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Volunteer of the Month
Volunteers are the backbone of Editors Canada, a member-run organization, and we are grateful for the many volunteers who answer the call when help is needed. On this page, you'll meet some of the dedicated people who keep Editors Canada going.
October 2016: Leslie Vryenhoek
Writer and communications professional Leslie Vryenhoek turned to editing later in her career, when she realized that an increasing amount of her work involved improving other writers' texts. She joined Editors Newfoundland and Labrador four years ago, when the twig organized a professional development and social networking event for local editors. She saw the event as a chance to reduce the isolation of her work, and she stayed on with the association.
Although she has a number of other commitments that can make finding time for volunteering hard, she always tries to participate in twig meetings and sessions because she finds the information and social connections to be rewarding. The twig's small size requires all members to help run the program of events. Leslie does her part by attending meetings and brainstorming sessions, taking notes, managing and updating the twig's website, and occasionally booking speakers and making arrangements. She's also presented a session called "Short Cuts: Editing to Any Length" and led an Editors Talk Shop session on dealing with difficult clients.
Her most memorable volunteer experience involves a session where editors and authors came together to discuss their experiences of editing a novel. It was an interesting session for Leslie in that it let her think about editing from the author's side. She enjoys helping to plan the twig events because she can suggest sessions that address an issue she's having or a topic she wants to learn more about.
Much of Leslie's work has been for non-profit organizations, especially educational institutions and international relief and development groups. She also edits fiction and non-fiction for publishing houses and individual authors who intend to self-publish their work. Between her work, family, book tours, writing festivals and research trips, she spends many weeks each year travelling.
September 2016: Roma Ilnyckyj
Roma Ilnyckyj joined Editors Canada in 2013 just as she was making a career switch to editing. Being new to the profession, she saw volunteering as a way to learn more about editing, meet other editors and stay current on developments and debates in the industry. She began her volunteer work in 2014 as Editors BC programs chair, where she organized and ran the monthly members meetings. Part of her responsibilities included finding speakers to give presentations to the branch members. In her time in this role she found speakers on such diverse and interesting topics as speech writing, forensic linguistics and closed captioning.
In 2015 Roma took on the role of branch chair, running the executive meetings and becoming the branch's main point of contact. She also helped plan the pre-conference activities for the 2016 Editors Canada conference. Roma admits that this task was the most challenging for her, as she had little experience with event planning and planning professional development workshops. With the assistance of a great volunteer team, she helped make the day a success. She in turn is amazed by the amount of time and work the conference volunteers put into the main event. "It was my first Editors Canada conference," she says. "And being involved in the planning made it that much more memorable."
When not volunteering, Roma is the associate editor at Talk Science to Me, a Vancouver-based science communications company that offers writing, editing and design services to a wide variety of clients. She is also enjoying first-time motherhood. Congratulations, Roma!
July 2016: Gone fishing
Like many of you are hopefully doing, the volunteer of the month will be taking a bit of a holiday this summer. We are, however, hoping to hear from committee chairs, branch exec members, and twig coordinators with nominations for the stellar members who are volunteering with them. Every Editors Canada volunteer matters, and every volunteer should be recognized. Please send your nominations to the chair of the volunteer management committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great summer, and see you in September!
June 2016: Tom Vradenburg
Tom Vradenburg is being recognized for his years of active service with Editors Canada and for his work to revitalize Editors Ottawa–Gatineau. He joined the organization in 1993, selling books at branch meetings and seminars. He stayed because he enjoyed gaining experience with group decision-making, as well as helping fellow members develop as editors and leaders. While serving as chair of the Ottawa branch in the mid-nineties, Tom proposed to the national executive council (NEC) the idea of publishing the Directory of Editors as an online database. He found funding for the project through the Ottawa branch. As a result, the ODE exists today because of Tom's innovative thinking and perseverance. Later, he helped in the push for the reform of membership policies, which were approved at the 2006 annual general meeting.
Tom returned as "temporary" chair a few years ago during a time when Editors Ottawa–Gatineau suffered from low member turnout at meetings and declining membership. He stabilized the executive, met with members of the NEC, and held town halls to consult with members. The consultations led to a shift to an earlier, more convenient meeting time and a shift in venue, which has yielded positive results. Tom has also doubled as program chair for the last year and a half. Today, the branch is starting to feel re-energized. The key reward, he says, is helping deliver good professional development for editors.
Tom has worked at Statistics Canada since 1995, doing copy editing for much of that time. He's now running a small communications unit with IT, working on such projects as amassing content for a new intranet site and reconfiguring the architecture of an existing site. In his free time, Tom volunteers as an umpire for the local Little League organization, serving as a representative for the league and the game.
May 2016: Meagan Dyer
Meagan Dyer is May's Volunteer of the Month for her work as a Conference 2016 communications coordinator. She and fellow coordinator Marianne Greer are responsible for creating, editing and disseminating all important conference details to Editors Canada members. Her colleagues state that Meagan has competently handled coordination with committee coordinators and members, volunteer translators, and the Editors Canada national office. Having volunteered in a communications capacity for other large-scale events, Meagan understood the amount of work involved and dedication required for the position, and she wanted to help in any way she could. Her favourite part of the experience has been sharing with the world the amazing efforts of the Conference 2016 team.
A member of Editors British Columbia for the past two years, Meagan has also participated in the branch's Blue Pencil editing sessions, where an editor is paired with an aspiring author. She finds it rewarding to help authors become better acquainted with the editing and publishing processes.
Meagan has been an editor for the past 10 years, moving from newspaper and technical editing to books. She works at Ronsdale Press in Vancouver and also as a freelance editor and sports writer. She is currently writing a book about Canadian ice hockey leagues for players with disabilities.
April 2016: Joanna Bandziorowski and Anne Godlewski
Joanna Bandziorowski and Anne Godlewski are being recognized as Editors Canada volunteers of the month for their efforts in coordinating and promoting Editors Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph. When the coordinator positions became vacant last year, they stepped in to ensure that Editors Canada would continue to have a twig presence in the KWG area. They've worked hard to provide networking and educational events for local editors. They recently co-hosted a successful networking event with the Canadian Authors Association, and they're currently planning more joint events and speakers for twig meetings. Joanna has also appeared on local television alongside Canadian Authors Association and Professional Writers Association of Canada members to promote Writing Wednesdays.
Joanna is an indexer, editor and writer with a varied background. Before editing professionally, she worked in public health, dental hygiene and digital radiography. She enjoys cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, gardening and fashion, and her knowledge in these topics has made her a great resource for her clients.
Anne joined Editors Canada in 2007 having already started her editing career. She worked as a biologist and a medical and technical editor before launching her own freelance editing and indexing business in 2013. When she's not working on scientific and technical texts, Anne is following her love of nature and plants by studying herbal medicine.
March 2016: Chrissie Mains
Chrissie Mains has been a member of Editors Canada for two years, and she joined the Calgary twig at its inception in February 2015. As one of Editors Calgary's coordinators, she helps oversee twig activities and shares social media responsibilities—she currently looks after the Gmail list and the blog. Last fall she proposed a workshop on style sheets and looks forward to being involved in future workshops. Chrissie views her volunteer experiences as a way to build a community for editors. "We talk about becoming a part of something when we join a group," she says. "But it's volunteering that makes that really true."
Chrissie began her editing career as an editorial assistant for a campus research group. She worked as a fiction editor for a while and then focused on teaching, which included essay writing instruction. She's recently returned to fiction and academic editing and plans to start her own business this year. Like many editors, Chrissie enjoys how editing allows her to look at both the writer's ideas and small details like punctuation.
February 2016: Sara Scharf
Sara Scharf joined the Toronto branch (Editors Toronto) executive as treasurer in 2013, and she's done much to organize the position and guide the team. By overseeing the budgets and financial records, Sara ensures that Editors Toronto remains financially viable so it can continue running high-quality seminars and programs for its members. Last summer, she conducted a member survey on the types of seminars they wanted. The survey had a high response rate and the branch has been using this feedback to design a targeted roster of seminars and programs for 2015–16.
Sara views her volunteer work with Editors Canada as rewarding. "Everyone else on the exec is motivated, creative and dedicated to making our branch run well," she says. "It's a pleasure to work with this kind of team." In turn, Sara's peers have taken note of her hard work, efficiency and good humour.
Sara currently works as a freelance editor and as a contract researcher at the University of Toronto. She's been editing academic materials such as articles, grant applications and PhD theses for more than 20 years. She earned her PhD in the history and philosophy of science and technology, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in engineering.
January 2016: Wendy Barron
In May 2015, Wendy Barron (Editors British Columbia) joined the association as a student affiliate to take advantage of discounted registration for the association's Editing Goes Global conference in Toronto. During the conference, two different speed-mentoring editors encouraged her to volunteer with the association. She took the advice to heart and has quickly become an integral part of Editors Canada through her work on both the student relations committee and the conference committee. Her first role with the conference committee was as a speaker coordinator, and when the social media coordinator had to step down, she took on that role as well to expand her online skills.
Wendy describes herself as "a recovering administrative assistant with a long history in health care, and whose work has always involved a fair amount of editing." She has been freelancing full-time for the past year. She is a generalist, editing fiction and non-fiction books, as well as business, health and academic materials. She is also a creative writer who is passionate about stories, and fiction is her favourite thing to read, write and edit.
December 2015: Anissa Bouyahi
Anissa Bouyahi became a member of the Québec/Atlantic Canada branch of Editors Canada in 2009. She has extensive experience in administration, communications and international cooperation, including writing and editing. Since 2012, she has worked as an advisor for an organization that assists people who are looking for work; among other things, she edits and composes CVs, cover letters and business cards.
She worked closely with Marie-Ève Laroche in managing the examen d'agrément general. Anissa became involved in this project as a way to recognize the profession, knowing that passing the test offers a seal of quality for all who work as editors.
In working for an organization that provides services for job seekers, she meets people who face obstacles in building their career profile. Her favourite part of her job is seeing their faces light up with a satisfied smile as they read their edited CV. That confirms what she already knows: editing is not just a frill, and working as an editor is a meaningful career choice.
November 2015: Marie-Ève Laroche
Marie-Ève Laroche rejoined Editors Canada in 2012, after a decade-long absence. She belongs to the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch and is a proud member of the Comité Agrément/Principes, which is creating the first editing proficiency exams in French.
She joined the Comité Agrément/Principes because she believed the editing profession would benefit from being better recognized and more valued. Further, she won her very first editing contract, a novel, thanks to her membership in Editors Canada.This prompted her to want to give back a little of what she had received.
Curious and passionate about literature and linguistics, Marie-Ève started working for a book publisher in 2001. First employed as the publisher's assistant, she quickly diversified into proofreading and editing. From 2004 to 2013 she was the literary editor at a book publisher. In 2013, she chose to offer her services as a freelance project manager, literary director and editor to keep expanding her horizons. She teaches manuscript publishing and editing at the Université de Sherbrooke and at McGill University.
October 2015: Ann Kennedy
Ann Kennedy became a member of Editors Toronto in May and has already taken an active role in the association. She volunteers with other members across Canada to promote the association's student affiliate status. This team of members has now officially been designated the student relations committee. Ann also volunteered for the Editing Goes Global conference in June, overseeing registration.
Ann began her career as an advertising copywriter. Much like editing, copywriting was a position that required attention to detail and accuracy. As she worked in various jobs, she found herself spending a lot of time proofreading. Her passion to continue developing this skill led her to her new career: editing. She is currently enrolled in the Editing Certificate program at George Brown College.
Her experiences volunteering with the student relations committee and at the national conference have taught Ann a lot about the profession. "Meeting editors from all over the world and finding out how warm and welcoming they are as a general rule really reinforced my decision to enter this new career," she says. After the conference she connected with other editors through Facebook, and she has been getting great insights by watching them collaborate with one another about real-life professional challenges.
"Every experience I've had volunteering with Editors Canada in the short time I've been affiliated with it has been terrific," she says. "The people I have met are so supportive of each other!"
September 2015: David Hedley
David Hedley volunteers for the Calgary twig, where he describes his role as "generalist." He has a broad range of skills to offer the group. His 30 years in the newspaper business encompassed stints as a writer, photographer, editor, page designer and web producer. "Having a broad skill set has made a huge difference to my career more times than I can count," says David.
There's always more to learn: in mid-life, David obtained a master's degree in professional communications. Now he's the managing editor of UToday, the daily newsletter at the University of Calgary. "I thought it would be cool to have a job helping to tell the world about research taking place at a university. My dream worked out!"
In June 2015, he attended the Calgary twig's inaugural social gathering and the Editing Goes Global conference. Numbers at the Calgary event exceeded expectations and organizers were encouraged by the support. "I love being part of a group of people working toward a common goal," David says. The conference confirmed for him that he'd "landed in the right place: Editors Canada."
David likes to dictate notes to himself on his smartphone while walking his dog Fiddes early in the morning.
August 2015: Joanna Odrowaz
Toronto editor Joanna Odrowaz has volunteered for several Editors Canada conferences, taking on such varied roles as working the registration desk and hosting sessions. She wore multiple hats in 2015 for Editing Goes Global, the association's first international conference. Joanna was the session host coordinator, organized the speed mentoring sessions, and also did some promotional writing for the conference e-news updates.
"The most rewarding aspect of my volunteering is the constant learning," she says. "Throw in the socializing, and you are doubly rewarded." Joanna likes to choose roles that stretch her abilities and allow her to dip her toes into areas that are new to her. She believes getting involved in the association has enriched her personally, and that it's the best way to meet editors and writers with similar goals and values.
An association member since 2007, Joanna edits medical, pharmaceutical and science material, such as reports, articles, manuals, PowerPoint presentations, and even placemats and CD covers. She has a degree in physiology and biochemistry, as well as technical writing and editing certificates from George Brown College and ESL/EFL teaching certificates.
July 2015: Catherine Baudin
Catherine Baudin joined the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch in 2010 because she wanted to be recognized as an editor and a proofreader. She is being acknowledged as the Editors Canada volunteer of the month for her work on the Comité Agrément/Principes (CAP).
Catherine was driven by the committee's mandate to develop a French editing proficiency program and to provide professional recognition for French-language editors. In 2013–14, she coordinated the committee's review of Principes directeurs en révision professionelle (the association's French-language editorial standards) and, "as official editor for CAP documents, wrote the new edition," says committee chair Sandra Gravel.
This spring, the association was proud to announce that the first French editing proficiency exam will take place on Saturday, October 17, at Université Laval in Quebec City.
Catherine worked as an editor and proofreader in a communications agency for more than 15 years. In 2013, she joined La Quintessence, a linguistic services company that specializes in writing, editing and proofreading.
"My volunteer experience has been so valuable," says Catherine. "Together with CAP members, I've done some incredibly fulfilling work. It's also a great way to improve myself professionally."
June 2015: Amy Haagsma
Amy Haagsma has been a member of the British Columbia branch for two years. Her editing career evolved out of a 10-year career in marketing, with an increasing focus on communications. Amy was a writer at the time, but found that her work primarily involved editing. "I was thrilled to have found a word to define what I did so I took an introductory editing course at Simon Fraser University," she recalls. "I decided to register for the Editing Certificate program, which I completed in October 2014." Later that fall, Amy started working for Talk Science to Me, a science communications company based in Vancouver. The position involves mostly copy editing and proofreading, in addition to marketing and graphic design. Amy says the variety makes for interesting work and the fact that it's part-time leaves more hours in the week for additional freelance work. To the benefit of the BC branch, Amy also has hours to spare as a member of the communications and social media committee, as well as editor of the branch's blog, West Coast Editor. She describes the work as rewarding and a uniquely good fit. "The roles I've taken on have been a great fit with my marketing background, and I've gained so much from my involvement with EAC, both personally and professionally."
May 2015: Linda Sherwood
Linda Sherwood is wrapping up her second term as co-coordinator of Editors Canada's Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph twig, a position she has held since 2013. She has belonged to the twig since 2012 and is being recognized for her commitment, enthusiasm and dedication in promoting the editing profession. She has helped manage twig-related administrative duties, organized monthly meetings, and, overall, stood out as "a role model and consummate professional," says co-coordinator Susan Gow.
"I was motivated to volunteer with our twig because I value the regular interaction with our group members and the opportunity to further my professional development," says Linda. "Most of all, I value the opportunity I've had to develop friendships with some really talented, knowledgeable and supportive fellow volunteers.
"EAC puts me in regular contact with smart, experienced and well-informed people—and gives us all the freedom to 'talk shop.' I have learned so many valuable things from my fellow EAC editors!"
A graduate of the University of Waterloo's Rhetoric and Professional Writing program, Linda began freelancing exclusively in 2005. She specializes in corporate writing and editing for the professional services industry as she enjoys the challenge of making technical, complex documents clear, enjoyable to read and persuasive.
April 2015: Christine Beevis Trickett
Christine Beevis Trickett has volunteered with Editors Canada for a number of years and has been a member since 2001. She has been named volunteer of the month for her part in founding the Calgary twig. As co-coordinator, Christine connects with local members to promote the association's newest twig and has assisted with the logistics of getting the twig set up. Prior to this, Christine was a founding member, co-coordinator and professional development coordinator for Editors Canada's Nova Scotia twig.
Professionally, Christine values her position as manager, editorial services for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), which, she says, "perfectly marries my lifelong interest in using words to share stories about nature and the environment." Christine is responsible for website and blog content, assists with website redesign, edits and proofreads newsletters, develops content for the NCC's annual series in The Globe and Mail, and produces the NCC's annual report, among many other varied tasks.
"No two days are alike," she explains. "I count myself fortunate to be working with talented and intelligent colleagues, for an organization that does meaningful work."
March 2015: Anne-Marie Deraspe
A member of the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch since 2002, Anne-Marie Deraspe is being recognized for her translation services and for being a valuable team member, says Editors Canada's director of francophone affairs, Marie-Christine Payette. Anne-Marie has translated material for monthly branch events as well as Editors Canada's 2013–14 Annual Report, and she has volunteered her translation services for the 2015 conference.
Anne-Marie began writing and editing after teaching French at a private school. She has a master's degree in history and more than 15 years' experience in research, copywriting, editing and translation for a variety of organizations. She is awaiting certification from the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ).
"I have very eclectic tastes and it shows in my work and projects I choose," says Anne-Marie. "I had an in-house position for five years, but have worked freelance since 1998. I love my job and have no regrets. I would not change anything."
She enjoys volunteering for Editors Canada because she has made contact with so many wonderful and dedicated people. "The fact that EAC is a member-run association means that everyone is working hard and is so generous with their time. It's just normal to try to give back to the association."
February 2015: Peter Moskos
Peter Moskos has been a valued member of the Editors' Association of Canada for 26 years. He originally joined the National Capital Region branch—as treasurer and program coordinator—to meet others who worked in the industry. "Serving in volunteer jobs put me in touch with some of the best editors in Canada," he recalls. "Working at the national level was especially useful for finding editors across Canada and learning about editing in different parts of the country." In 2004, Peter moved to Vancouver and served as chair of the branch from 2011 to 2012. Many members have read his work in Structural Editing: Meeting Professional Editorial Standards and taken part in his workshops and sessions at Editors Canada national conferences.
One of Peter's most marked impacts on Editors Canada has been his work on the certification steering committee, where he served as co-chair. In this role, he oversaw the development and pilot of the first certification tests, conducted research, represented the certification to the national executive council, and helped raise funds for the program. In June 2014, Peter was made an Honorary Certified Professional Editor for the role he played in the development of certification.
January 2015: Katherine Duncombe
A member of Editors Canada's Saskatchewan branch since 2012, Katherine Duncombe has consistently volunteered within the branch and is serious about pursuing a career in editing, says branch executive member Perry Millar. Last year, Katherine was membership chair and rebooted the monthly online newsletter. She currently acts as branch secretary.
Katherine completed a BA in English/Literature at the University of Saskatchewan and is now taking online editing courses at Simon Fraser University and working towards a publishing certificate through Ryerson University. She began freelancing full-time in November 2014. "I work on a variety of things," she says, "from journal articles to non-fiction books, but eventually I'd like to focus solely on books."
Katherine adds, "I first joined the association because I wanted to learn how to be an editor. I volunteered to work with the other executive members because they are great, knowledgeable people."
"Volunteering with experienced editors teaches me the ins-and-outs of editing. My experience on the executive has been fulfilling, and I learn something new every day, which was my goal when joining the association. I continue to volunteer because the experience and knowledge it gives me is invaluable."
December 2014: Laura Godfrey
Laura Godfrey is the Toronto branch's publications chair and editor-in-chief of its new blog, BoldFace, which launched in November 2013. Laura joined Editors Canada in January 2013 and leapt at the opportunity to take on the role of publications chair because it meant she'd be involved in the blog's creation from the ground up.
BoldFace features book reviews, career-change stories, café recommendations, Q&As with Toronto-based editors, and a monthly linguistics links roundup, "Nitpicker's Nook." Videos of the branch's monthly meetings are also posted to the blog for members who are unable to attend. Laura currently coordinates with Editors Canada volunteers to publish new articles for the blog each week, and takes great pride in the fact that not a week has passed without a blog update.
Laura's professional experience includes writing and editing for Torontoist and Quill & Quire, and copy editing for Toronto Life and Fashion magazines. In the spring of 2013, Laura began an exciting endeavour with Pagemasters North America, where she designs newspaper pages, writes headlines and copy edits for the Toronto Star. Laura is also the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly.
November 2014: Vanessa Bonneau
An Editors Canada member since 2012, Vanessa Bonneau is currently co-chair of the QAC branch. She acted as program chair for a year and a half and, according to branch administrator Karen Schell, "has been doing a great job with the monthly events, which typically combine networking opportunities and a guest speaker."
Vanessa values Editors Canada as her network of colleagues, saying "I'm freelance. It's super important for me to create and invest in a network. EAC is the main way I do this. I've met most of my colleagues through EAC and EAC events. Volunteering is the best way to get the most out of the association."
She developed the art of freelancing early, after graduating from King's College in 2008. She says, "Almost every job I've had has been through an EAC connection."
Vanessa adds, "I think of myself as a writer as much as an editor. These days I work half my week for the Montreal Gazette. I also do light journalism and copywriting, as well as academic and textbook copy editing."
Vanessa completed several Editors Canada workshops and comments on their value: "Workshops are wonderful for keeping skills sharp and meeting other writers, editors and translators. The leaders are always such professionals—it's inspiring!"
October 2014: Sandy Newton
Sandy Newton was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Editors twig, which received official Editors Canada recognition in 2013.
The twig started as an informal group that had begun meeting in St. John's approximately a year earlier, in what they called "Editors Talk Shop" sessions. The sessions were a way for other editors in the area to share stories, knowledge and camaraderie. "We wanted a way to meet kindred spirits and talk about all the details and decisions we bump into in our work," Sandy explains.
As the co-coordinator of a small twig, Sandy has a varied and important role. She is actively engaged in planning, brainstorming, issuing reminders and managing the listserv. She also drives in from out of town to attend twig meetings in St. John's—"all with a smile," adds her nominator and twig co-coordinator, Claire Wilkshire.
In 2012, Sandy received Editors Canada's Tom Fairley Award for Here's the Catch, a book published by Boulder Publications. Professionally, Sandy has mainly worked as a freelancer in a variety of communications roles. She has an impressive list of writing and photography achievements in addition to her accomplishments as an editor.
September 2014: Betty Anne Benes
An Editors Canada member since 2000, Betty Anne Benes serves as seminars co-chair of the National Capital Region branch and has coordinated an exciting lineup of seminars to be delivered on-site in Ottawa this year, meeting the needs of editors, government departments and businesses. In the past year she's truly "gone the extra mile," says branch chair Tom Vradenburg.
Betty Anne says, "I'm a firm believer in professional development and had attended quite a number of EAC seminars before volunteering to host some of them." Her role as seminars co-chair was a logical progression from attending seminars, to hosting them, to deciding to step up to this position.
"I quickly discovered that seminar attendance had been low for the past few years due to government cutbacks. It was challenging to find ways to get the numbers up and it was quite rewarding to see the results of our efforts at the end of the year."
She adds, "One of the most important things I enjoy about volunteering for EAC is the social aspect. As a freelancer (for over seven years), I feel it's important to avoid isolation. The position offered opportunities to interact with other editors on a regular basis."
August 2014: Aaron Dalton
Aaron joined the Prairie Provinces branch in 2010 and served as IT chair from February 2011 to May 2014. He also volunteered as the typesetter for the branch newsletter, Latest Edition.
Aaron didn't hesitate to put his skills into action when the branch needed help. "I've been really lucky," he remarks, adding that he's been fortunate to have gained experience in many different subjects. "I have lots of experience in computer science, and there was a need in the branch for some better ways to communicate. I volunteered to get the email aliases and branch mailing list set up. It's also nice to be able to help people with random technical problems. I don't know everything, but I have good Google-fu and feel good when I'm able to help somebody solve an irritating problem."
"The best part about volunteering is getting to know fellow editors, even if remotely," says Aaron, noting that most of the Prairie Provinces branch members are located in Edmonton, while he is based in Calgary. "I just feel like we all have different talents for a reason, and we need to share."
July 2014: Una Verdandi
A member of Editors Canada's Toronto branch since April 2010, Una served on the branch executive as communications chair for the 2013–14 year. While in that role, she worked with past publications chair Tammy Burns and current publications chair Laura Godfrey to develop and launch BoldFace, the Toronto branch blog. As the blog's assistant editor, Una took on diverse tasks like website design, writing, editing, story assignment and blog promotion.
"I enjoyed the work," Una recalls. "I was part of a little literary ecosystem that produced some very interesting, informative and entertaining content to boost EAC's public presence, dispel myths about editing, and show that editors are not just a bunch of stodgy old codgers—EAC attracts a lot of young, hip codgers, too."
Una also designed an online survey to capture information on how editors in the Greater Toronto Area use social media to stay connected to Editors Canada. The data has helped Una and her successor, Heather Kohlmann, design branch Facebook posts to bring people to seminars and promote Editors Canada membership.
June 2014: Namita Kumar
Namita Kumar joined Editors Canada's Toronto branch in 2010, switching her membership to the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch (QAC) upon her move to Montreal in 2011. "I attended the branch's first event of the year," she recalls, "and I found everyone so nice and helpful that I decided to get more involved. It turned out to be a fantastic way to meet people and to feel like I belonged."
Namita served as professional development chair (English) for QAC from 2012 to 2014. She also volunteered for a number of national initiatives, including the branding task force (2013–14).
Reflecting on volunteering for Editors Canada national initiatives, Namita feels privileged to "e-meet" people from across Canada. "It's so nice running into someone on the street after they recognize me from seminars or being greeted like an old friend on a teleconference by people I have not yet met in person," says Namita.
"I have also been lucky enough to benefit professionally from my involvement," she explains. "Both my in-house job and much of my freelance work have come about as a direct consequence of my volunteer work with EAC."
May 2014: Julia Cochrane
Freelance editor Julia Cochrane has been a member of Editors Canada for almost 20 years. She has belonged to the Toronto branch, the Prairie Provinces branch and the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch, and was a founding member of the Nova Scotia twig. Julia's extensive volunteer work at the national and local group levels has made an immeasurable contribution to Editors Canada.
At the branch level, Julia served as treasurer for both the Prairie Provinces branch and the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch. At the national level, Julia has been on the national executive council several times. She is currently in her first term on the council as regional director of branches and twigs (east).
What motivates Julia to volunteer? "Many reasons," she says. "Meeting people, I'd say, is number one." The other benefits are giving back to Editors Canada, travelling and the opportunity for networking.
Julia has been a freelance math and sciences editor since 1995 and has lived in Nova Scotia since 2001.
April 2014: Eva van Emden
Eva has been a member of the British Columbia branch since November 2009. Currently, Eva holds the position of webmaster for the branch.
Eva served on the BC branch executive as professional development co-chair, 2011–2013. During that time, she worked with two other executive members to bring the branch's executive handbook up to date. Eva was also part of the planning team for the first PubPro unconference, a professional development event for managing editors and publication production specialists.
When asked what motivates her to take on the work, Eva explains: "The BC executive is a great group of people. They have been a pleasure to work with." Eva adds: "EAC is very valuable to my professional success, so it's very satisfying to be part of providing great services to EAC members. Professional development is an important EAC benefit to me, so it's been very satisfying to help line up a program of great instructors."
Until recently, Eva also volunteered to edit descriptions of microloans on the website of Kiva, a non-profit organization that provides microloans to individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide. Eva retired from this position after editing a remarkable 1,000 loan descriptions.
March 2014: Carolyne Roy
A member of the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch since 2001, Carolyne Roy is currently French managing editor of Editors Canada's national magazine, Active Voice.
Carolyne's involvement with Active Voice began in September 2011, when, inspired to refresh the magazine, she became a member of the editorial advisory board. When Carolyne was offered the opportunity to become French managing editor in June 2012, she at first refused. She didn't feel quite ready, and thought she still had much to learn. Eventually convinced, Carolyne climbed aboard "to continue to learn along the way."
In addition to her work for Active Voice, Carolyne has served as volunteer coordinator for the 2010 Editors Canada conference in Montreal, and as director of francophone affairs for 2010–11. Outside of Editors Canada, Carolyne volunteers at her children's school, and regularly presents sessions to language students at the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit in Longueuil.
Carolyne's desire to learn motivates her volunteer work. "From taking down names to facilitating a meeting, volunteering instills something new in you: a learning experience, a new skill, more confidence; you become knowledgeable and wow, that's powerful. The confidence you gain from every experience will show at your next job interview. And that, just that, is worth millions!"
February 2014: Cat Haggert
February 2014 marks Cat Haggert's 20-year anniversary as a member of Editors Canada. This month, we celebrate Cat and her dedicated volunteer service to Editors Canada.
Cat began her volunteer work with Editors Canada as a member of the Toronto branch, where she held the positions of secretary, treasurer, chair, co-chair and past chair. Cat moved to Waterdown, ON, in 2008, at a time when local Editors Canada members were planning to form the Hamilton-Halton twig. With the formation of the twig in 2011, Cat became treasurer, a position she still holds. Cat also organizes the twig's monthly Koffee Klatches. The noon-hour gatherings, which are held at diners, pubs and restaurants in the Hamilton-Halton area, provide a valuable opportunity for members to connect and share ideas.
A freelance editor, Cat got her start with advice and recommendations from fellow Editors Canada volunteers. Her most memorable experiences as a volunteer have been those spent working with fellow volunteers. "Those remarkable moments come when volunteers display and use their passion and commitment," says Cat. "It is the feeling of being involved and engaged that is memorable and addictive."
Cat's volunteerism extends beyond Editors Canada, including work as a Beginning Instructor in Taoist Tai Chi, and as an interpreter at Westfield Heritage Village.
January 2014: Suzanne Purkis
Suzanne Purkis has been a member of Editors Canada and the National Capital Region branch for three years. Her first volunteer role with Editors Canada was as program coordinator for the 2013 national conference in Halifax.
When asked if she wanted to be involved in the member services committee, Suzanne jumped in with both feet, taking over as chair. Believing that member services should be a priority for a member-driven organization such as Editors Canada, Suzanne has brought ideas about improving the quality and diversity of services Editors Canada offers its members. Suzanne strives to make all members feel that their needs are being heard and addressed.
A self-reported "big believer in the value of volunteering," Suzanne feels it is an "excellent way to learn new skills, challenge yourself and get to know people you wouldn't otherwise meet." Volunteering provides opportunities to build one's professional network and, Suzanne believes, "it's a rewarding way to give back to your community."
Before she joined Editors Canada, Suzanne volunteered at the Ottawa Humane Society and at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. She is also currently the volunteer organizer of a local networking group called Ottawa Freelancers.
Want to make a difference in your association? Find out more about volunteering for Editors Canada.