Personal Stories of America at Work

Chroniclers, Editors, and Curiosity Seekers

Meet the men and women from multiple generations and regions of the country who are uncovering stories about life in today’s American workforce. They have years of experience in business, the arts, journalism, education, and politics. Their collective wisdom is surpassed only by their collective curiosity about the world of work and all of us who inhabit it.

Managing Editor

Molly Rosen

The Working Chronicles gives me a great excuse to interview people in my dream jobs: wrangler, B&B owner, and cheese monger.

I love talking to people about their work. I’m curious about what they do and how they do it. I enjoy learning about how they balance “making a living” with “living their life.” I am inspired by how some people find their passion in their work while others are happy to follow their passion outside work.

I received my first paycheck as a dressing room attendant, where I developed an early appreciation for employee discounts. My skills in efficiently tidying up have come in handy in managing my husband, two kids, and three-year-old Spaniel. Having spent most of my career in the corporate world of leadership and career development, I took a detour to publish a book, Knowing Pains: Women on Love, Sex and Work in Our 40s. This collection of essays about women in midlife was featured on news stations, newspapers, and The Today Show. I also volunteer as a Team Leader for Kiva.org.

Editing and Review Team

Judy David Bloomfield

I bring to The Working Chronicles my love of storytellingor rather “storylistening”and a deep respect for the power of a story well told.

A daughter of Romanian-born immigrants who survived the Holocaust, I grew up in an environment intensely focused on work and family. I was fascinated by the stories of my parents and their friends about the “Old Country,” their survival during WWII, and how they re-created their lives in America. Just out of college, I began my working life helping employers who were advancing child care benefits, flexible work arrangements, and other types of work and family initiatives. After an exciting eighteen-year career, I took a  break to focus on my family. Editing the stories of The Working Chronicles is my path back into the world of work.

Deborah Bonzell

We are all so much more than our resumes, and I’m eager to learn about the diverse career paths of our Storytellers—how they got to where they are now, what they find most fulfilling about their current work, and what they dream of doing next.

I have always gravitated toward jobs that involve working with groups of people in a learning environment—from my first summer gig teaching sailing to my current list of part-time pursuits: university instructor, organizational consultant, camp director, and PTA volunteer. When I’m not doing one of these things, you’ll likely find me watching a baseball game, hiking in the woods, or puttering in my garden.

Joanne Hartman

I’m excited to help shape engaging stories about work and life, and to discover what brought people to their working paths.

My first paid publishing gig at age nine garnered me twenty-five cents for my illustrated book, Hairdos for You. My second paid publishing gig ten years later earned me twenty-five dollars from the National Dairy News. I am a founding editor and currently the Profiles editor at Literary Mama, and my writing appears in several anthologies. I’ve worked as a public television writer, a sailing magazine reporter and photographer, an editor at a wire service, and a columnist for j., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California. I also spent a decade teaching middle school.

Jan Linden

I joined The Working Chronicles because, in a world that needs so much, it offers us stories of hope, change, and perseverance—and a reminder that we’re a universal community connected by sharing.

I was born abroad and lived and traveled internationally with my family. As a child, I always treasured listening to people talk about who they are, where they came from, or where they wanted to go. As an adult, I gathered more stories working at the Washington Post, advertising agencies and graphic design firms, and as a freelance copyeditor. Our family recently returned from a year in England and Scotland. We listened to people with different backgrounds and points of view, we opened our minds and saw amazing things in what was close at hand, and we created new stories of our own.

Sarah Lavender Smith

For me, it’s a joy and a privilege to help edit this collection and, in doing so, to help spotlight extraordinary ordinary people.

My kaleidoscopic professional background revolves around journalism. I started out as an old-school daily newspaper reporter, but then I spun out on various tangents such as editing self-help books. These days I describe myself as a mother, writer, editor, and runner. My husband and I ditched work to travel around the world for a year, schooling our two kids along the way, and I chronicled our nomadic, one-bag-each experiment in extreme quality time at away-together.com. When we returned, I developed a blog called The Runner’s Trip that inspires runners to discover more about themselves and their world through training and travel.

Jamie Woolf

I’m thrilled to be a part of The Working Chronicles editing team, striving to bring into vivid focus what people do at work and how their jobs inspire or drain them.

When I learned that being an “organization development” consultant meant talking to people about their work lives—why they loved or hated their bosses, which co-worker deflated their motivation, what part of their job felt rewarding—I thought, that’s the job for me! As for writing, as a kid I thought I’d become a journalist.  But soon enough, Jacques Cousteau captured my interest and I declared myself a future oceanographer.  Now, I write a newsletter, articles, and reports for work, I write to process personal dilemmas, and in 2009, I wrote a book on parenting and leadership called Mom-in-Chief.

Chroniclers


Ted Ahrens

I joined The Working Chronicles to add to the diverse, intriguing lessons from the workforce and to gain perspective on my own young career.

Currently on the “low end of the totem pole” in the workforce, I graduated college in 2008 and am in my first role as a fundraiser for a large university. There are a lot of questions still to be answered, including “Am I doing what I love?” With these questions in the back of my mind, I’m exploring the things I love, such as sailing, Arabic, serving on a nonprofit advisory board, softball, and traveling.

Laurie Brescoll

Through this project, I am renewing my affinity for writing and stretching myself in a new way by recording stories from other people about their working lives.

I am a Midwesterner, an Italian linguist who made my way from a conservative hometown in Michigan to my parents’ honeymoon destination in San Francisco.  Out of college, I worked for State Senator Jackie Speier, and then jumped over to the private sector to client services and marketing for a global organizational and leadership development company. Outside work, you’ll often find me engrossed in journalistic photography, finding new ways to use spices, or busting a move amongst talented musicians, artists, students, and friends.

Carrie Coltman

We all work, whether it’s for a cause, a passion, a paycheck, or simply to have something to do. Why we do what we do, and who we do it with, is a source of unending interest to me.

The only A+ I ever received in college was in a course called the “Sociology of Work.” Not surprisingly, I’ve built a career in leadership development, working as a consultant and on the staff of many world-class organizations helping leaders and teams to be more effective.  Whether work is defined as a vocation (a calling) or an occupation (definition: to be taken), I feel my life’s work is around helping people get more meaning, satisfaction, and joy out of what they do day in and day out.

Michael Dimeo

The Working Chronicles offers me a chance to learn from others and discover if, in fact, their work is “love made visible.”

I seem to spend a lot of time working, and I want that time to be as titillating as possible. I’ve spent most of my career at a Fortune 50 company where many of my jobs were not titillating. So I’ve always had a “part-time” job where I can engage my heart and mind, which is why I’m also a consultant, a photographer, a musician, and a teacher. Kahlil Gibran said, “Work is love made visible.”  I want to hear from others about their work and how they build a world there.

Katie Gay

The Working Chronicles blends a life-long curiosity about people with my deep desire to write a book someday.

Hanging out on the Malibu Beach set of Baywatch, overseeing celebrity interviews as a newbie PR rep, was great for a first job out of college. However, I eventually left David Hasselhoff and the lifeguards to work for Vanity Fair magazine.  Since those early glamorous days of my career, I’ve lived a more conventional lifestyle, working in sales, earning an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and being a mom.  Finally, I’ve attained my dream job as a Professional and Personal Coach.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski

I wanted to be part of The Working Chronicles to inspire others to pursue their passions by providing interviews that offer insight, and in some cases, a road map for exploring their own next big thing.

Initially, my sixteen-year career in marketing research found me, but I eventually wrestled control and started doing work that I remember enjoying even in grade school: being a connector. As a child, I wanted my friends to meet and know each other so we could all play together. As an adult, I learned that not everyone shares the same affection for group gatherings, so I wrote, I’m at a Networking Event–Now What??? Today, at Bella Domain Media, I create written and visual content that inspires others to connect to the resources, people, ideas and opportunities that will enable them to achieve their business and professional goals.

Sherry Jordana

I bring to The Working Chronicles the curiosity, warmth, and compassion to illuminate the stories of people in their working endeavors.

I first realized the thrill of commerce at four years of age, after one afternoon selling popcorn in the neighborhood. I returned home with an empty wagon and a fist full of coins, feeling intoxicated and rich! While not all subsequent jobs have lived up to this promising start, the experience did create the awareness that working can be an invigorating and fulfilling aspect of living. My “adult” career has been in the Human Resources profession as an executive and now a self-employed consultant.

Vicki Larson

I am excited to be part of The Working Chronicles because I’m fascinated to learn how people have shaped their lives, and because I’ve always loved my chosen career.

I am the mom of two boys who happen to be taller than I am, so I’m a lot nicer to them now. I also put in long hours as the lifestyles editor at the Marin Independent Journal and as editor of the IJ’s alt weekly, Here. A longtime journalist, I have worked for almost every newspaper in the Bay Area, and have freelanced for numerous publications and websites. I sometimes have something intelligent to say on my blog, and am living out a childhood fantasy as the lead singer in a chick band, Sounds Like China.

Douglas Leach

I’ve been working for forty-five years and am fascinated by how differently people think about the meaning of labor, their jobs, their careers, and their hobbies.

I have worked as a busboy, waiter, chef, greens keeper, taxi driver, mime, actor, teacher, janitor, businessman, model, dancer, television producer, and gardener—and these are just the jobs I was paid for. I have had at least three official careers in the worlds of theater, business, and philanthropy. As a natural teacher I found that part of every career has included training and education. My current exploration involves food—cooking, nutrition, and bringing the joy of the kitchen to a larger audience.

Mira Ringler

I love to hear about people’s decision points, and I’m curious about how both their choices and unforeseen forces influence the path their careers ultimately take.

I started my working career in a basement doing administrative work for an independent insurance sales woman. From there I knew that the only way I could go was up, and I moved on to the second floor of a local department store selling women’s shoes. In these jobs and many others (from college tour guide to human resources consultant), I have learned the power of personal relationships and their effect on the workplace. Everyone has a story to tell and a lesson to share. I want to hear them all and continue to explore what makes people “tick.”

Windy Warner

I’m excited to be a part of The Working Chronicles because you just never know what surprises lie beneath a seemingly conventional persona.

As a corporate refugee, I love my third career as a Sherpa for people who want to climb to new heights in their personal and business lives. In the ’90s, as a way of escaping the confines of corporate life, I was a part-time cabaret singer, culminating this career with a one-woman show at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Cinegrill nightclub. When I am not exploring the world with my husband, I live in Dallas, Texas and keep cool during the summer in Bozeman, Montana.

Chroniclers

The Working Chronicles

  • The Working Chronicles captures an intimate look at work in 21st century America through candid interviews with people from all walks of life and all corners of the country.

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  • Have a story about changing careers? We want to hear from you!
    For a short time we are accepting submissions from readers and will publish the top stories on our blog and possibly include in a book.
    We'll accept an autobiographical story or interview with someone else--check out the Submission Guidelines.

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