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.
Whether it was painting-by-number, making handmade Mother’s Day cards from construction paper or crocheting a scarf or potholder, since I was very young I have always enjoyed creating art in any way shape or form. After enjoying the drawing, painting, sculpture and other art courses in high school and college, I finally took my first Graphic Design class and immediately fell in love. I graduated from Columbia College in Columbia, MO with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design in 2008. From then on I worked at a design and screen print shop in Columbia, MO as the Lead Graphic Designer / Operations Manager. In late 2016 I decided I was ready to return to my hometown of Jefferson City where I began my graphic design position at the News Tribune.
In my free time, I love nothing more than to spend my time with my loved ones. The people in my life are my inspiration and my strength. I love to laugh, to dance, to cook a new meal, to enjoy a beautiful day and to put smiles on others faces. My 5-yr-old Golden Retriever, Buddy, is a big part of my life and also one of my biggest fans.
Being a part of HER magazine is such a pleasure and honor. I am extremely proud to work with a publication that focuses on wonderful women and the beautiful and incredible community that I live in. I strive to make my contribution to the magazine the best I can and to preserve the legacy, beauty and everything positive the magazine stands for.