I was able to spend some time last May … so bright and inquisitive … it’s fun to watch him change on Inge’s monthly blogs.
And my beloved Jim Macy has “retired” and moved us up to Melbourne Beach where he still manages condominium complexes, plays golf twice a week and serves as a golf ranger at our local golf course one day a week. He travels with me when ever possible and especially enjoyed a non-yearbook trip to visit Donna Prince Scott in Plymouth in early August. We had an over-due relaxing time after a stressful year-to-date (his hip replacement and my after-effects from an ecoli infection) by eating lobster, fried clams, etc., sitting around on Donna’s dock, riding around Duxbury, visiting with Joanna Conathon VanOrden, going to a Red Sox game and then taking Amtrak back to Florida. Don’t know what we enjoyed more; it was a fantastic week!
2010-2011 will be a challenge for us all. The Space Center is shutting down the Shuttle Program and that will effect our local economy critically. We have decided to take a pro-active stance on this. My Camp Wannamaka (which was described as “intimate” in its size and approach this July) will move to June, as soon as schools are out for the summer. Randy Stano, my long-time friend and recent adviser at the University of Miami, and I are undertaking a huge project which we will unveil at the CMA Convention in Louisville in October. And I am more actively involved in my Life Coaching than even, approaching it pro-actively as a strong possibility for my future. It’s a nice complement to my work with people in general.