With the new year comes transitions on the EFA’s Board of Governors. Following the tragic passing of our former co-executive Ruth Mullen last fall, the Board recently appointed Robin Martin co-executive pro tempore until June 2022. In this role, she will be working alongside co-executive Christina Frey to oversee the management of the EFA’s affairs, preside at Board or membership meetings, and ensure that all orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out. Robin joined the EFA in 2009 and currently serves as Publications chairperson. She has also held positions as the Chapter Development chairperson, part of the by-laws review team, events subcommittee member, and web-redesign team member. “The hole left by Ruth’s death has been sorely felt,” Robin says. “I am glad to be able to step up to support the organization as we work towards steady growth and a sustainable future.”

Ruth also had founded and chaired our Social Media committee to coordinate the efforts of our volunteers across our social media platforms. We are grateful that Katy Grenfell has stepped up to fill the void as our new Social Media chairperson—developing our social media strategy, recruiting and supervising volunteer content writers, ensuring channels are active and posting frequently, and tracking analytics (learn more in this post about our 2022 social media volunteers). Katy says, “The Social Media Team is excited to start expanding our presence on social channels, and creating more conversations, communication, and outreach with our members and beyond!” Since joining the EFA last year, Katy has helped secure many new benefits and discounts for EFA members as a Membership committee volunteer; she also is the Communications Subinitiative co-leader for the Diversity Initiative.

For the past year, David Stacks has served as chairperson of the Advertising committee, which now is a Board committee of record. In hopes of driving more clients to our Job List and our Member Directory, David spearheaded the EFA’s expanded advertising campaign, which began in October 2021 and continues through August 2022 (check out this blog post about the campaign and view some of the new ads). He has been a member of the EFA since 2020 and first joined the Board as a member at large, working on the Advertising committee alongside long-time Board member Sheila Buff, and also serves as a member of the Chapter Development committee, working to start, restart, and support chapters across the country.

Since October 2021, Sheryl Holmberg has served as Public Relations (PR) committee chairperson, succeeding Sangeeta Mehta (who remains Diversity Initiative chairperson). The overall goals of the PR committee are to support the EFA objectives of increasing membership and potential client interest by engaging the public through media posts, promotions, content, and editorial positions. The PR committee supports programs in Advertising and Social Media, as well as Events and Education. Sheryl has been an EFA member since 2013 and a PR committee volunteer, helping launch the 2020 Rates Survey. She says, “I’m happy to help get the word out about what the EFA has to offer current and future members, potential clients, and the editorial services community at large. We are a group of talented people, dedicated to our various crafts, with much skill and knowledge to share.”

Cody Sisco, who was elected member at large in 2021, has taken on the role of Website chairperson, held for the past nine years by dedicated EFA volunteer Karen Wallace. In this position, Cody will oversee front- and back-end website maintenance and upgrades, SEO, and reporting, among other things. He says, “My priorities are to make the EFA website, including all membership and education transaction systems, more reliable and easy for staff to use, to assess our cybersecurity practices, and to make investments that help us serve and communicate with our members.” Cody has been an EFA member since 2014 and currently serves on the EFA’s Strategic Plan Task Force and our Diversity Initiative.

Maria Alonzo, also elected member at large in 2021, has now been appointed Membership chairperson, succeeding Lourdes Venard (who will still be teaching her popular EFA copyediting courses). She will lead the efforts of the Membership committee to identify and develop benefits and programs that address the needs of all of our members and to sustain our community. Maria says, “I hope to make the EFA more diverse and to retain members by encouraging them to be involved and checking in with them at certain intervals.” She joined the EFA in 2002 and currently is a co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Area chapter, serves on the Chapter Development committee, volunteers for the Welcome Program, manages blog posts from Board members, and reviews EFA booklets for the Publications committee.

(L-R) Pia Kohler, Chapter Development chairperson and Alexa Bitsko, vice chairperson

With the departure of Akiko Yamagata who has served on the EFA Board since 2019, Pia Kohler now will serve as Chapter Development chairperson and Alexa Bitsko as Chapter Development vice chairperson. Pia, an EFA member since 2020, is co-coordinator of the Diversity Initiative’s Welcome Program, and both Pia and Alexa, an EFA member since 2018 and former co-coordinator with Ruth Mullen of the New York City chapter, currently serve on the EFA’s Strategic Plan Task Force. They look forward to learning more about chapter activities and supporting chapter coordinators and are particularly excited to identify new ways to directly address the needs of EFA members through its chapters and restructuring volunteer positions for the program.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that after a protracted search, the new editor of the Freelancer newsletter will be Jen Maybin. Jen is an EFA instructor and served on the EFA Board from 2009–2019 as Membership chairperson and as Education chairperson. She will be taking over the post from Ruth Thaler-Carter, who was editor of the Freelancer for more than a decade and will remain as editor emeritus. Jen says, “I look forward to working with all EFA members and the EFA Board to continue Ruth’s stellar work and high standards while also creating a staff writer position and introducing new content areas.”

We are grateful to these EFA members who have stepped up to serve as volunteer leaders, and offer a heartfelt thank-you to all our outgoing Board members and committee volunteers for their hard work and dedication!

Whether you’ve only recently joined or you’ve been a member for many years, there are many ways to help! For an opportunity to shape the organization, consider running for a position on the Board of Governors. Elections are held in June, and calls for nominations usually go out starting in April. Watch your email inbox, the News & Blog, What’s New, the Freelancer, and the Discussion List for further information.