You may not realize it, but I never truly left Pest Management Professional when I retired (at the ripe old age of 32) in 2005. Over the past decade, I’ve served in several behind-the-scenes roles. I’ve been on hand to round up products, post stories, give my two cents on things — sometimes unsolicited — and help out as needed on a consultant basis.
I did all this from the relative comfort of my home office, where I have been blessed to keep company with my husband, Jamie, who does many of the same tasks for a magazine in another industry. The arrangement has let us raise our two daughters on our own timetable. It has meant I’ve been able to volunteer at the school library, to carpool without missing a meeting, to take a couple hours at lunch because I make up the time after dinner. But while I’ve made inroads in a few other industries (if any of you knit, crochet, needlepoint, spin, weave or cross-stitch, you may have run across my work), pest management has always been home base for me.
And as of this month, it’s my permanent home: I’m giving up my freelance lifestyle to return to the magazine as managing editor (the awesome Will Nepper has turned over the reins so he can take the senior editor position). As I teased to many friends at PestWorld in October, I had left the magazine in 2005 because my kids were little and it was so hard to go into the office, let alone travel. Now that they’re 12 and 15, somehow… it’s a little easier!
It’s also perhaps fitting that my “homecoming” was in Orlando at the National Pest Management Association show, around the same time that fellow Akron native LeBron James left Florida to return to Cleveland, where PMP is published. Like the King, I have a strong team surrounding me, and I’ve been assured that I’ve “still got game.” I’m suited up and ready to play.