So, it is with a grateful heart that I take these moments before Thanksgiving Day to lift up those who have made me who I am and those who fill my days with joy.
In the beginning
I wouldn’t have had the irreplaceable experience of being a journalist without the professors who saw me through the first steps of my career. At Cal State Fullerton, the late Carolyn Johnson and past dean Rick Pullen took the time to encourage me to excel in journalism. At that time, working in newsrooms was entering a man’s world. It was daunting. I am grateful for their guidance and encouragement.
During college and afterward, a host of journalists helped me polish my skills with several doses of real-life experience.
The late Nick Harder and the late Al Hewitt, my editors at the Fullerton News Tribune, gave me a place to start as a stringer. My editors during two internships for the Los Angeles Times’ Orange County edition built up my confidence as a writer. Janell Shearer, my internship supervisor at the now-defunct Orange County Illustrated magazine, introduced me to the medium that has been a big part of my career. Editor Marilyn Leary convinced me that being a member of the Orange County Register team that launched the Community Edition papers was a prestigious position. I learned graphics and copyediting under the patient supervision of Dave Campbell and Helayne Perry. Colleagues everywhere I went saw me through rough rides, often becoming my friends.
I am grateful to all.
Thanks, but no thanks
The former mayor of Brea, Wayne Wedin, who asked me to craft a local cable news show that later launched the careers of Phil Blower, Fox San Diego anchor, and Vikki Vargas, OC Bureau Chief for NBC, gave me the chance to discover that TV is not my area of expertise. Thank you!
On to the next
Special thanks to Grif Amies, who took a chance and helped me develop my career in public relations. Also to Janell Shearer once more, because she recommended me to Chapman University President Jim Doti to be the college’s first full-time PR director. And extra special kudos to Paula Selleck who hired me at my alma mater CSUF and launched with me the Titan magazine, which went on to garner local, regional and national awards. It couldn’t have happened without the design, web and writing teams at Fullerton and Paula’s patient encouragement.
Although it was a harrowing event at the time, I also should thank my former bosses at CSUF, who laid me off after nearly 15 years. The ax from Fullerton provided me with the astounding opportunity to strike out on my own.
Now and into the future
I am grateful for my clients, who provide me with new challenges every day. I am also indebted to my colleagues in IABC OC and PRSA OC who hold me to exacting standards and offer me the opportunity to give back to the profession I love.
My deep appreciation goes out to my family, who believed in me from the very first and who always have my back; to my mother, who is always proud of me; to my network of friends from grade school through my alma mater, Marywood High School, my work places and my college years – who always love me no matter what.