I've been a professional writer for more than 25 years, first at a communications consulting startup, then as a writer/editor/publicist for a major public-radio network, and later as a senior copywriter at a marketing agency.
Since 1997, I've been a full-time freelancer specializing in corporate and nonprofit communications.
I help my clients identify the stories they want to tell — and then I tell them in ways that speak to the customers, employees, donors and community members they need to reach.
You'll find a few work samples below; I'd be glad to send you more upon request. I'd be glad to put you in touch with some of my happy long-term clients, too.
And I'd love to talk with you about how I can help your organization tell its most important stories. Click on the email icon below to drop me a note.
(Banner image photo of Bill Holm by Jonathan Chapman)
Playing basketball with police officers is one of Tawrence Walton's fondest memories from growing up in Englewood: "I always saw the officers as being part of the community - not just chasing bad guys, but being somebody you could relate with. If anything ever came about that you needed, you knew they were there to serve and protect."
If you get called back for additional tests after a mammogram, there's no need to panic. That advice comes from Jennifer Yanak, MSN, MBA, FNP-BC, the nurse practitioner who manages the high-risk breast clinic at Rush Copley Medical Center. "That callback doesn't automatically mean breast cancer," Yanak says.
AmeriCorps service gave Jordan support in his recovery from a substance use disorder, a start toward a meaningful career, and a shift in worldview.
Chicago’s small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, with minority-owned businesses most at risk. Anthos Training Clubs on 53rd Street in Hyde Park is one example: After a few months of the pandemic, revenue at Anthos, which provides personalized training services, was down 87 percent.
A UChicago program teaches students to be leaders with the skills to prevent violence and care for those affected, and shows them the path toward becoming health professionals who can address the mental health issues, health disparities, and chronic disease that erode communities’ overall health.
Reading Corps tutor Ruby Wesley is a proud alumna of Minneapolis Public Schools now giving back to the district that gave her a great education.
A look back at how Rush's education team pivoted during the pandemic
An infographic-driven look at the 2020 work of Rush's health equity team
A comprehensive report that details Rush's diversity, equity and inclusion progress and plans.
By May of 2020, Katya Nuques and her colleagues at Enlace Chicago in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood had been "panicking for weeks," she said. Members of the community, where 84% of residents are Latinx, were testing positive for COVID-19 at a rate almost three times the state average, and the Little Village ZIP code had the highest number of virus cases in Illinois.
When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Illinois' governor to issue a stay-at-home order in mid-March, many Chicago small-business owners immediately saw trouble ahead.
The Chicago Urban League's IMPACT Leadership Development Program was launched in 2014 to give midcareer African American professionals tools to thrive in increasingly responsible leadership roles, both in their careers and in the community.
Health Care and Wellness
Becki suffered severe facial injuries after a traumatic biking accident while vacationing in Italy. Today, she's facing the world with confidence.
Plastic and reconstructive surgeons at Rush change lives by restoring form, function and quality of life.
The composer J.S. Bach spoke for a lot of us with his Coffee Cantata lyric: "Without my morning coffee, I'm just like a dried-up piece of roast goat." Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day, or 146 billion cups each year.
When a rare head and neck tumor brought 81-year-old John Scambler, DDS, to Rush, the head and neck cancer team used transoral robotic surgery (TORS) to both remove the cancer and preserve John's ability to lead a full, active life.
The work-day pause that refreshes.
Appointments with Rush's cosmetic surgery providers skyrocketed after the launch of this boutique site in 2020.
Debunking common myths about this potentially dangerous trend
After developing heart palpitations in 2016, Denise Tovar started having regular CT scans at Rush Copley Medical Center. In 2021, the Rush team's close attention to those scans saved her life.
A child psychiatrist offers insight about what to watch for and how to handle bullying.
Rush orthopedic surgeons are the best in the business at treating injuries, but they're happy to share advice about how to avoid getting injured in the first place.
Civic and Community Engagement
Rush works to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities it serves. The first step is understanding who Rush patients are.
With UChicago support, Black-owned businesses thrive on 53rd Street.
UChicago programs prepare Chicago public high school students for success as first-generation college students.
This publication reports on progress toward the goals laid out in Rush's Community Health Implementation Plan.
This report is the foundation of Rush's work to eliminate health disparities on Chicago's West Side.
The Community Programs Accelerator at the University of Chicago helps community-based nonprofits strengthen their impact on the communities they serve.
Every time Jason Bonaparte drives by UChicago Medicine's Center for Care and Discovery (CCD), he says, "I look up at that tall, shiny masterpiece and think: There's my work."
Steve Jobs famously advised budding entrepreneurs to "stay hungry." For Boyede Sobitan, hunger was more than a metaphor.
The MNSights By the Numbers feature presents quick-hit data in a fun, graphic way.
This story for the University of Chicago's Office of Civic Engagement spotlights a program aimed at giving South Siders access to jobs on campus.
The Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH) provides STEM education to Chicago students from pre-K through college.
Rush University Medical Center is an "anchor institution" on Chicago's West Side — and is a national leader in channeling its economic power for the benefit of the community.
Donors to Minnesota Philanthropy Partners learn about community initiatives through MNSights.
People who come to the University of Chicago Medicine emergency department (ED) after experiencing trauma need world-class care to heal physically - and they need expert help to heal emotionally, too.
"At age 26, I was managing eight staff, helping to manage a $1 million organization, lobbying, convening with elected officials, working with donors - and no one had taught me how to do any of that," says Kady McFadden, deputy director of the Sierra Club's Illinois chapter.
Porter heads eta Creative Arts Foundation, a home for the performing and visual arts on Chicago's South Side.
A 2003 National Endowment for the Arts report on nonprofit dance companies noted ruefully that "dance companies of all genres face the reality of a ruthlessly short lifecycle." Now celebrating its 25th year of presenting world-class dance in Chicago and around the globe, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater has defied that trend through thoughtful leadership and planning.
Akanksha Shah '17 wanted a flexible work opportunity that aligned with her passion for education and with her UChicago class schedule. She couldn't find one — so she started one.
Every time Camille McKenzie and her daughter pass a construction site, the five-year-old says, "That's where Mommy works!"
Q&A with Gerri Kahnweiler, co-founder of InvestHER, the the first venture capital fund in Chicago dedicated to female-founded tech startups.
I wrote about three women who are working to solve some of their city's most pressing social challenges.
NORC delivers insight, impact and innovation that has shaped research and policy all over the world.
Q&A with Kathryn Finney, the smart, funny, force-of-nature founder of digitalundivided.
Foodservice News asked me to choose, profile and photograph 10 Chicago chefs who deserved recognition.
I researched and wrote this piece for the University of Chicago's Graham School, celebrating its history and looking to its future.
I revamped and edited this edition, winner of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table's 2018 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award for the best published work about intellectual freedom.
From 2004–2015, I edited the book honoring each year's McKnight Distinguished Artist. This was one of my favorites.
Find beauty and holiness in new and necessary facts.
Ranee is a dancemaker and performer whose work is based in the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam.
The fashion landscape has changed dramatically since Intermix made its debut in 1993, and Intermix has expertly navigated every twist along the road from strictly bricks-and-mortar to a digital-first landscape.
A look at some Target team members' work to build stronger communities.
Omar Nobil joined Banana Republic as a young designer just a year into his career - and a dozen years later, he's head of women's design. He sat down with us to chat about his path, why he's loved spending most of his career at one brand, and what fashion designers have in common with rock stars.
Banana Republic Kirk Pestlin has built an amazing career at Gap Inc., rising to become Senior Director of Merchandising for Banana Republic - but, he says, some part of him will always be the teenage Gap sales associate who loves coming to work to learn and grow.
My articles for RED kept Target's 350,000 employees informed — in a fast, fun and friendly way — about what was happening around the company.
Walgreens partnered with hip cosmetics phenom Nonie Creme to create an exclusive line.