Election: Voice of the voters

Four newcomers will join the ACES Executive Committee as a result of the 2005 election.

Neil Holdway (Daily Herald, suburban Chicago), Paula Devlin (New Orleans Times-Picayune) and David Sullivan (Philadelphia Inquirer) were elected to seats on the committee, and Naomi Seldin (Albany, N.Y., Times Union) was appointed to fill the unexpired term of a board member who was elected to an officer seat.

Holdway ran unopposed for treasurer. Devlin and Sullivan were among the six candidates elected in a 13-way race for board seats.

The other four winners in the board race were two current officers, Melissa McCoy (Los Angeles Times) and Chris Wienandt (Dallas Morning News), and two board incumbents, William G. Connolly (New York Times, retired) and Teresa Schmedding (Daily Herald, suburban Chicago).

All five officer seats were up for election. In the only contested race, Zoe Cabaniss Friloux (Rocky Mountain News) defeated fellow board incumbent Scott Toole (Easton, Pa., Express-Times) to succeed McCoy as vice president/membership.

Another board incumbent, Deirdre Edgar (Portland Oregonian), was unopposed in winning election as Wienandt’s successor as vice president/conferences. Holdway will replace Carrie Camillo (Washington Post) as treasurer after Camillo decided not to seek re-election.

Running unopposed for the other two officer seats were two incumbents, President John E. McIntyre (Baltimore Sun) and Secretary Jeff Pierron (Columbus Dispatch).

Because Edgar and Friloux have one year remaining on their board terms, the Executive Committee appointed the seventh- and eighth-leading vote-getters in the board race — incumbent William Chronister (Columbus Dispatch) and Seldin — to serve out the unexpired terms. All other terms are two years.

More than 150 ACES members voted in the election, which ended March 14 and was open to all full members. Results were announced at the opening plenary of the Hollywood conference. Terms begin May 23.

Board incumbents Douglas Backstrom (Miami Herald) and Sue Blair (TIME magazine, retired) were not up for election because they were elected to two-year terms in 2004.

In addition to Camillo and Toole, others leaving the Executive Committee are two board members who did not seek re-election, Hank Glamann (trainer and consultant) and Kathy Schenck (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Here’s a look at this year’s winning candidates:

John E. McIntyre

CURRENT JOB: Assistant managing editor of The Baltimore Sun’s copy desk, supervising 37 journalists who edit news, business and features. Instructor in copy editing at Loyola College.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: John, an ACES charter member and two-term president, has been vice president of membership and has presented seminars at all of the national conferences. He represents the society in the industry and serves as its chief spokesman and fund-raiser. He oversaw development of the programs for the Louisville, Houston and Hollywood conferences.

QUALIFICATIONS: John is a nationally known evangelist for copy editors and the work they do. His editing acumen, knowledge of ACES, and his contacts throughout the newspaper industry make him the best candidate to lead the organization in making the world a better place for copy editors.

VISION FOR ACES: “In the past year, the society has seen the development of robust regional chapters and the beginning of an educational foundation. I hope to see the society move toward more effective fund raising and the appointment of an executive director to oversee routine operations. I will seek opportunities to stress the crucial importance of editing at a time when financial pressures tempt top editors to skimp on it.”

Deirdre Goebel Edgar

CURRENT JOB: Assistant copy desk chief, The Oregonian. Edgar helps supervise 35 news copy editors and is in charge of the night desk.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Edgar is a two-term member of the Executive Committee, a member of the conference committee and has been co-editor of the ACES newsletter for three years. She has attended seven consecutive conferences, presenting sessions, helping with organization and coordinating coverage for the Web site and newsletter.

QUALIFICATIONS: Edgar helped plan the Long Beach, Chicago and Houston conferences and led the effort to bring the 2005 conference to Hollywood. She scouted hotels for the Hollywood conference and was involved with hotel contract negotiations for Hollywood and the 2006 Cleveland conferences as well as site selections for future years.

VISION FOR ACES: “I believe that ACES should reach more copy editors across the country through a regular schedule of regional workshops. At national conferences, I would like to see more targeted session modules, such as the series in Houston on editing fundamentals, and more offerings for non-newspaper copy editors. I would like for fund-raising to be conducted consistently throughout the year, not just in the months before the national conference.”

Zoe Cabaniss Friloux

CURRENT JOB: Presentation desk editor, Rocky Mountain News in Denver. Rims, slots and proofs stories for metro and wire pages, including fact-checking and headline and caption writing.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Friloux has served as a presenter and volunteer at various conferences and has been a frequent contributor to the newsletter. As administrator of the jobs board, she has raised ACES’ profile with hiring editors around the country. On the Executive Committee, she has helped improve offerings at the national conference.

QUALIFICATIONS: Friloux’s extensive experience in ACES and career at newspapers of various sizes around the country give her a unique perspective on how ACES can best serve its membership. Her work as both a copy editor and page designer allows her to relate well to members who do both jobs.

VISION FOR ACES: Friloux sees ACES’ membership vice president as having two key responsibilities: increasing membership and enhancing member benefits. Outreach is key to building the group. Areas on which she will focus include chapter building (both professional and campus), regional workshops and cooperation with state press and other groups. Additional benefits for members will include expanded newsletter and Web features. She also will work to strengthen ACES’ reciprocity arrangement with the Society for News Design.

Neil Holdway

CURRENT JOB: Assistant news editor of the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Second-in-command of news copy desk, overseeing Section 1 inside pages and supervising about 10 copy editors.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Has served as co-editor of ACES’ newsletter for more than a year. Helped host the ACES national conference in Chicago. Helped organize the ACES Midwest Chapter and its first workshop, and serves on its steering committee. Has presented at four national conferences and two regional workshops.

QUALIFICATIONS: “For one, I actually like math. I have experience bookkeeping for a small business, each year completing income tax returns and often even enjoying it. I also have experience working with spreadsheets to prepare financial reports, including the copy desk budget.”

VISION FOR ACES: “ACES has made so much progress each year it has existed. Most recently, it has begun offering new membership deals, a bigger and better headline contest, and flexible national conference pricing plans. Meanwhile, new regional chapters are emerging. I envision helping ACES continue to diversify its training offerings, such as at the national conference. And I see ACES reaching out to more copy editors nationwide, especially at small newspapers, through new, innovative publicity campaigns.”

Jeff Pierron

CURRENT JOB: Assistant news editor, The Columbus Dispatch. Helps supervise 15 copy editors and oversees the Metro & State section.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: ACES secretary since 2003. Primary duties are organizing elections and compiling minutes. Led efforts to attract more candidates and increase voter participation. Regularly updates ACES Web site. Coordinated online coverage of past three conferences. Recently updated ACES CD. Co-founder of Ohio chapter, helping organize five annual workshops. ACES lifetime member.

QUALIFICATIONS: A firm belief in ACES’ mission and tireless dedication in promoting it. Has spent most of his 25-year career in the editing trenches, mostly at small papers. That experience and his work at the chapter level help Pierron understand the needs of members and nonmembers from publications large and small.

VISION FOR ACES: “We should stick to the ideals that have made ACES the leading voice for the craft while finding innovative ways to increase membership and better serve copy editors year-round. I will work toward growth in regional activities, an expanded Web site with members-only areas, more ACES recognition of editing excellence, and greater cooperation with other journalism groups — including reciprocal discounts for training. ACES must remain fiscally prudent and keep dues and registrations affordable.”

William T. Chronister

CURRENT JOB: Edit stories on deadline, write headlines, cutlines, etc. for The Columbus Dispatch. Backup slot.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Rewrote bylaws governing chapters. Oversaw creation or rebirth of four professional chapters and creation of three college chapters. Represented ACES as speaker twice, and spoke at national and chapter conferences. Led ACES/Florida to first conference. Helped the Poynter Institute create its advanced copy editing seminar.

QUALIFICATIONS: “I am focused on helping ACES grow so it represents all levels and types of copy editors. I emphasize chapters because I believe growth comes first at the grass-roots level. I also intend to increase efforts to attract college-level interest in our work.”

VISION FOR ACES: “Continued growth, with increased awareness of all members and prospective members.”

William G. “Bill” Connolly

CURRENT JOB: Senior editor, The New York Times (retired). Still active in recruiting and training for The Times and as a consultant on editing to other papers.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Connolly has served multiple terms on the Executive Committee and is on the board of the ACES Education Fund, in whose creation he played a pivotal role and whose character he is working to shape. His conference presentations are consistently oversubscribed. He has been particularly active in programs for students.

QUALIFICATIONS: When Connolly first lent his estimable name to the cause of ACES, the infant society gained instant credibility — and a fast friend. His dedication has never wavered. Connolly’s depth of experience in unmatched, as is the wise counsel that he has consistently provided to his colleagues on the board.

VISION FOR ACES: Continued growth in existing programs (the national conference, regional chapters, newsletter, etc.). A stronger ACES Education Fund, working toward the day when it can underwrite scholarship and other programs without support from ACES. A campaign to develop a widespread appreciation for the importance of copy editing. The development of new ways to recognize outstanding copy editors. An effort to offer more training opportunities, especially for copy editors at smaller publications.

Paula Devlin

CURRENT JOB: Copy desk chief of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Oversees a desk of 30. In charge of staffing, training, scheduling and nightly supervision of the copy-editing operation.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Paula became involved with ACES at the second national conference and hasn’t missed one since. She has been a presenter for four years and has worked the registration desk and the auction. Her newsletter contributions include an account of the Wall Street Journal copy desk’s struggles after Sept. 11, 2001.

QUALIFICATIONS: During her 18-year Times-Picayune career, Paula has worn many hats, from rim editor to slot editor to Page One editor, plus a stint as special-projects copy editor. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Louisiana State University, and has taught journalism at a New Orleans university.

VISION FOR ACES: “My desire to serve revolves around one simple fact: ACES provides the greatest opportunity for copy editors to share the high level of professionalism with which we go about making sure our newspapers are accurate and interesting, and our unwavering dedication to craft. One of my priorities would be to continue to expand membership and conference participation. I would also like to explore opportunities for using our scholarship program to enhance our organization’s diversity.”

Melissa McCoy

CURRENT JOB: Assistant managing editor of copy desks, Los Angeles Times.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: As the vice president for membership, and before that an executive committee member, Melissa has remained dedicated to ACES’ core mission — helping copy editors raise their standing in the profession through training opportunities and access to industry leaders.

QUALIFICATIONS: “I believe that I am well-qualified to continue my work for the society by helping make clear to industry leaders the vital role that copy desks play in every newsroom.”

VISION FOR ACES: “I would like to continue the push I started as vice president for membership to increase our numbers and provide more benefits to those who join (and especially to those who stay). We need to reach more student journalists, more professors and more industry leaders. We’ve made great strides in all of these areas, but we can do more.”

Teresa M. Schmedding

CURRENT JOB: News editor of the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Oversees 40 copy editors on night, business, day and feature desks.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Teresa helped organize the 2003 national conference in Chicago as well as the Midwest chapter and first regional conference later that year. She has conducted training sessions at the past five national conferences and at a recent Mid-America Press Institute conference co-sponsored by ACES. Since being elected to the board, Teresa has overseen ACES merchandise operations and served on the conference committee helping select speakers and explore future sites.

QUALIFICATIONS: Teresa understands ACES and its needs, is tireless in her work for the society, exudes contagious enthusiasm and gets things done. Without her there would be no Midwest chapter. ACES needs a dynamo like Teresa.

VISION FOR ACES: “ACES needs to find more ways to offer benefits to their members beyond the national conference. The headline contest and scholarships are an excellent start. The board now should focus on more regional chapters and conferences so training is more accessible to members. ACES also needs to finalize a professional fund-raising strategy to ensure the continued health of the organization and to fund new initiatives.”

Naomi Seldin

CURRENT JOB: Copy editor at The Times Union in Albany, N.Y., where she works on the rim and as a slot, wire editor and paginator.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: She has held leadership roles in the headline contest for four years — two years as contest coordinator, one year as a member of the contest committee and now as chairwoman. She has attended four of the last five ACES conferences and moderated the rim editors’ forum at the Chicago meeting.

QUALIFICATIONS: Naomi has four years of experience in organizing the headline contest and has been energetic in helping to increase its visibility. She is interested in reaching out to other young copy editors and to journalism students who might consider copy editing careers. She sees them as the future of ACES.

VISION FOR ACES: Naomi believes that ACES has done a fine job of promoting the work of copy editors and increasing their training and networking opportunities through national and regional conferences. But she hopes the society can start a mentoring program to help journalism students and copy editors at smaller publications advance their careers.

David Sullivan

CURRENT JOB: Assistant managing editor/copy desks, in charge of copy editing of all content of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Supervises 71 full- and part-time editors.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Co-organizer of Northeast regional conference in 2004. Presenter at all national conferences since Baltimore except Long Beach. Sullivan has attended all national conferences since Dallas except Long Beach. He did a regional membership drive about six years ago.

QUALIFICATIONS: David exhibits a consistent commitment to ACES causes and programs. He was instrumental in the organization and ultimately the success of the first Northeast regional conference. He is a consummate professional and is always seeking ways to improve the lot of copy editors.

VISION FOR ACES: “With content increasingly provided in non-traditional ways, ACES must help copy editors to be intimately involved — as editors, not processors — in all platforms and support their role. We need to constantly emphasize copy editors’ importance through work with other journalistic organizations and universities. Train our members not just as editors, but as newsroom leaders who will promote the importance of copy editing. And in a business that increasingly relies on metrics, consider whether ACES could recommend quantitative standards to support excellent copy editing.”

Chris Wienandt

CURRENT JOB: Business News copy desk chief of the Dallas Morning News. Supervises 12-member copy desk.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACES: Charter member of ACES; presenter at seven ACES conferences; two-term conference vice president and previous board member; local organizer of 1999 Dallas conference.

QUALIFICATIONS: More than 25 years’ experience in journalism, primarily in copy editing; knowledge of ACES issues since its founding as member, board member and officer; determination to see ACES take the next step into evolution — becoming a true force for the improvement of copy editors’ lot at papers of all sizes.

VISION FOR ACES: “ACES needs to expand its offerings to members who cannot attend the national conference by organizing an annual series of regional conferences. We also need to raise the group’s profile among industry leaders and executives, explore cooperative with other journalism organizations, and initiate a new survey assessing the state of copy editors and copy editing today — an update of the ASNE studies that prompted ACES’ formation.”

(Terms of those elected this year begin May 23, 2005.)

OFFICERS: President: John E. McIntyre, The Baltimore Sun; Vice President/Membership: Zoe Cabaniss Friloux, Rocky Mountain News; Vice President/Conferences: Deirdre Goebel Edgar, Portland Oregonian; Secretary: Jeff Pierron, The Columbus Dispatch; Treasurer: Neil Holdway, Daily Herald, suburban Chicago

BOARD MEMBERS: Douglas Backstrom, The Miami Herald, Sue Blair, TIME magazine (retired), William Chronister, Columbus Dispatch, William G. Connolly, The New York Times (retired), Paula Devlin, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Melissa McCoy, Los Angeles Times, Teresa Schmedding, Daily Herald, suburban Chicago, Naomi Seldin, Albany (N.Y.) Times Union, David Sullivan, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chris Wienandt, Dallas Morning News

All terms expire in 2007 except for Backstrom, Blair, Chronister and Seldin, whose terms expire in 2006.Chronister and Seldin are filling the unexpired board terms of newly elected officers Edgar and Friloux.