Candidates’ Statements for the 2018 EFA Annual Election

Election results will be announced at the 2018 annual EFA meeting and buffet supper:

Wednesday, June 20, 6:15 to 9:00 p.m.
EFA office, 71 West 23rd Street, 4th floor conference room, New York, NY

EFA bylaws prohibit any member serving the EFA from receiving compensation of any kind. All members of the Board of Governors are volunteers, as are EFAers who support board-sponsored activities.

If you have any election comments or questions, please email secretary@the-efa.org.

Electronic ballots will be emailed to EFA members. Voting will close at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern daylight time), Wednesday, June 13. 

The 2018 Candidates

All nominees are EFA members in good standing. For the co-executive and secretary positions, candidates must have been members for twelve months as of the election/annual meeting, or at least since June 2017.

Co-executive (July 2018–June 2020)

Two co-executives serve staggered terms (one is elected each June) to manage the EFA in all its organizational aspects, preside alternately over board and executive meetings, and represent the EFA in most business dealings.

Christina M. Frey
It’s an exciting time to be an editorial professional. The way the world communicates is shifting rapidly, but the flexibility to keep pace is one of the perks of freelance life—something Christina has experienced firsthand through her work with Page Two Editing (www.pagetwoediting.com). Now, as an editor, speaker, and literary coach, she specializes in helping both novice and experienced writers to develop and refine their authorial voice.  But focusing on one’s own business doesn’t address the needs of the wider freelance world, and that brought Christina to her first board position in 2014. During her past two years as co-executive, Christina has developed a deeper understanding of how the EFA evolves to better support its members—and how members continually step up to ensure their organization remains technologically, professionally, and socially aware. She hopes to continue moving the EFA forward to meet the changing needs of the editorial community.

Secretary (July 2018-June 2020)

The secretary keeps the minutes of the board meetings; communicates with the membership about the annual election, including calls for nominations and voting announcements and reminders; tallies and publishes the annual election results; and participates in executive committee meetings.

Joy Drohan
“The more I give, the better I feel.” I heard someone say this recently and it resonated with me. I’d like to serve as EFA secretary to give back to this organization that provides thousands of far-flung writers and editors with so many opportunities for education and networking. I’ve greatly enjoyed and benefited from the in-person interactions I’ve had with fellow word nerds through the EFA. I’m still in touch with some of the people I met at Ruth Thaler-Carter’s Communication Central conference a few years back. For 23 years I’ve specialized in writing and editing about environmental and agricultural science. I work with federal and state land management agencies, colleges and universities, publishers, private companies, and individuals. I’ve served for the past two years as secretary for the parents’ group at my daughter’s school, where we are fresh off our first-ever, surprisingly successful fundraising 5K race.

Members at Large (July 2018–June 2019)

Up to seven MALs represent the entire EFA constituency. MALs assist with the board’s ad hoc committees, special projects, and standing committees, and participate in all board business. MALs report to the board in person or remotely eleven times a year.

Jesse Aylen
Jesse Aylen is a Manhattan-based freelance writer, editor, and content consultant. Prior to embarking on the freelance life in 2017, he worked across the agency and publishing house realms, from book contracts at William Morris Endeavor to editing pop culture for Crown Archetype, a Penguin Random House imprint. He graduated from the Denver Publishing Institute. As a freelancer, Jesse works with clients including literary agency referrals, memoirists, and first-time novelists, and has consulted on content for leading literary websites, magazines, and cultural institutions. Should he be chosen as a MAL for the EFA’s board, he would be honored to engage on the standing committees as needed, particularly focusing upon the Newsletter, Website, and Publications areas, and to contribute to the guidance and mission of the EFA at large.

Dave Baker
Several years ago I founded Super Copy Editors LLC, a boutique business proofreading service based in New York City. We have a team of 10 hand-picked freelance editors, including some terrific folks who exited the newspaper world. In addition, in 2009 I launched Petful, one of the nation’s leading pets web properties, now visited by nearly 1.5 million readers a month. In a previous life as a news designer at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, I recruited and led a makeshift layout team during Hurricane Katrina—by generator power and under one of the most stressful work situations you can imagine. The entire staff shared two Pulitzer Prizes for our efforts following the hurricane. I would be thrilled to serve as a MAL to help further strengthen the EFA.

Bob Faszczewski
I have been an at-large member on the EFA board for the last two years and currently I manage the association’s LinkedIn Group Page. I am a former legal content editor for top global legal publisher LexisNexis, and a former 40-year community publications reporter and editor throughout New Jersey. For eight of those years I was a freelance reporter for TAPInto.net, which provides online hyperlocal news of government, school boards and other governmental bodies in more than 50 communities. Additionally, I have been a freelance copywriter for CMM Strategic Communications in Wayne, New Jersey and J&R Communications in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Clients included a major real estate brokerage firm and a top accounting firm. I now am offering my freelance writing and editing services to government entities, businesses, non-profit organizations and budding authors.

Michelle Guiliano
Michelle Guiliano began her indexing career in 2014, intending to specialize in science and medicine indexes.   She participated in a mentorship program while launching her freelance business, Line by Line Indexing.  Fast forward several years, Michelle has indexed more than 45,000 pages in over 125 books in subject areas such as the natural sciences, medicine, mathematics, equine science (her passion), history and psychology.  Michelle is active in the indexing community, planning the American Society for Indexing’s New England chapter meetings and acting as manager of ASI’s Science and Medicine Special Interest Group.  If elected as a MAL for EFA, she would apply her creative talents and get-it-done attitude to promote and support the work of freelancers.

Kelly Johnson
Kelly Johnson is an author, content curator, and public relations rock star! She is a conduit for success with a proven track record for connecting ideas to people.  Her skills attract many well-known and talented actors, singers, celebrity chefs and other professionals to gain exposure and visibility for their projects. As a project manager for over 15 years, her expertise includes social media, executive relations, planning, instruction, skills development, and business communications. In 2010, she created the Atlanta Black Book Expo and hosted it at the Georgia International Convention Center.  Over 500 published authors arrived to showcase their literary work.  Award-winning author Sheila Moses participated as a special guest and speaker. Kelly hopes to bring exposure to the Atlanta area, which boasts many talented writers, entertainment executives, publishers and literary agents.  She would be instrumental in increasing membership, developing creative workshops, and opening doors for more sustainable partnerships.

Marisa D. Keller
I have been editing and proofreading fiction and nonfiction for more than ten years. Editing newspapers taught me the rules of style; editing fiction continues to teach me the possibilities of the written word. I am fascinated by language as a tool for self-expression, communication, and imagination. I enjoy the autonomy of freelancing, but I also like to collaborate. I want to be part of the work the EFA does to provide resources and connections for freelancers. In addition to my editorial skills, I’m an active listener; I stay calm and organized in stressful situations; and I can see more than one side to any issue, including the Oxford comma. I offer my imagination, patience, and dedication to the MAL position.

Jocelyn Kerr
After seven years as a full-time freelance writer and editor, Jocelyn signed on as a newspaper editor and managing editor with Community Impact Newspaper, then served as editor-in-chief of an award-winning association magazine. She continues to use her journalism, publishing and MFA training as a freelance copywriter and developmental editor for corporate clients, nonprofits and book authors. Her work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Texas Meetings + Events, Writer’s Market, The Writer, Backstage Magazine, DRAFT and numerous online and regional publications. She edits, trains and consults with writers at LiveWriteWork.com.

Denise Larrabee
I would like to serve as an EFA MAL because, having been a member for three years, I want to do more to support an organization that has given me access to great educational resources and welcomed me into a community of editors. I have worked as a freelance editor and writer for over twenty years, specializing in nonprofit publications, young adult books, and children’s books. I also have an MA in American Studies and experience editing literary and academic anthologies and journals. However, it is my experience working and volunteering for nonprofits that will most benefit the EFA–experience in fundraising, publicity, editing newsletters and other publications, and project management. I have a reputation for meeting deadlines, being a team player, and following through on my commitments. I have the time and enthusiasm to devote to this position, and I welcome the opportunity to serve.

Rudy Leon
I’m a fairly new editor, with just under two years under my belt. I work primarily with academic materials in the social sciences, focusing on books and dissertations. I have a long history of national service participation in my previous career (academic librarianship), and I recently joined the EFA Education committee. EFA has been so valuable to me, and I want to give something back. I bring commitment, follow-through, and new eyes to the organization, as well as a deep curiosity.

Sangeeta Mehta
I am currently serving my second term on the EFA board and would be honored to serve a third. One of my proudest achievements since becoming a MAL was launching the EFA’s first Diversity Initiative (https://www.the-efa.org/diversity-initiative/); I look forward to continuing to co-lead this group and support marginalized voices within and beyond the EFA. I have also enjoyed heading the EFA’s first PR group. Prior to starting my editorial services company (www.mehtabookeditingnewyork.com) in 2011 and joining the EFA in 2014, I worked as a reader/project manager for two literary agents and as an acquiring editor of children’s books for Little, Brown and Simon & Schuster. Although I don’t miss the corporate life, I did miss the camaraderie when I first became a freelancer and am so grateful to have found this in the EFA. If re-elected, I hope to explore new ways of growing this aspect of our incredible organization.

Chris Morton
I’m a promotions person. Perhaps you’ve read my articles about guerrilla marketing or profile enhancement in the Freelancer, or my posts about website refinement. Or perhaps you’ve visited my LinkedIn profile and have read one of my long-form Pulse articles about self-promotion, MS Word, PC security, making LinkedIn work for you, or some other topic. EFAers have praised me for helping them out. “Chris has been such a knowledgeable, generous provider of advice and information on the [EFA forum] and through the newsletter…[he spoke] at this year’s “Be a Better Freelancer”® conference… His lively, practical presentation was a big hit… His tips on maximizing a digital presence, branding, and related techniques were invaluable.” (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, Owner, Communication Central); and “I always pay attention to [forum] posts from Chris because his technical background provides important depth and perspective on the business of editing.” (Nicole Balant, Copy Editor). Read others: www.isntthatwrite.com/paying-it-forward/

Ruth Mullen
I’m completing my second term as MAL, and this year I served on the Executive Committee, which reviews budget requests. I manage the EFA’s Facebook page, which has over 10,200 followers, and if re-elected, I will work on integrating our presence on social media platforms and bringing us visibility where we are currently underrepresented or absent (look us up on Instagram!). I’ll seek ways to increase networking opportunities and promote inclusivity. My own “freelancesume” is eclectic: it includes editing, copyediting, and software editing for HBJ, Holt, Random House, and McGraw-Hill; story analysis for film producers; reading for a literary agency; clerking in a bookstore; and being a personal assistant to a writer. I coordinate the NYC Metro chapter, participate in the Diversity Initiative, manage EFA’s table at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and volunteer at BookExpo and other events. I’d love to work with and for you again in the coming year.

Luann Reed-Siegel
Luann Reed-Siegel has been a freelance editor since 1989 and a member of the EFA for six years. She is currently a MAL and as chair of the Events Committee coordinates the EFA’s booths at conferences and literary events. She is a past editor of What’s New at the EFA, part of the committee that planned and ran the 2016 EFA Conference, and an EFA representative at Book Expo America, the Writer’s Digest Conference, the Romance Writers of America Conference, and the Self-Publishing Expo. She has contributed articles to the Freelancer newsletter. In addition, she is a member of the American Copy Editors Society. Luann specializes in genre fiction (mysteries, science fiction, paranormals, and thrillers) and works for both individuals and publishers. She hopes to continue building networking opportunities for EFA members and expanding the EFA’s presence in the publishing world.

Deborah Ring
I have been a full-time freelance editor for 13 years and a member of EFA since 2004. As a freelancer, I specialize in editing academic journals and reference books in the social sciences and humanities. Before going solo, I was a writer and editor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Great Lakes Theater Festival. EFA has been a lifeline for me since I first thought about becoming a full-time freelancer: the Discussion List, the Job List, the education offerings, and the camaraderie of “my people” have been invaluable throughout my career. I hope to have a chance to share all of these things with new and veteran freelancers and to give back to an organization that has given so much to me by serving on the Board of Governors. In addition to EFA, I am also a member of ACES: The Society for Editing.

Linda Ruggeri
I have spent the last ten years in the publishing industry and have been a full-time freelance writer, editor and translator for ten years. I joined the EFA in 2017 because I was interested in perfecting my craft and sharing experiences with fellow freelance editors. I belong to the LA Chapter of the EFA and am excited to collaborate with board members to help grow and strengthen the EFA locally and nationally. My specialty lies in developmental editing and project management of both fiction and non-fiction works. I co-authored a historical memoir about the rural Midwest in 2017 (paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon and digitally on 10 other platforms.) I have extensive experience in social media, self-publishing, digital conversions, project management, and am fully tri-lingual (English-Spanish-Italian). I have a BA in Communication and Fine Arts from LMU and TESOL certification for teaching ESL, and can make a mean cappuccino.

Melanie Saxton
I’d love to serve EFA as a MAL and give back to this wonderful organization. As a full-time freelancer, EFA has connected me with many opportunities since I joined in August of 2017. I’ve been editing and ghostwriting book manuscripts for two decades, and since 2010 also serve as a contributing editor for five magazines. I was recognized as one of the Top 15 Texas book editors in 2017. My article, “Pink Divas,” received the Excellence in Cancer Journalism Award from the American Cancer Society in 2009. I earned a BA in English at the University of Houston, am pursuing a “later in life” master’s degree in mass communications at Sam Houston State University, and am a Paul Harris Fellow at the Rotary Club of Conroe. At this point in my career, I have the time and experience to effectively serve on the EFA Board of Governors.

Heidi Ward
I started my career in journalism at a magazine company that put out several geeky subject magazines (comic books, collectible card games, anime, and toy collecting). Following that, I made my way into more traditional publishing and worked at a trade publisher, doing editing and some marketing. For almost 7 years I worked at a children’s educational publisher, primarily as a copyeditor. But I also took on project editor duties and changed roles. I’ve been freelancing for close to three years, working in roles including editing, copyediting, proofreading, and fact checking for a range of industries including educational publishers, trade publishers, magazines, and ad agencies. As a relative newcomer to freelancing and the EFA, I have insight into the “newbie” experience and needs. And I would love a chance to help out however I can.