Archive for August, 2014

Meet the Team- Kimberly Hays

Monday, August 25th, 2014

KIM+profile+final+2Kimberly Hays joined the PeKu team in July of 2012 as a columnist.  The following year she added the second role of associate editor.  Kim currently oversees the editorial work for our Active Living, Entertainment, Home & Garden, Style, and Technology sections.  Additionally, she supplies weekly articles for a variety of topics, including DIY home projects, crafts for elementary aged children, holiday planning, gardening, and more.  Kim definitely brings a lot of creativity and inspiration to the pages of PeKu.

To learn more about Kim, continue reading!

MPK: You write three different columns that fall in the genre of DIY and crafting. Do you spend a regular amount of your free time working on these sort of projects? If so, what sort of projects do you like best?

KH: I do spend a lot of my free time on DIY projects. My home is decorated in a very eclectic style because I love making unique pieces. I enjoy going to thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets looking for something that can be refinished, or made into something entirely different than its intended purpose.

MPK: You also write about gardening frequently. Do you have a garden at home?

KH: My family always enjoyed gardening together when I was growing up, and I can’t imagine not having a flower and vegetable garden. In the past few years I have concentrated on organic gardening and enjoy sharing my experiences with our readers.

MPK: In your role as an editor, you edit on many of the publications.  Do you have one publication that is your favorite to edit?  If so, why?

KH: I really don’t have a favorite publication that I edit because I enjoy reading them all. The writers at PeKu always bring fresh, new information to each article they submit for publication, and I learn something new while editing on a daily basis.

MPK: What’s the most interesting fact you’ve learned or discovery that you’ve made while editing others’ work?

KH: One interesting discovery that I have made is how each writer has a very different writing voice that gives them a style all their own. I feel that I could read an article written by one of the writers that I edit and know who had written it. This has helped me be more aware of my own writing voice, which has helped me be more consistent in my own writing.

MPK: What fun fact would our readers be surprised to learn about you?

KH: In the past year I have learned to make stained glass art without taking any classes. I have a dear friend who is a stained glass artist that lives in another state, and she helped me learn by coaching me through emails and instant messaging. I also watched YouTube videos for demonstrations on the process. I surprised myself!

Returning to Former Roles at Work

Monday, August 18th, 2014

editingIf you haven’t performed the tasks involved in a role, it can be difficult to explain them.  Although you may understand what is required, the experience of actually completing the task may highlight unexpected problems or shortcuts.  At PeKu, I have grown with the company, and thus I know the roles of writer, editor, marketing coordinator, and CEO.  However, even though I have worn all of those hats at one time or another, it is good to return to those roles occasionally.

Obviously, I experience the work of a CEO daily.  I also work in the role of a writer for two columns each week.  The marketing coordinator role was just filled in June, so I still am quite familiar with that.  It is the role of associate editor in which I spend the least of time.  I haven’t worked in the role on a regular basis since June of 2010.  Thankfully I have the opportunity to fill in for my editors a couple times a year when they are on vacation.

For the past two weeks I have been working as an associate editor.  While it certainly does add more items to my plate, I am grateful for this experience. Covering all of the tasks has been a valuable experience for a number of reasons:

  • It gave me a chance to see the raw work of our writers. Although I review potential writers, once they are part of our team I don’t see the writers’ work until after editing has been completed. Working as an editor has given me a glimpse into the talents of our team.
  • Editing provided me with the opportunity to review our editorial workspace.  I found guidelines that needed to be deleted, reworded, and even added. Although I do regular housekeeping, putting myself fully in this role allowed me to see where a little straightening was needed.
  • It sparked my creativity. Immersing myself in this role gave me time to consider new topics, new collaborations, and more.

While my days may have been a bit longer, there were many rewards for the effort.  Taking the time to fill another’s role truly was valuable for me. It is good to see the world of PeKu from a different vantage point.

Working at a Distance- Meeting in Person!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

North AmericaToday is the second Monday of the month, which means that I share anniversaries being celebrated among the PeKu team.  This month there are none.  Zippo.  Zilch.  However, fate had an interesting way of creating a topic for this week’s column.

Last Monday I had an Ask the Expert column published in the Union Leader (a Manchester, New Hampshire, newspaper) about managing an international team.  I wrote about strategies that have helped make PeKu into a successful company with a team that functions well while separated by thousands of miles.  I have stayed in communication with my team through various channels: email, phone calls, instant messaging.  However, as my team is located throughout the US, Canada, and Europe currently, I have met very few members of my team in person.

Today I will meet a 5-year member of our team, Jane Wangersky.  Jane is based in British Columbia, from where she has served as a columnist and associate editor.  However, she is on vacation in New England and will be traveling to Manchester, New Hampshire, to meet with me in person.  While Jane and I have been in contact for years, it will be the first time that we speak in-person.

Yes, we have worked well, even with over three thousand miles and a three hour time difference separating us. Still it will be wonderful to spend time in the same room.  I have seen photos of Jane and talked with her, so I have both a face and a voice to associate with her, but there will be an additional layer of knowing her from this meeting.

I may be able to manage an international team fairly well, but it sure will be exciting to meet another member of the PeKu team.

Ask the Expert: Managing an International Team

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

When I began building PeKu Publications six years ago, I knew that I would need writers. As a company that is focused on delivering original content, I would not be able to supply all the content on my own. In the early stages, when the budget was tight, I found talented, local high school students who were willing to write for me at a frugal rate.
Having founded PeKu on a bootstrap model, as revenue increased so did the size of my team. Keeping my high school writers (and offering rate increases), I also needed to add more writers and, eventually, editors. Rather than just seeking local scribes, I cast my net across the globe.

What’s New at PeKu- August 2014 Highlights

Monday, August 4th, 2014

August--HighlightsWhen August begins, somehow it feels like the end of summer to me.  When I was a child, this was when class schedules came in the mail, shopping for pens and notebooks began, and the first day’s outfit was planned.  When I taught, this was the month that I began setting up my classroom and working on lesson plan outlines. Now that I work year ’round, the schedule for August is similar to almost any other month, but somehow I still start to mourn the end of summer.

I’m a romantic at heart, so maybe it’s the fact that sun sets earlier.  There’s no more sitting on the porch swing until 8:30 or 9:00 watching the sky change colors.  It also could be that the family schedule begins to become more filled: fall sports practices begin, appointments need to be made and fit around the school day.

So, every year at this time, I try to fit a few more summer activities into the schedule before summer truly ends.  A trip to the beach. A nighttime run to the ice cream stand.  A bonfire with friends.  All of these things remind me that August truly is still summer in New Hampshire and needs to be enjoyed.

This summer has heralded a few changes for the PeKu team, as has been mentioned in previous columns.  Today I am pleased to introduce the two newest members.

  • Charles Wangersky– The newest member of our writing team, Charles will be sharing weekly beer reviews on Parched No More.  In July he introduced us to three different ales.  Here’s to many more information and entertaining reviews!
  • Suzanne Foglio– She joins us this month as our new holistic fitness expert.  A certified health and lifestyle coach, she brings a new perspective to our weekly fitness expert column on My Fitness Tunes. Look for her first article this Wednesday.

Although we’re busy at work at PeKu, we hope to infuse your summer days and nights with some creative ideas, engaging thoughts, and entertaining columns.  Be sure to return throughout the month to find new inspiration daily.