Candidates’ Statements for the 2021 EFA Annual Election

Election results will be announced at the 2021 EFA annual meeting:

Wednesday, June 16, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Online

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 on June 1. Voting will close at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern daylight time), Monday, June 14. 

The 2021 Candidates

All nominees are EFA members in good standing. For the co-executive position, candidates must have been members for twelve months as of the election/annual meeting, or at least since June 2020.

Co-executive (July 2021–June 2023)

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.

Ruth Mullen

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

I first joined the EFA back when the Job Board was a recorded message on a telephone hotline. After a long break, I rejoined and served as NYC chapter co-coordinator. Since 2016 I’ve served on the Board, helping revise the bylaws, create an anti-harassment policy, and preserve our historical records. I serve on the Executive Committee, which oversees the organization’s budget; the Operations Committee, which is developing a continuity manual for Board members; and the ad hoc Discussion List Committee. Additionally, I chair our Social Media Committee, coordinating the efforts of social media volunteers across our multiple platforms.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of the EFA.

My twin passions are publishing and filmmaking, and each “side” of my career has informed the other. In film, I’ve worked as a production coordinator, a gig-based position that focuses on scheduling and communications. In publishing, I have an eclectic “freelancesume” that includes editing, copyediting, and software editing for HBJ, Holt, Random House, and McGraw-Hill; story analysis for film producers; and reading for a literary agency. Lately, I’m focused on editing memoir, history, and full-length fiction. Outside of work, I am somewhat of a political activist. I’ve run large voter registration drives, trained poll workers, planned candidate forums, and volunteered on numerous campaigns.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

I was an early Internet user, when “chat” was still text-only, and remain in awe of the ability of technology to connect people and ideas. I’ve seen firsthand how the EFA connects members and provides a sense of community. The past year has shown how important this is, and I hope to see the organization take these lessons into a post-pandemic world.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

As the number of projects overseen by EFA staff, Board members, and volunteers has grown, I’ve become invested in strategizing how these groups can communicate with more transparency and efficiency. At the same time, I am keen to work toward building community among members. I’d like to see an EFA in which more members are actively engaged; we all share responsibility for creating a strong, vibrant, and inclusive organization. And last, as a parent of two children of color, I am dedicated to examining the EFA’s structure and practices to further support diversity in the EFA and in the freelance community.

Treasurer (July 2021–June 2022)

The treasurer works with the co-executives as part of the executive committee to develop EFA’s annual budget, and works with our part-time bookkeeper to track income and expenses. The treasurer reports to the Board at our monthly meetings on EFA’s general financial picture and provides an annual financial summary for the annual meeting in June.

Marcina Zaccaria

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/marcina-zaccaria

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

I have been a member of the EFA since May 17, 2017.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

It has been an honor to be EFA’s Treasurer for the last two years. My combined editorial/ communications/ leadership experience spans 25 years in NYC. I have worked at EdLab at Columbia University, editing articles for Teacher’s College Record and the New Learning Times. I have written and edited profiles for Howl Round, based at Emerson College, and have held temporary positions at Condé Nast and Rodale Publishing.

At Columbia University, I received my MFA in Theatre Arts, Directing, and have directed over 40 plays and staged readings. I am the Theatre and Opera Editor at The Theatre Times.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

The Editorial Freelancers Association keeps us informed and connected. That is what interests me most.

In addition to hearing about new work through the job board, I have found the message boards so essential to EFA’s members. I think it’s crucial to have a team that makes certain that the message board is available to new and returning members. In addition, I have found the Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook posts to be engaging and informative. Social media is always evolving, so I appreciate EFA’s commitment to keep our words and images fresh and original, growing and changing with the times.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

I believe in the EFA’s growth. I lived for over 20 years in Greenwich Village, near where the EFA was founded. I believe in the necessity of our organization.

I have found EFA’s Education Department particularly strong, and I have enjoyed teaching webinars and taking new classes. I found the fellowship at the Holiday Party to be generous and spirited. When we are able to gather in the same location again, I hope that we can plan events, conferences, and perhaps even roundtable events. We have so much to do. It’s important that we keep looking ahead.

Members at Large (July 2021–June 2022)

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.

Candidates were ordered by random number generator.

Linda Henson

Website: https://lindahensonauthor.com

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

I have been a member of EFA since March 2021.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of the EFA.

I was the lead in proofreading, copyediting and fact checking for more than two decades in some of the top law firms in New York. I was a legal assistant and office manager and my teams were motivated and had confidence in me. In many instances, we were under exceedingly tight deadlines. Later, I perfected my speaking with Toastmasters. While I was a motivational speaker, I found connecting with and inspiring audiences was exhilarating.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

The area of EFA’s work which most interests me is its focus on humanity. I sense a deep and abiding focus on recognizing the inherent dignity of all human life. To me, EFA is a microcosm of how things are supposed to be—both in business and in life. Within the organization, I have encountered individuals who are evolved, and who seek more learning and growth. All of this occurs with a wonderful sense of humor. I believe that within this framework, the possibility for intellectual growth is exponential.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

My vision for EFA is that it be more widely known. I would like to be a part of EFA’s growth as it becomes a “household name” for writers. The welcoming program is an example of nurturing new members and providing that extra measure of support. I believe this could be expanded in a myriad of ways.

Cody Sisco

Website: www.codysisco.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/codysisco/

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

I joined the EFA in June 2014. Since then, I’ve volunteered at the EFA booth at writing conferences in Los Angeles and San Antonio. I participate in the EFA’s Diversity Initiative and help support the events and diversity reporting sub-initiatives. I am serving as an EFA Welcomer in 2021.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

My career includes strands of writing, editing, publishing, and consulting. I co-edit and publish the Made in L.A. Writers annual fiction anthology series. In 2017, I started a literary events and media production company called BookSwell that amplifies the voices of marginalized writers.

Freelancing, I provide developmental and line editing services for writers of fiction. I also evaluate manuscripts and provide acquisition recommendations for a small press.

I am a member of the Board of Directors for APLA Health & Wellness, which provides comprehensive medical, dental, and behavioral health services to marginalized groups in Los Angeles.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

I’m interested in ensuring that the Diversity Initiative continues to be supported at the highest levels within the EFA and that diversity and inclusion become an integral part of the strategic planning process for the organization.

I’m also interested in building relationships and partnerships with other organizations in the publishing industry to support member recruitment, skills development, business development, and enhancing the public profile of the EFA and its members.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

The EFA has an opportunity to grow its membership and become a more diverse and inclusive organization. The EFA can also build partnerships with specific communities and sectors that are important to the membership, including academia, independent publishers and authors, traditional publishing imprints focused on diverse authors, and specific sectors, such as finance, technology, and healthcare.

If I am elected to the Board of Governors, these will be my priorities:

  • Participate in the work of the Strategic Planning Task Force
  • Reach out to writing and editing organizations that are aligned with our diversity and inclusion goals to enhance membership and chapter development
  • Continue to support the Diversity Initiative, including by helping to plan events that are focused on diversity and inclusion and following up on the diversity report next steps
David Stacks

Website: https://stacksediting.com

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

Since January 2020.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

As a member-at-large Board member, I’ve been active in EFA’s chapter-development committee and chair of the advertising program. I’m senior editor at Stacks Editing, a five-member family business based in Augusta, GA. I’ve held leadership roles including Rotary club president and marketing director for a sportswear manufacturer. I was an award-winning newspaper journalist for 25 years in the Southeast, Midwest and New England.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

My goals on the Board are to promote and build strong local and regional chapters through the EFA Board’s chapter-development committee. And as advertising chair, my role is to build our advertising program to attract new academic clients to EFA’s Job List and Member Directory. Both of these projects are long-term. I enjoy working with people and projects.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

Our association is at a growth crossroads. We’ve reached more than 3,000 members and our net-increase trajectory is about 50 new members each month. We need engaged Board members who understand the value of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as the importance of building long-term relationships with colleagues. We have a Board-level work group and a consultant who are assembling a strategic plan for the coming decade. We’ll soon have a new general manager whose job will be to guide us as we continue moving ahead.

Maria Alonzo

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-alonzo-6464332/

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

Since 2002

2. Summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

My full-time editorial jobs have included the reference book, bilingual education, financial, legal, medical, aerospace, and engineering fields. I began my editorial business (Eagle Eye Editorial Services) in 1993 and juggled freelancing with working full time. When I retired, I was able to focus on my business and to offer additional services. In the last few years, I became more involved with the EFA. I am now a co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Area chapter, participated in the Welcome program last year and will do so again this year, assisted with the Orange County chapter in California, and review EFA booklets for the Publications Committee.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

I enjoy communicating with members, especially new members. I listen to their concerns, answer their questions, and offer solutions. The Welcome Program suits that area very well. I value being a co-coordinator of a chapter and being involved in the planning and implementation of a meeting as well as helping to organize events, and keeping chapter members informed and involved through our chapter LinkedIn page and chapter Google group. I also find working with the EFA Publications Committee on their booklets very interesting. I would be willing to help in whatever committee needs a fresh eye and perspective.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

I would like for the EFA to be more diverse and actively recruit people of color. It would be great if the EFA can offer a mentorship program. Members deserve open communication from the Board and should be kept informed of decisions made that might impact them or their membership. The Discussion List (DL) is a useful tool but can sometimes be intimidating. More work should be directed toward making all members feel comfortable in participating. We need to increase the number of members in the DL. I would also like to see the EFA make more of an effort in retaining its members.

Andrew R. Huston

EFA profile: https://www.the-efa.org/memberinfo/andrew-huston-11899/

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

For seven years, since January 13, 2014.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

Served on the EFA Board of Governors, as an elected Member at Large (MAL), for two terms (2014–2015 and 2015–2016). Founding member of the EFA’s Ad Hoc Advertising Committee (2015) and PR Group (2016). Originated the EFA’s e-bulletin, What’s New at the EFA (2014) and edited the first thirty-eight issues (October 2014–August 2016).

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

I am running this cycle with a specific objective: If elected an EFA MAL, I will ask the Board of Governors to task me with forming an ad hoc committee on scholarships to (1) investigate whether the establishment of an EFA scholarship program is desirable, prudent, and fiscally responsible, and if so, (2) make recommendations as to what form the scholarship program should take, with priority being given to evaluating an EFA-sponsored scholarship program for students of HBCUs (Historically Black colleges and universities).

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

The EFA is unique among industry associations in that we have expertise in two areas. One, of course, is in matters pertaining to editing and related fields. The other is the business of freelancing, where we have an unmatched 50+ years of experience. We’ve done a great job the last few years in becoming more visible to the public. I want to see the EFA continue to expand that public presence and fully establish itself as the go-to group for information and opinions in both our areas of expertise. In addition, the EFA now has the talent and financial resources to take on meaningful altruistic endeavors, such as those already undertaken by our Diversity Initiative and, I hope, such as a scholarship program.

Nancy Zastudil

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-zastudil-68933891

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

I have been a member of the EFA since February 11, 2020.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

My experience includes providing editing services through my business The Necessarian, LLC since 2014. I’ve served intermittently as a contributor to and visual arts editor for Arts + Culture TX and as a repeat guest editor for Edible New Mexico. I’ve held the positions of gallery director at Tamarind Institute, administrative director of the Frederick Hammersley Foundation, owner/director of Central Features Contemporary Art, and associate director of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

Currently, I am co-chair of Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund committee, and I am in the (hopeful) process of launching a New Mexico EFA chapter.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

Areas of the EFA’s work that most interest me are Chapter Development and the Diversity Initiative.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

From what I understand about EFA, I would like to see the organization hone its mission, tailor its activities and member outreach in service of that mission, and amplify its messaging and marketing.

Brittany Krysinski

Website: www.KeightEditing.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittany-krysinski-216152180/

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

I have been a member of the EFA since 2020, but I’ve been lurking on its website and social media since 2018.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

I am a full-time medical editor and ghostwriter for a correctional healthcare company, handling review and edits to all communications, social media posts, blogs, surveys, and trainings. I manage and mentor two employees: one in the marketing department, and one in the training division. I also run my own freelance business, Keight Editing, LLC.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

I am most interested in the EFA committees on Education and Events. I am passionate about professional development and related events such as conferences.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

As an organization, I would love to see the EFA grow to aiding recognition of freelance editors. This would allow the association to be linked to high-quality editors and give credence to the professional development offered, while giving members the opportunity to be praised for their typically unsung work.

Nanette Day

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

Since 2011

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

I have been a Member at Large on the EFA Board since 2020 and am the Discussion List Committee Chair. I previously supervised an in-house editing team at a non-profit organization accrediting medical and social services. I have served as a board member for a regional scholarship fund targeting underrepresented populations, a city council member, and a Peace Corps Volunteer, where I developed an environmental education curriculum and created and administered nationwide testing for English education. Currently, I focus on copyediting/line editing and writing, having published more than 10 fiction books and numerous non-fiction articles related to freelancing.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

I am particularly interested in expanding opportunities for members to network, learn from, and connect with other professionals at all stages of their freelancing career, whether they are starting out, growing their business, or transitioning toward retirement. I support efforts to grow our membership in a way that welcomes and embraces more diversity. I also support efforts to promote mentorship programs and scholarships that help freelancers throughout their careers. Finally, I am interested in building/strengthening bridges between freelancers and clients.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

I would like to see EFA continuing to expand membership benefits and opportunities with an eye toward the future. Editorial fields are constantly evolving and, as a proactive organization, EFA should be expanding its educational and networking opportunities related to new developments so our members are highly sought-after freelancers. One way to do this is to engage more diverse members in identifying and pursuing opportunities. We should also be asking potential clients how our members can best meet their needs. Ultimately, our organization should be widely recognized as a leader among membership-focused organizations.

Denise Larrabee

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-larrabee/

1. How long have you been a member of the EFA?

I have been a member of the EFA for six years. I joined the EFA in 2015 and began serving on the Board of Governors (BoG) in 2018 as a member at large.

2. Please summarize your editorial/communications/leadership experience, whether inside or outside of EFA.

I have worked as a freelance editor and writer for over twenty years, serving nonprofits, trade publishers, and academic publishers. My experience working and volunteering for nonprofits benefits the EFA—experience in fundraising, publicity, writing for and editing newsletters and other publications, and project management. As a member at large on the BoG, I edit the monthly eBulletin, What’s New at the EFA. In 2019, I redesigned it and improved content to increase its readership. In addition to editing the eBulletin, I edited 50 Years of the EFA with Board member Robin Martin, commemorating the EFA’s 50th anniversary in 2020.

3. What area of the EFA’s work most interests you?

Member communications is the area of work in which I am most interested and in which I believe I have the most to offer the EFA. Communicating effectively with our members is essential if we are to support them, sustain a sense of community, and achieve the organization’s long-term goals. I am also interested in helping the organization determine the direction and scope of its future goals, and I joined the Steering Committee earlier this year in order to take more of a leadership role in the strategic planning process the EFA will soon begin.

4. How would you like to see EFA grow as an organization in the future?

I believe the EFA has the potential to grow and develop into a more relevant, strong, and diverse professional organization. As I worked on 50 Years of the EFA last year, I learned that the EFA depends not only on the contributions of its members but on the strength of a welcoming and inclusive community. To develop and maintain our community of editorial freelancers will require the strategic planning the EFA is committed to completing this year, and I am eager to be a part of this process as a member at large of the Board of Governors.