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Each month, this space will highlight the unique career path and insights of an SSP member. We hope that these brief profiles provide guidance to our early career members and those site visitors interested in the broad spectrum of scholarly communications opportunities. Please contact Phil Wallas with any questions or suggestions for future profiles.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILES:

Barbara Meyers Ford

President, Meyers Consulting Services and Editor-in-Chief, SSP News

Barbara Meyers Ford Almost thirty years ago, a group of colleagues sat down in a living room in Chevy Chase, MD and paid the first dues for SSP—making the dream of a scholarly publishing professional membership society a reality. One of those people was Barbara Meyers Ford, who remains an active member in SSP and President of Meyers Consulting Services. “I was fortunate enough to be on staff at Capital Systems Group at the time, which was managing the NSF-sponsored Innovation Guide project, when a group of us decided to move forward on plans for a membership organization,” Barbara says, recalling how SSP was born and how she was one of the founding members.

Over the past 30 years as a member, Barbara has served on the Board of Directors three times, every committee of SSP as either a member or chair (or both), and has attended most meetings since the 1st annual meeting in Boston in 1979. Currently, she serves as Editor-in-Chief at SSP News, editor of the History Section of the website, and is a member of the 30th Anniversary Task Force. As Editor-in-Chief, Barbara works with other SSP members to create a content-rich newsletter with information people at all stages of their careers and all areas of scholarly publishing will find useful and enjoyable.

Barbara recalls her first job in publishing as an editorial assistant for the National Rehabilitation Association in Washington, DC. “I worked with a managing editor in the area of peer review,” Barbara says. “It wasn’t a large journal, so in about 20 hours a week I could do all that was needed to keep the review process moving. I remember using 3” X 5” cards to maintain our review ‘database’!” Today Barbara is a career consultant, working with various types of individuals in many disciplines and areas of human endeavor. “Scholarly publishing covers so much of the world and coupling that with my work in society management makes a package that can’t be surpassed for interest and challenge.”

When not in the role of a scholarly publishing society member or a career consultant, Barbara enjoys being a newly-wed (she was married to Steve Ford in September 2007) and caregiver to her mother. “Steve and I both enjoy baseball and history, so you’ll see us at Camden Yards when we can make a game, visiting nearby Gettysburg, or down in D.C. at the museums,” Barbara says. “We also just bought a house, along with my mother, so there’s always some project to make our small-town-America nest even homier.” And when not editing newsletters, watching baseball, or visiting museums? “You can usually find me curled up with a good book.”

Profiled February 2008