New Year, New Faces

Happy New Year!

New year? In the middle of summer?

Fair questions, explained because the American Society of Journalists and Authors operates on two different 12-month cycles, one for membership management (the January 1-December 31 calendar we all know well) and a second one for accounting and most other business activities (our fiscal year, starting on July 1 and running through the following June 30). Starting a new business year in the middle of a calendar year already six months old benefits the IRS and accountants by spreading out their workloads beyond the typical April 15 tax filing date. For everyone else, the arbitrary division might seem peculiarly out of sync, and the mismatch can cause problems.

For ASJA and many other organizations, though, common business practices trump the Gregorian calendar and new accounting years often begin on July 1. New years—fiscal or otherwise—inevitably bring change. Parul Kapur, Lisa Roepe, and Arielle Emmett began their terms on the Board of Directors on July 1; Leida Snow is the new Chair of the multi-faceted Publications Committee; and Debbie Koenig now is ASJA Confidential editor.

On the management side, ASJA began FY 2019-20 with a new Executive Director, Tim Bennett. He replaces Holly Koenig, who served in that role since the Kellen Company took over management responsibilities for ASJA in 2014.

Anyone who attended the annual New York conference or any of our other events in the last few years probably already knows Holly. She’s hard to miss, a troubleshooter whenever there’s a problem and a welcome presence when things usually go as planned. We’ll miss her guidance. Holly is moving on to bigger and better things within Kellen, but she will continue to have general oversight responsibility for ASJA.

Tim is a new face for ASJA but an old hand at association management. He joined Kellen after several years working in academic and scholarly publishing and now will be dividing his time between ASJA and his concurrent role as Executive Director for another Kellen client, the Council of Science Editors (CSE).

“The CSE is a professional society of editors in the field of scholarly publishing committed to the responsible and effective communication of science,” Tim explained. His responsibilities there include oversight of member recruitment and engagement, organization of CSE’s annual meeting and educational programs, and administration of the organization’s quarterly journal and Scientific Style & Format, a well-respected style guidebook. He’ll be a good fit for ASJA.

Tim also has ten years’ experience as program manager for the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), where his responsibilities include oversight of member services (including recruitment and retention), meeting logistics, and marketing and sales of the organization’s technical publications that set standards for design and construction industries. He also oversees a BHMA certification program that helps guarantee that building and construction products comply with industry standards and protocols.

Senior Account Executives at Kellen typically divide their time among more than one organization. While these varied responsibilities might sound like an ineffective and scattershot division of labor, there are common management objectives across the board, and the system works. One benefit of management experience with different organizations is recognition of industry-wide best practices—if most organizations do things a certain way, there probably is a good reason—and ASJA has benefitted from that shared knowledge. Another of those commonalities is attention to organization membership, gaining new members and keeping existing ones.

When asked about his role at ASJA and the future of the organization, Tim emphasized maintaining a balance between revenue and programming and, not surprisingly, growing membership.

“I want to drive membership by increasing the value of being a member,” he explained. Part of that process, he added, is “identifying things that people didn’t know that they need or want” from the organization. For ASJA, increased value for members includes emphasis on the rich educational environment at conferences and the networking opportunities offered by our in-person and virtual meetings with clients.

For ASJA to grow, Tim said, we need to think of “our members as learners.”

Welcome to ASJA, Tim. We’re looking forward to working with you.

Not yet a member? You can join any time—no need to wait for the next calendar year! Check out our membership process at