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More About the CIO

That was also the year I won the American Legion essay contest on how the ideals and principles of George Washington apply to contemporary society. Wouldn’t it be great to read that essay now to see exactly what a third grader thought about politics?


Having grown as a writer since then, I’m happy to share my writing credentials with you:

Debbie Meyers EDiT!

Bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola University New Orleans, minors in linguistics, the Classics and German
Studied traditional literary analysis along with rhetoric and composition. Learned Homeric Greek and Latin from a salty Jesuit who strove to show modern-day relevance to these not-so-dead languages. Worked as a student assistant in the English department, tutoring basic skills and ESL students.

Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida, minor in public relations

Took classes in reporting, magazine editing, mass communication theory, feature writing and graphic design. Big takeaway was learning the difference between AP style and MLA style. Served as a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Financial Affairs, creating presentations and financial aid publications. Also worked as a student assistant in the Office of News and Public Affairs, generating news stories about faculty, staff and students for the wire services and the state’s minority weeklies.


Managing Editor, Florida Business Journal and The Independent Professional

Covered the Gainesville business community and the state’s regulated professions as a professional journalist, taking the lead after the publisher became terminally ill. Taught myself how to set type, copy fit and lay out pages.


Journalism teacher, Bishop Moore High School

Taught high school juniors and seniors how to produce a monthly high school newspaper, including selling ads and generating their own story ideas. Also discussed professional ethics (when advertisers provided free movie tickets) and freedom of speech (the principal had ultimate editorial control).

Beyond these credentials, I am obsessed with rules of good writing, grammar and syntax. My mother corrected my grammar from my first spoken word, and she also made me aware of what words meant in their true form – things like “I’m nauseated” means you feel ill, but “I’m nauseous” means you make other people feel ill. Grade school taught me the joy – yes, the joy! – of diagramming sentences.


Having worked in advancement for more than 30 years, much of that time in higher education, I have honed my editorial skills by writing countless acknowledgments, talking points, proposals, gift agreements and impact reports.


During that time, I created or enhanced operations, communications, donor relations and stewardship programs at Chautauqua Institution, the University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Florida. I also built communications and development programs for a Catholic high school, an art museum and a health center development office.


A founding board member of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals, I chaired the international conference in 2011 and have a consecutive streak of presenting at every ADRP international conference, and some even before ADRP was formed.


On a personal note

Living in married bliss in Mayville, NY, with my high school drum major, Paul, I enjoy the four seasons of southwest New York. We have four grown children and three grandchildren, along with three rescue mutts: a pit-lab mix named Bo, a purebred Aussie named Boo and a chihuahua mix named Marco Polo.

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