Looking back at 2012, four of the most important things that happened to me were new partnerships with four women who helped contribute content here at 365Barrington.com. If you’ve been here before, you might recognize their names. To me, these ladies are like lifesavers, built with the stuff that can keep you afloat and ready to help when you need them the most.
When I first started writing the posts here at 365Barrington.com, I was working solo. After two+ years, I felt a little overwhelmed as I banged out sentence after sentence on my keyboard, publishing stories alone every day. Committing to a large-scale solo project can be isolating and growing is impossible without help. So it doesn’t seem right to end the year without saying thank you to these four women who have helped me in immeasurable ways by regularly contributing content to 365Barrington.com.
Kelly Donlea writes the Barrington EATS column here at 365Barrington.com. We regularly publish a new and local food-related feature each week, thanks to Kelly. In the past month alone, Kelly stepped up to help me when I told her I hoped to reach post #365 by the last day of 2012. 12 Days of Recipes was her answer, bringing me 12 posts closer to my goal. Kelly, has a gift of sharing recipes & cooking advice with a tone that’s as easy as a sister’s. She has helped so many people, like me, by showing us simple ways to put dinner on the table and feed our families without stressing about the process. We are so fortunate to know and have access to Kelly’s amazing cookbooks, recipes, time saving kitchen tips and website at OrganizingDinner.com.
Barrington photographer, Julie Linnekin, has a rare talent for capturing images that bring text to life. Whether it’s a beer-maker pulling oats for his latest batch of brew, a new hardware store owner preparing for the excitement of opening day or developers talking about planned new construction while scuffing along dusty gravel on a vacant lot, Julie’s photographs help tell stories. Her skill goes well beyond her knowledge of lenses and lighting. One of her strengths is her disarming ability to put people at ease, removing the awkwardness a camera can cause. She never fails to find the setting that gets to the point, offering authentic and expertly composed snapshots into the lives of others.
Beth Cielsa-Tomev is a friend and colleague from my former days working at Fox News (WFLD-TV) in Chicago. She was an Executive Producer of the early morning news programs when I returned to Fox Chicago after working on-air in the Quad Cities to also write and produce Fox’s morning newscasts. Today, Beth owns her own PR/Public Affairs consulting company and is an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Columbia College. She joined us at 365Barrington.com to produce content for our regular features and is a big part of our growth strategy for the future, including plans to develop a sister site in a second community. In addition to our Fox News connection, Beth and I were born a few days apart, celebrated our last milestone birthdays together almost ten years ago and both graduated the same year from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Also a University of Illinois graduate, Laura Pavin contributed many great stories to 365Barrington.com earlier this year at a time when I was busy, behind the scenes, developing our email campaign and other new content platforms. Laura is a quick-response news and feature writer with a keen eye for human interest happenings in the Barrington area. Laura’s writing and occasional photography is also published weekly under Chicago Sun-Times/Pioneer Press publications including the Lake Zurich Courier and Barrington Courier Review. To learn more about Laura’s background and the stories she writes for local news publications, visit her website at LauraPavin.Wordpress.com.
Thank you Kelly, Julie, Beth and Laura for your tremendous talents and time. I’m proud to be working with you and look forward to continuing our collaborations in 2013.