Our Distinguished Speakers for 2019

ASI 2019 Conference—Speaker Biographies

Nan Badgett
Nan Badgett, dba Wordability, has been providing freelance indexing services to publishers, authors, and corporate clients since 1992. Her work is focused on trade books and textbooks in a wide range of subjects, including health and nutrition, sports training, and education. Nan is the author of The Accidental Indexer and has contributed to several ASI books. She has presented at past ASI conferences and has served the organization at both the chapter and national levels.

Sam Arnold-Boyd
Sam Arnold-Boyd had a long and varied career as a teacher and librarian before retiring and then starting her indexing business, Cascade Indexing. She's now starting her fourth year as an indexer and loving it. She's also enjoyed getting involved with PNW, her local chapter, and appreciates the help and support of the indexing community. When not indexing, she's busy with her big family, her ancient cat, and adventures to the beach and mountains.

Connie Binder
Connie Binder has been indexing since the late 1990s, and has always found a way to combine work and travel. She has indexed on planes, trains, and automobiles (and buses and cruise ships); at exotic destinations such as a Hawaiian rainforest, the Las Vegas strip, hospital rooms, and her mother-in-law’s kitchen table. Indexing while traveling has allowed her to work during Girl Scout camping trips, international vacations to visit grandchildren, and most recently, a New Orleans Mardi Gras trip with old friends.

Meghan Miller Brawley
Meghan Miller Brawley is currently a Managing Partner at Potomac Indexing, LLC (PI). In addition to indexing, her responsibilities include project management and working with multiple associate indexers. She came to indexing after an initial career in public libraries and university archives. Her indexing areas for both scholarly and trade audiences, includes history, political science, literature, self help, and consumer technology. Meghan's service to ASI includes past chair of the Mid and South Atlantic chapter, proofreader of Key Words, member of the Training on Indexing Committee, and national Board member.

Jenny De Wet
As an indexer for over 40 years, I entered the computer industry as a marketer of software solutions for a decade. This experience has given me a unique perspective that has contributed to my success as a freelance indexer both locallly in Southern Africa and overseas in other countries such as the UK, US and Belgium

Lisa DeBoer
Lisa DeBoer is a freelance book indexer at DeBoerIndexing.com and an associate of Colleen Dunham Indexing. She has an MA in Women’s History and an MLS in Library and Information Science. Previously, Lisa worked as a librarian and archivist at the Brooklyn Public Library and as a database indexer at PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service). Lisa is Chair of the Western New York Chapter of the American Society of Indexing and currently serves on the ASI Board of Directors. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

Theresa Duran
Theresa Duran, PhD, has been an ASI member since 2004, when she started dabbling in indexing while working as a staff editor at Pomegranate, publisher of fine art books and calendars. Shortly thereafter, she left that job to became a full-time freelancer, offering a range of editorial services. Although she works on all manner of projects, she specializes in art books. Her clients include artists, gallery owners, art book publishers, and major museums. Theresa lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two kooky cats.

Heather Ebbs
An indexer, editor and writer for almost 40 years, Heather Ebbs has written hundreds of indexes in a broad range of subjects and styles. She is a past president of both the Indexing Society of Canada and the Editors’ Association of Canada, and has taught indexing, editing and publication production for various groups and institutions, including the University of California–Berkeley, the Banff Publishing Workshop, Algonquin College and Simon Fraser University.

Anne Fifer
Anne Fifer has been a SKY Index Pro user for many years, and has presented an ASI webinar on editing with SKY index. Currently she serves on the ASI Board of Directors as Treasurer.

Ina Gravitz
Ina Gravitz began indexing part-time in 1996 while a public librarian. She retired from the library and pursued indexing full-time in 1999. She began her career on Long Island and continued it in Minnesota and Arizona. She was Treasurer of the New York chapter and secretary-treasurer of the Twin Cities (now Upper Midwest) chapter. Ina was SIG coordinator for many years, served on the national Board of Directors, and was ASI president (2013-2014). She has presented at previous conferences on indexing history books and indexing for children and teens.

Fred Leise
After twenty-five years in arts management, Fred Leise started his indexing career with the University of Chicago Publishing Program introduction to indexing course in 1993. Since 1995, he has been indexing nearly continuously (with time out for taxonomy consulting), specializing in scholarly works in international relations, cultural and political history, and landscape studies, among many other topics.

He is a founding member of the Institute of Certified Indexers, an instructor for the University of California, Berkeley Extension Division online indexing course, and has served several terms on ASI’s board of directors, including two terms as president.

Fred regularly presents at both national and chapter events and has written a number of articles on various aspects of indexing for both Key Words and The Indexer. He is especially proud of his article on Sherlock Holmes as indexer, which appeared in the fall 2013 issue of the Baker Street Journal.

Frances Lennie
Frances is the owner of Indexing Research and developer of CINDEX indexing software. She is an active indexer. Since joining ASI in 1986 she has served in leadership positions in ASI, both at the local and national levels. This past October she also had the privilege of representing ASI at the Trennial ICRIS meeting in Shanghai.

John Magee
John Magee is the Director of Indexing and Controlled Vocabulary Services for Gale. His wide-ranging experience there over more than 20 years covers database indexing, book indexing, vocabulary management, and online product development. He lives with his wife in Wolverine Lake, Michigan, where their dependents include two elderly British sports cars as well as the world-famous Katie the Beagle. The sports cars leak oil; the beagle leaks slobber.

Max McMaster
Max McMaster has been a full-time freelance book indexer for the past 26 years, having compiled around 2500 indexes on a range of subjects including the sciences, medicine, business and social sciences, as well as general trade titles. Max lectures on indexing to editors in Australia and Singapore. He is an instructor for the University of California Berkeley Extension virtual indexing course. He has been awarded the ANZSI Medal for book indexing on three occasions.

Kendra Millis
Kendra Millis began indexing in 2008, after completing the course offered through the UC-Berkeley Extension program. Her educational background is in Russian/Slavic languages and literature as well as social philosophy. She indexes books covering a broad range of subjects. She has served on the Board of Directors for the ASI since 2013, and she is currently serving as Past President of the organization.

Katharina Munk
Dr. Katharina Munk, a trained biologist, has worked since 1992 as a lecturer, author, editor, and indexer on large projects in biology and medicine. She initiated and has been closely involved in the development of Index Manager (Idx) since its inception. The first version of Index Manager was presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012. Index Manager is now available from Klarso GmbH and is open to your suggestions and requests for additional features.

KEYNOTE: Colin Pearson
Colin Pearson is curator for Asia, Oceania and the Middle East at Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum. Pearson has nine years of experience with MIM’s international collection, and brings perspectives as an ethnomusicologist, a trained musician and educator, and researcher to his work with MIM’s collection.

Janet Perlman
JANET PERLMAN has been indexing for more than 25 years. Her specialties are science and engineering books. Much of her work is in Spanish. Janet has been active in ASI for more than 20 years. She was ASI Treasurer from 2010 to 2016. She received the Hines Award for Service in 2006. Janet has written extensively on indexing. She is author of Running An Indexing Business (Information Today Inc., 2002) and Index it Right, Vol. 2 (Information Today Inc., 2009, with Enid Zafran). Her most recent book is Indexing Tactics & Tidbits: An A-Z Guide, 2016.

Gale Rhoades
Gale Rhoades, in addition to being the North American publisher of the Macrex Indexing Program, is a consultant who specializes in making the use of computers more like toasting bread than rocket science. She developed many of her skills and techniques over the past 37 years. Well known as the teacher who managed to stay just one step ahead of the students. Since 1991 she has freelanced, working with individuals, small businesses, and municipalities; her client base now extends around the globe. Indexers often benefit from her freely shared knowledge of PCs. She believes: Try before you buy; Backups are essential; Solve problems quickly or seek assistance; A “dumb” question is the one not asked.

Joan Shapiro
Joan Shapiro, MLS, started Shapiro Indexing Services in 2000 after working for more than a decade as a video producer in a telecommunications research company. Her indexing covers diverse topics, including communication, business, biographies, history, self-help topics, social sciences, law, and culinary arts. Joan is a current ASI Board director-at-large, chairperson of the ASI Publisher Outreach committee, member of the ASI Membership committee, and a former president of the New England ASI chapter. Joan lives and works in Connecticut.

Richard Shrout
Richard Shrout, MLS, past-president of the American Society for Indexing (ASI), focuses on domestic and international indexing issues, including the changing digital publishing environment. Richard has a passion for collaboration and service with 20+ years directing technical services in the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Federal Trade Commission library systems. Richard has traveled throughout the world meeting with indexers and associated vendors in places as diverse as China, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Russia. Richard lives and works in Kansas.

Jennifer Spanier
Jennifer Spanier has been indexing professionally since 2009 in a wide variety of subject areas. Her educational background is in biology and library and information sciences. Her subject specialties and special interests include life sciences, gardening, nature, environmental science, fitness, and health and wellness. In addition to back-of-the-book indexing, she does some database indexing. She is currently serving ASI as President-Elect and Co-Webmaster. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys life on the farm in rural Vermont and is looking forward to getting back in her kayak this summer.

Devon Thomas
Devon Thomas is the current President of ASI. She has been indexing for 10 years, with experience in back-of-the-book, embedded, and database indexing. Her areas of interest include scholarly indexing in the humanities, cookbook indexing, and computer indexing.

Elizabeth Walker
Elizabeth (Liz) Walker has been a freelance indexer since 2002. Liz is a generalist indexing in a wide range of subjects including trade books and textbooks, currently focusing on biography, history, and religion. She is a past chair of the Rocky Mountain chapter and a past ASI Board member.

Matt Ward
In 2002 Matt started a website agency, inConcert Web Solutions, which he sold in May 2018 so that he could focus on helping businesses get more word of mouth referrals! His book “MORE…Word of Mouth Referrals, Lifelong Customers & Raving Fans”, focuses on the caring component that we all have and how we can use that to connect deeply with others.

Matt is a professional member of the National Speakers Association and a podcast host of the popular small business podcast Square Peg Round Hole! He’s a 40 Under 40 Recipient and Chamber Small Business Owner of the Year!

Diana Witt
Diana Witt is a long-time ASI member who loves collaborating with others as a way of building skills and enhancing her work history.

Jan Wright
Jan Wright specializes in embedding indexing, single-sourcing, and repurposing indexes for multiple formats. She was a pioneer in online indexing, working to develop best practices for presenting online indexes before HTML was in widespread use. She continues to work with indexes for many formats, such as ebook indexes, video indexes, or web-based indexes. She co-chaired the American Society for Indexing’s Digital Trends Task Force, focusing on InDesign’s eBook indexing capabilities, which are now included in the product. In 2009, she won the ASI/H.W. Wilson Award for Excellence in Indexing for Real World InDesign CS3, the first such award for a technical manual, and in 2013 was awarded ASI’s Hines Award for her service to the Society, for her efforts to ensure the future of indexes in a digital world, her work promoting active eBook indexes, her educational outreach with presentations and workshops, and her years of teaching indexing. She is currently the chair of ASI’s Digital Publishing Special Interest Group.