Meet the Pros

You Have Nursing School Questions, We Have Professional Advice

At All Nursing Schools, we care about your educational journey. We want you to have the information you’re looking for—and information you didn’t even know you needed—as you explore the many paths you can take to achieve your career goals. That’s why we consult professors, association leaders, and our team of experienced editors and writers when we’re creating our library of resources, all crafted with you in mind. We’re here help simplify the complicated process of planning to go back to school and to help point you in the right direction.

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Nursing Professionals

thereza ayad

Thereza Ayad, DNP

Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Thereza Ayad has been a registered nurse since 2000 and is an expert in the perioperative setting. She is experienced in various roles, including staff, charge, and manager, and is currently employed as a clinical nurse educator and assistant professor specializing in perioperative nursing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Healthcare/Nursing Education, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. The focus of Ayad’s scholarly work is safety culture in the operating room as it relates to the prevention of wrong site surgery.  

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parth bhakta

Parth Bhakta

CEO and Founder, NurseFly

Parth Bhakta is the co-founder and CEO of NurseFly, an online marketplace in healthcare recruiting that was acquired by IAC in 2019. Bhakta was previously the co-founder and CEO of Chatous, Inc, a venture-backed consumer internet startup that launched messaging apps for meeting new people, and social Q&A mobile apps to over 30 million users across the globe with over $18 million in venture funding. Bhakta graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Symbolic Systems and an MS in Computer Science. 

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Melissa Burdi, DNP, MS, RN, LSSGB

Associate Dean for the School of Nursing, Purdue University Global

Melissa Burdi, DNP, MS, RN, LSSGB, is the dean and vice president of the Purdue Global School of Nursing. She began her career at Purdue Global as the associate dean of online nursing programs. Before joining Purdue Global, Burdi was the national director of academic operations at Chamberlain University where she provided leadership to university-wide operational and academic quality-related initiatives. Burdi has also provided senior-level leadership in the academic arena leading both DNP and RN-BSN programs in the patient care setting across numerous healthcare systems. She has served in leadership roles and specialized in areas such as professional development and cardiac care, driving patient safety, and accreditation initiatives.

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keith carlson

Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC

Nurse coach

Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC, is a board-certified nurse coach, career expert, writer, social media influencer, motivational speaker, and award-winning nurse blogger. Keith’s podcast, The Nurse Keith Show, offers valuable inspiration and information for nurses seeking meaning and satisfaction in their lives and careers. His platforms reach nurses worldwide, and he can be found on his website and  on many social media channels. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his remarkably intelligent cat, George.

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Sean DeGarmo, PhD, RN, ENP-BC, FNP-BC, ACNS-BC

American Nurses Credentialing Center Director, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Initiatives

Sean DeGarmo, PhD, RN, ENP-BC, FNP-BC, ACNS-BC, has more than 20 years of experience as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, flight nurse, researcher, and educator in academic and non-academic institutions. He is triple-board certified by American Nurses Credentialing Center and has served on ANCC content panels. He is currently the inaugural director of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Initiatives where he coordinates and communicates information about issues impacting advanced practice nursing within the ANA Enterprise. DeGarmo serves as a primary resource for colleges and universities related to ANA Enterprise programs and products and establishes strong relationships with APRN faculty to promote ANCC Certification.

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tari dilks

Sattaria “Tari” Dilks, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP

Professor of nursing at McNeese State University and president of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

Tari Dilks, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, is a professor of nursing at McNeese State University and president of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). With more than four decades of nursing experience, Dr. Dilks has served as a family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and a licensed professional counselor in Louisiana. She is the 2017 recipient of the APNA Award for Excellence in Education and was inducted into the Louisiana State Nurses Association Hall of Fame in 2020.

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Joseph Dunmire

Board Member, National Association for Health Care Recruitment (NAHCR); and Vice President—Workforce Solutions, Qualivis

Joseph Dunmire has served the healthcare human capital industry since 1992 with the majority of his concentration in sourcing and tracking employment patterns of healthcare professionals to develop time and cost-effective workforce management solutions. Prior to joining Qualivis, Dunmire was employed by the nation’s premier healthcare recruitment marketing firm and the two largest healthcare contingent workforce providers in the United States, where he provided valuable solutions to healthcare organizations throughout the nation. Dunmire is a published author on the topic of healthcare human capital and his extensive experience includes sourcing, recruitment, retention, and predictive analytics to identify human capital strategies.

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jessica dzubak

Jessica Dzubak

Director of Nursing Practice, Ohio Nurses Association

Jessica Dzubak, MSN, RN is the Director of Nursing Practice for the Ohio Nurses Association. She leads several member-driven councils and caucuses for the organization, and as a nursing professional development practitioner, she develops and presents continuing education activities in collaboration with members, staff, and other health care stakeholders. Dzubak is also a freelance copywriter specializing in health care content and education, and she serves as a reviewer for The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing.

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Joan Edwards, PhD, RNC, CNS, FAAN

Labor and Delivery Nurse; Director, TWU Center for Global Nursing; and Former President, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)

A tenured professor at Texas Woman’s University in Houston and director of its Center for Global Nursing since 2008, Joan Edwards has a diploma in nursing from Copley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois, a BSN from the University of Illinois, and a MN from the University of Washington. Her PhD, with an emphasis on community and global health, is from the University of Texas. Edwards is certified in high-risk perinatal nursing and affiliated with the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), having served as president in 2006. Edwards was inducted as a Fellow by the American Academy of Nurses in 2015. 

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Leslie Flores, MHA, SFHM

Cofounder, Nelson | Flores Hospital Medicine Consultants

Leslie Flores is one of the nation’s preeminent consultants on hospital medicine practice management. A seasoned hospital executive, she led a variety of hospital operations, business development, managed care, and physician practice development before founding Nelson | Flores Hospital Medicine Consultants with partner John Nelson, MD, in 2004. Flores has devoted the last 16 years to helping clients build successful programs in hospital-focused practice and enhancing the effectiveness and value of existing programs. Flores is also active in the Society of Hospital Medicine, serving on its Practice Analysis and Communications Strategy committees, co-leading SHM’s Multi-Site Leaders Special Interest Group, serving as co-director for its annual one-day practice management pre-course, and writing regularly for SHM’s official blog The Hospital Leader on a variety of management and leadership topics. 

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emma geiser

Emma Geiser, RN

Nurse and money coach

Emma Geiser is a nurse, money coach, and founder of (Financially Enlightened Nurse). She lives in Nevada with her husband and dog. In her spare time, she enjoys backyard BBQs, mountain biking, and rewatching Grey’s Anatomy.

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yhovana gordon

Yhovana D. Gordon, EdD, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Florida International University’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Dr. Yhovana Gordon is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University (FIU). Her teaching tenure at FIU spans nearly two decades, starting as an adjunct nursing professor and progressing to clinical assistant professor, nurse practitioner track leader, and most recently, chair of FIU’s graduate nursing department and director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. A nurse veteran specializing in family, maternal-child, and women’s health, she is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and the American Nurses Association. Dr. Gordon earned her DNP from the University of South Alabama; her Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University; and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from FIU.

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Mike Hastings, MSN, RN, CEN

President (2020), Emergency Nurses Association

Mike Hastings is the 2020 president of the Emergency Nurses Association. Hastings has worked in a variety of settings in his career, from rural and urban pre-hospital to leading research and quality for the University of Kansas Hospital Emergency Department, a Level I Trauma/Burn Center in Kansas City, Kansas. He served as a trauma program manager at Dell Children’s Medical Centers of Central Texas, a Level I Trauma Center in Austin, Texas; managed a freestanding emergency department; and is currently clinical manager for Swedish Edmonds Emergency Department in Edmonds, Washington.

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beth hawkes

Beth Hawkes, MSN, RN-BC

Nursing Professional Development Specialist

Beth Hawkes, MSN, RN-BC, is a nursing professional development specialist in acute care. She is the author of two books, “Your Last Nursing Class…How to Land Your First Nursing Job,” and “First-Year Nurse” and blogs on A nurse influencer and speaker, she hosts an advice column as Ask Nurse Beth on Her passion is helping new nurses succeed.

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damion jenkins

Damion Jenkins, RN, MSN

Nursing Consultant

Damion Keith Jenkins is a master’s-prepared registered nurse, NCLEX prep expert, nurse content writer, and public speaker with a passion for nursing education. Jenkins is the owner and lead educator at The Nurse Speak, LLC. – a nursing education and consulting company and blog. He specializes in providing individualized NCLEX prep tutoring services for new graduate nurses—especially those who have experienced unsuccessful attempts. Jenkins’ mission is to increase the number of nurses entering into the profession by helping them to develop strategies for success. He also offers high-quality, up-to-date writing services and public speaking engagements for a variety of conferences, organizations and nursing related companies.

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rolanda johnson

Rolanda Johnson, PhD, MSN, RN

Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Vanderbilt University, School of Nursing

Rolanda Johnson, PhD, MSN, RN, is the Assistant Dean for Academics and Associate Professor of Nursing and the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN), where she was the first African American to hold a vice-chair position in Vanderbilt’s Faculty Senate. She oversees VUSN’s efforts to support and foster an environment that is culturally appreciative and inclusive, particularly for historically underrepresented and marginalized groups and individuals and assists students with special curriculum needs or who experience academic difficulty. Dr. Johnson has also been appointed to the Diversity, Education and Inclusion Group (DEIG) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

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beverly malone

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN

CEO, National League for Nursing

Under Beverly Malone’s leadership, NLN advanced the science of nursing education by promoting greater collaboration among stakeholders, increasing diversity in nursing and nursing education, and advancing excellence in care for patients. Malone’s distinguished career has mixed policy, education, administration, and clinical practice, including as federal deputy assistant secretary for health under President Bill Clinton. Elected two terms as ANA president, representing 180,000 nurses, Malone also served as the first U.S. and African American general secretary of the UK Royal College of Nursing representing 400,000 nurses. A member of the UK as well as U.S. delegation to the World Health Assembly, she was also vice chair of the Brussels-based European Federation of Nurses Association.

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beth morgan
beth morgan

Beth Morgan, RN

Neonatal-certified Registered Nurse

Beth Morgan is a registered nurse, certified in neonatal intensive care with more than 15 years of NICU nursing experience. She is pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Following in the footsteps of her mother, who was a NICU nurse for 29 years, Morgan graduated from nursing school at Wichita State University in 2004 and started her career as a NICU nurse at Wichita’s Wesley Medical Center. She later moved to Texas, where she became a neonatal transport nurse, traveling to rural hospitals via ground ambulance or rotor wing.  

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Robin Nelson, PhD, MSN, RN

Dean, College of Nursing, West Coast University

Robin Nelson is a long-time member of the American Nurses Association, California chapter. She brings more than 45 years of experience in higher education from public and private nursing programs, including as Chair of the Division of Nursing at CSU Sacramento, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Touro University in Nevada, and Dean of the College of Nursing at West Coast University. Nelson is a site visitor for the regional accreditor, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), and for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

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rachel norton

Rachel Norton, RN

Critical Care Travel Nurse

Rachel Norton, RN, is an ICU travel nurse with NurseFly, a travel nurse staffing agency. She’s been a nurse for 13 years, working her entire career in critical care. She contributes frequently to the NurseFly travel nurse blog, sharing stories and information to assist the travel nurse community.

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Michelle Paul, RN, BSN  

Content Specialist, Clipboard Health nurse staffing agency

Michelle Paul is an RN Content Specialist at Clipboard Health. She has worked with a variety of patient demographics ranging from young adults in foreign countries, to elderly residents in skilled nursing facilities, to healthy blood donors in her community. In addition to nursing, she’s worked as a technical writer and content creator. Her experience in content creation gives her a unique perspective on communication within the healthcare field.

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Judy Pins, RN, MBA, MHRD

President, Pfiedler Enterprises (a subsidiary of the Association of Operating Room Nurses)

Judy Pins served as the president of Pfiedler Enterprises, a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) where she was responsible for operations, growth, and profitability of the medical and nursing education organization. Pins is a 35-year veteran of healthcare management, having served as partner and vice president of business development with Pins Productions, a Chicago-based company that provides market research, educational video projects, thought leadership events, and national presentations for healthcare professionals. Previously, she was vice president and general manager for Cardinal Health’s consulting division where she was responsible for sales, marketing, finance, legal, and ongoing development of 300 consultants.

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Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF

President-Elect, National League for Nursing (NLF); and Associate Professor & Assistant Dean Undergraduate Programs and Faculty Development MSU College of Nursing

Kathleen Poindexter is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Faculty Development at MSU and prior Director of the MSN CNS and Education Program. She is also the coordinator and faculty of record for the College Teaching in Nursing Certificate Program. She is board certified in nursing education, served as a member of the National League for Nursing Board of Commissioners for six years, and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Nursing Education. She was elected to the NLN Academy of Nursing Education and is the current president-elect for NLN.

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joan rikli

Joan Rikli, MBA, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, NE-BC

Director of NICU and Pediatric Services, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Joan Rikli is director of NICU and pediatric services for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been president of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses since October 2018. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from UCLA, her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Michigan and her Master of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University. With more than 35 years of experience in nursing leadership and neonatal nursing, Rikli is a board member for the March of Dimes, Grand Rapids Division. She has also contributed to multiple publications and speaks on a variety of nursing topics across the country.

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shielda rodgers

Shielda Glover Rodgers, PhD, RN

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing

Shielda Glover Rodgers, PhD, RN, is the Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing. Dr. Rodgers has been appointed to the Diversity, Education and Inclusion Group (DEIG) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and also serves on the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA). More recently, she accepted a role on the leadership team of Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good, the University’s new three- to five-year strategic plan, where she will help oversee the implementation of enhancing the educational benefits of diversity and inclusion through effective retention, recruitment and enrollment.

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Carla D. Sanderson, PhD, RN

Provost, Chamberlain University

As the provost and chief academic officer at Chamberlain University responsible for the creation and implementation of academic priorities, Carla Sanderson works closely with the academic deans, academic support services, faculty, and staff. To her role, Sanderson brings more than 35 years of experience in healthcare and education, and serves as a board member and committee chair in the healthcare, higher education, regulation, public policy, and leadership development fields. Sanderson earned her PhD in nursing science from University of Florida, a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Tennessee, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Union University and a diploma in nursing from Baptist College for the Health Sciences.

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amanda savage
beth morgan

Amanda Savage, MEd, BSN, RN

House Manager Registered Nurse, Eastern Maine Medical Center

Amanda Savage has more than 15 years of experience and knowledge in both academia and practice and is currently working toward her DNP with a focus in executive leadership. She is an assistant professor at Husson University as well as a House Manager Registered Nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Her responsibilities include overseeing operations of the hospital campus and direct patient care activities in order to provide optimal patient outcomes and ensure the maintenance of patient care standards. Savage has more than 10 years of experience as a Critical Care Cardio-thoracic ICU RN, two years as an Emergency RN, and experience as a clinical educator instructor at both the University of Southern Maine and Husson University  

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Lisa Smith, PhD, RN, CNE

Dean, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, Grand Canyon University

Prior to her current role, at Grand Canyon University, Lisa Smith taught for 10 years in a pre-licensure nursing program in South Florida. Before academia, she spent 20 years in hospital nursing, 15 of those in managerial and executive leadership positions including chief nursing officer with a for-profit hospital system, Hospital Corporation of America. Dr. Smith has been a registered nurse for 32 years, and has earned BSN, MSN, and PhD degrees. She also holds national certification as a certified nurse educator with the National League of Nursing.

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mary stahl

Mary A. Stahl, MSN, RN, CCNS, CCRN-K 

Clinical Practice Specialist, American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN); Past President, AACN National Board of Directors

Mary A. Stahl, MSN, RN, CCNS, CCRN-K, has more than 40 years of experience in critical care nursing. She is a clinical practice specialist with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. Prior to her role at AACN, Stahl served as a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, for 18 years. She is a past president of the AACN national board of directors.

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Stephanie Behring

Contributing Writer

Stephanie Behring is an east coast-based freelance writer who specializes in healthcare, education, and insurance. Prior to making the move to writing, Stephanie worked in healthcare and social services for many years. Her experience in the field has taught her how to break down and explain complex topics in a way people can understand and use. She uses this experience in her writing, creating engaging and highly readable content, no matter the subject. Behring is always looking to expand her writing resume. She’s recently completed a journalism certification from Michigan State University and is looking to pursue a grant writing course.

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Rob Bhatt

Contributing Writer

Seattle-based Rob Bhatt is an experienced journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for awarded-winning newspapers and lifestyle magazines in California, Nevada, and Washington. The UC Berkeley graduate now contributes articles on healthcare, education, insurance, and hospitality to national and regional outlets. He also publishes an online travel guide to Northwest wine regions and is a Washington-state licensed property and casualty insurance producer.

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erika almanza brown

Erika Almanza Brown

Contributing Writer

Erika Almanza Brown is an experienced educator, freelance writer, and amateur photographer with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grinnell College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University. A Texas native, Brown has called Seattle “home” since 2011, where her articles and blog posts have appeared in Seattle magazine,, and Seattle’s Child magazine. When she’s not writing, Brown actively volunteers in her community, enjoys traveling with her husband and young daughter, and attempts new pressure cooker recipes.

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Sheila Cain


Sheila Cain is a writer/editor at All Star Directories. She has more than 25 years of experience working as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and freelance writer. She has extensive experience in the technology and feature writing realm, having written dozens of sponsored content stories as well as lifestyle pieces for a variety of local and national publications. Cain is a native of the Pacific Northwest and lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

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malia jacobson

Malia Jacobson

Contributing Writer

Malia Jacobson is nationally published journalist specializing in health and the host of the Sleep Well Stay Well podcast. Her work has appeared in national media outlets including Runner’s World, Costco Connection, Women’s Health, MSNBC Health, ABC News, and on television.

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Sheila Mickool

Contributing Writer

Sheila Mickool is an award-winning journalist in Seattle, Washington, and a freelance editor and writer. She covers a wide range of topics—from healthcare, research, technology, and business to lifestyle trends, travel, and education. Mickool is a recipient of the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Philip S. Weintraub National Media Award. A former telecommunications company CEO, she also served as the Kuolt Distinguished Executive-in-Residence Professor for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Central Washington University.

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Lisa Schuetz

Contributing Writer

Lisa Schuetz has worked as a writer and newspaper reporter since 1997, specializing in women’s issues, policing, and crime, as well as interior design and architecture. Although she’s lived in New York City, Denver, and Chicago, she’s happy to be now living just outside her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, with her two dogs, seven chickens, and horse. She earned her degree in Family and Consumer Journalism from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997 and most recently has added serving as an organizational change management consultant to her resume, helping businesses make lasting and productive change.

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randy woods

Randy Woods

Contributing Writer

Randy Woods is a seasoned magazine editor and writer specializing in business, the trade press, aviation, local news, and the film industry. With more than 30 years of experience, he has written about topics such as global trade, the environment, property/casualty insurance, entrepreneurism, process improvement, photography, and cinema. 

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