Three new directors took office at the ASI Annual Conference on June 18, 2016: Meghan Miller Brawley, Jennifer Spanier, and Paul Sweum. Kendra Millis is ASI’s new president elect, and Anne Fifer is ASI’s new treasurer. They will join continuing board members under the leadership of ASI’s 2016–2017 president Diana Witt (pictured).
Returning directors are Fred Leise, past president; Judi Gibbs, secretary; and directors Devon Thomas, Heather Hedden, and Karen Lane. Gwen Henson continues as executive director.
Get to know your new board members and learn more about their vision for ASI.
New Board Member Biographies and Vision Statements
Kendra Millis (President Elect)
Kendra has been indexing full-time since 2008, when she completed the UC-Berkeley course. While her main focus is book indexing, over the last 5 years she has also added proofreading, copyediting, and production management to her business offerings. She has presented at ASI and ISC/SCI conferences and has published articles in both Key Words and The Indexer. She currently serves as the chair of the ASI webinar committee and is completing a term as a member of the ASI board of directors.
I believe that ASI serves as a valuable source of support for indexers—both for those who are just starting out and those with years of experience—in addition to serving as a forum within which to share and to learn from others. I hope to continue helping to expand the educational and professional development offerings of ASI as the organization continues to address the needs of our members.
I also believe that ASI has an important role to play as an advocate for our profession and an educator for the public regarding the importance of quality indexing. I attempt to support these goals in my own business activities, and see service on the ASI board as another way in which I can try to help fellow indexers and promote our profession. It is important for ASI to be a visible part of the publishing community and to engage with other publishing professionals in order to build awareness of indexing and indexers.
Anne Fifer (Treasurer)
I am a freelance indexer, and member of ASI since 2008. My education is in psychology and medicine, with additional interests and expertise in cooking, food science, apiculture, art, and gardening/farming.
The American Society of Indexing has played an important role in my choosing to become an indexer, and in my continuing education and development. I was pleased to serve on the Indexing Standards Committee in preparation of the Best Practices document.
Meghan Miller Brawley (Director)
Meghan Miller Brawley came to indexing after an initial career in public libraries and university archives, which gave her an understanding of both authors’ and readers’ needs, as well as a commitment to service, giving back to the incredibly supportive indexing community. A generalist, Meghan has a wide range of subject knowledge, including history, public affairs, literature, self-help, and consumer technology. She is currently a managing partner at Potomac Indexing. Meghan serves as the ASI Training Course administrator and as a volunteer Key Words proofreader. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.
I support ASI’s role in developing and nurturing a strong indexing community. Key to this is a focus on education, both for new and experienced indexers, as well as online and remote service and learning as we work together to navigate the changing publishing world.
- Build membership – provide value by listening to and responding to members’ needs. Retention as well as recruiting.
- Education and training – both for experienced and new indexers. Explore new possibilities for conferences. Support best practices and strong businesses. Refine and improve the ASI Training Course through more interactive opportunities.
- Industry visibility – expand initiatives promoting indexing and standards, working with other professional organizations. Build on strength of ASI publications.
Jennifer Spanier (Director)
Jennifer has been a freelance indexer since 2009, performing both back-of-the-book and database indexing. Prior to becoming an indexer, she worked as a molecular biologist and a public reference librarian. She was an active member of the New York City Chapter and served on the Board until she moved to Vermont in 2013. From 2013 to 2014 she filled a vacant spot on the ASI Board of Directors. For the past year she has been serving as Treasurer of the New England Chapter. She has also held Special Interest Group leadership roles, as Membership Coordinator for the Science and Medicine SIG, and as Webmaster for the Gardening and Environmental Studies SIG. In addition, Jennifer has been a member of the ASI Webmaster team since 2012. She enjoys living in rural Vermont where she and her husband have a large greenhouse and a variety of critters. There she serves on the Board of Trustees of Blake Memorial Library.
I have been a member of ASI since I was an indexing student in 2008. It has played an extremely important role in the development of my indexing career. By attending ASI conferences and meetings as a new indexer, I not only supplemented what I was learning, but quickly found a home in the indexing community. As a member of the ASI Board, I would like to help ASI continue to be that welcoming home for new indexers. I would also like to be involved in helping ASI create enhanced value for established indexers. Changing times and advances in technology require innovative thinking in how we can best serve our membership. I welcome the opportunity to be a part of that process.
Paul Sweum (Director)
As an indexer and technical writer out of the Seattle area, I have one foot in publishing and the other in technical documentation for various industries. An ASI member since 2009, I served in several capacities with the Pacific Northwest chapter (PNW-ASI); as the newsletter editor for four years, on marketing and conference committees, and on the Board (including as President in 2013). I have lent my experience with marketing workshops at national and chapter conferences throughout ASI. In that time, I learned that success in these efforts takes place only with the contributions and support of other ASI members.
ASI recently made effective adjustments to better-serve its membership, and continues that hard work. Another side to this involves expanding opportunities for freelance indexers, including outside of typical circles; pathways into industries with clear needs, but unaware of the effectiveness of indexing (or usability in general). I bring some experience and perspectives on this, in an effort to (1) develop plans of action to carve pathways into industries that benefit from indexing, (2) promote effective marketing strategies to that effect, and (3) cultivate programs to expand membership. I look forward to the ASI Membership bringing helpful ideas to this conversation.