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Volunteer of the Month (2016)
December 2016: Linda Dietz
Editors Saskatchewan is grateful for Linda Dietz's work as the branch treasurer and for taking over the position when it became vacant. Linda believed she would be a good fit for this role, having worked with the finances for the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan and for the Canadian Journal of History. There have been some challenges with reporting and moving from a fiscal to a calendar year, but she has enjoyed working through them.
Since joining the association in 2011, Linda has supported Editors Saskatchewan in other ways. In addition to volunteering as the treasurer and attending all executive meetings, she is an advocate for the workshops and programs run by the branch. She lists the branch table at Saskatoon's The Word on the Street as her favourite experience because she got to meet and talk with a variety of people. She also enjoys the company of her fellow members, people like her who love words, are not afraid to laugh, and make their work interesting and fun.
Linda began her editorial career as a research assistant for a micropalaeontologist at the University of Saskatchewan. At that time she also worked on the annual Saskatoon History of Review and helped her professor with his fantasy and mystery books. In 1998 she became the managing editor for the Canadian Journal of History and was responsible for designing, copy editing and proofreading each issue. Now retired, she enjoys spending her time quilting, writing and researching local history, and acting as an English tutor for a graduate student from Japan. Linda is also an avid traveler and has lived in Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands.
November 2016: Joanne Haskins
Joanne Haskins joined Editors Canada in 1997 and has volunteered her time generously. She cold-read the Editors Toronto newsletter, Edition, in 2001; wrote copy for Active Voice to promote the 2001 annual conference; designed, laid out and produced Edition from 2002 to 2003; proofread the 2003–2004 members' print directory; helped compile a reference list for members in 2007; and monitored the Interactive Voice forum from 2009 to April 2016. She currently volunteers as the Editors Canada members-only Facebook group moderator. Her duties include ensuring conversations are running smoothly, re-routing questions to the national office and making sure heated discussions are conducted with courtesy. It can sometimes be difficult to keep up with the volume of posts, but Joanne generally finds members to be generous and encouraging toward each other.
Joanne views membership as an active rather than a passive relationship; participating is a crucial part of being a member, especially if she can find ways to make the association stronger. In return, her volunteer experiences with Editors Canada have shown clients her commitment to the industry and her desire to develop new and existing skills. She also finds her fellow members, who are equally passionate about language and the association, inspiring.
An editor since 1988, Joanne began her career as an editorial assistant and then as a managing editor for a national trade magazine publisher. She learned every facet of the editorial and publishing processes from these positions, and she carries this versatility to her freelance business.*
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.