Devon Thomas is Recipient of the 2024 Theodore C. Hines Award

The American Society for Indexing (ASI) is pleased to announce that Devon Thomas is the recipient of the 2024 Hines Award.

The Theodore C. Hines Award was established in 1993 to honor those members who have shown continuous, dedicated, and exceptional service to the membership of ASI. Devon Thomas represents these qualities as evidenced by her activities on behalf of ASI and the larger indexing community.

Devon began her contributions to ASI in 2006 and has volunteered continuously since then at a variety of levels and in many capacities. In her work at the chapter level and with SIGs, she has been co-president and secretary of the Heartland Chapter and served as Culinary SIG leader after the sudden death of the previous incumbent. Devon also worked on several digital publications SIGs.

At the national level she has been active in numerous positions since 2014: as a member of the board of directors twice, including a term as president; and as chapter relations coordinator. In that capacity, Devon played a huge leadership role in the IRS-mandated transition in the legal structure of chapters and SIGs. She patiently answered questions about chapter banking, websites, and reporting requirements. She also advised chapter leaders on ways to deal with declining membership and attendance at chapter events.

Devon helped guide ASI through the uncertainty of the pandemic by serving brilliantly as our conference chair. Devon took the new virtual format that Kendra Millis had spearheaded in 2020 and ran with it. From late 2020 through mid-2022, she organized four major programs, all of which were well attended, favorably reviewed, and profitable, helping the indexing community continue to learn and stay engaged.

At the international level, Devon has acted as ASI’s international representative and serves as the meeting organizer for ICRIS, the International Committee of Representatives of Indexing Societies.

During her long period as a volunteer, Devon has also focused on indexing education. She has moderated ASI webinars and online courses and has written numerous instructive articles and conference reports for Key Words and has written for The Indexer. In addition, she is a UC Berkeley indexing course instructor.

Devon's article in Key Words, “Reflections on Inclusive Language and Indexing,” is a substantive piece that served as the foundation for ASI's website page on diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

She presents regularly at ASI and international events such as the 2022 Berlin indexing conference.

Devon is an eloquent spokesperson for both ASI and indexing. A shining example of this is the March 2023 webinar that she and Kate Mertes co-presented for an audience of publishing professionals titled “Index Confidential: A Conversation about How Indexing Can Make Better Books.” Produced by the Workflow Committee of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), the event had 140 registrants, including attendees from Columbia University Press, University of Chicago Press, University Presses of Florida and Kentucky, Washington State, Rutgers, Penn State University Press, Penguin Random House, New York Public Library, Johns Hopkins University Press, and more.

As Shelley Quattrocchi noted in her letter of nomination:

Devon’s long list of former and continuing contributions, in combination with her kindness and approachability, make her an especially valuable member of our indexing community and very deserving of the Hines Award.

Meghan Miller Brawley stated in her letter of support:

Devon’s contributions to ASI and the indexing profession in general are truly extraordinary. There is very little Devon won’t do if asked, and a lot she volunteers to do before even being asked. She is invaluable to ASI, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.

Michele Combs’s summarized her letter of support with the following:

In short, I cannot speak highly enough of her professionalism and collegiality. Whatever she does for ASI is done well and carefully, with tact and good humor to boot. Devon certainly deserves this recognition and I hope the committee will agree.

We do.

Thank you to the Hines Award Committee, Fred Leise, committee chair; Ina Gravitz; and Kendra Millis.

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