My first published article profiled a garage band of high school musicians preparing for their first big gig.
Filled with excitement and nerves before breaking out an original tune on stage, their months of hard work paid off. That initial performance was the foundation for a successful career of playing multiple venues throughout the Midwest, recording original music, and developing a strong fan base over the next several years.
At 16, to just tell their story was a thrill, no matter if the band and I were the only ones to read it. However, to have it printed in the special student writers’ section of my hometown daily newspaper — the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois — was truly incredible. It encouraged me to pursue becoming a journalist.
I studied the craft at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. I was able to secure a job writing for niche magazines at Lake of the Ozarks soon after college and worked as a journalist and editor in that region for more than 12 years.
During the last eight of those years, I served as editor of The Lake Today, a weekly newspaper that covered the tri-county Lake area and was owned by HER Magazine’s parent company, Central Missouri Newspapers, Inc.
In early February 2017, I accepted the job as the new editor of HER. My love for this woman’s magazine and the respect I have for its entire team — especially its late editor and leader, Shelley Gabert — is immense. I am honored to be a part of this publication, hope to continue its vision, and meet the quality standards it has set.
When I’m not working with the HER team in Jefferson City, I am back in Osage Beach. My spare time is filled with reading good books, walking down the endless trails of the Lake’s two state parks, binging on my favorite television series or classic movies, or trying to catch a bigger crappie than my husband, Timmy, on our local waters or nearby rivers and lakes.
Float and camping trips with friends, spoiling our nieces and nephew, and watching local bands perform are also on my personal priority list.
I have published many stories since I have become a professional journalist, but one thing always remains the same. The excitement to tell someone’s story and share it with others fuels my passion for writing.