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Nerds, Unite!

Today, we are pleased to profile one of our favorite fellow nerds, Michelle Jacoby!

You may know her from her days at the Arizona Republic, Arizona Business Gazette or more recently from Process or MASK Magazine – but do you really know her?

Find out today as she joins our 100+ #MediaMonday profilees!

 

So, Michelle, what do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?

I’m a word nerd. What can I say? I’ve had a passion for reading and writing my whole life, which is most likely what led me to what I do today. That and a lot of serendipitous events along the way that have made me a firm believer in the notion that everything happens for a reason.

I’m originally from Houston (by way of Los Angeles), but I’ve been living in the Valley for almost 25 years. I attended ASU, where I spent six glorious and fun-filled years. Hey, don’t judge. I changed my major at least four times. I finally (and I mean finally) left ASU with English degree in hand, under the guise of moving on to law school. But I ended up landing a job at a small publishing company that specialized in genealogy books. The bug bit and I was hooked.

A few years later, I got my first real taste of “the biz” when I was hired as a legal advertising typesetter for the Arizona Business Gazette, owned by The Arizona Republic. You know those ads that legally have to be published, but no one ever reads? Yup, that was me. I didn’t complain, though. I was just happy to be starting my career at The Republic, where I stayed for nearly 13 years. During my time there, I was a news assistant, reporter, writer for specialty publications, project editor and eventually, the editor of AZ Magazine. It was an amazing run and I’ll forever be grateful to the incredible people who helped me along the way.

Feeling like I needed a fresh start and a new perspective, I considered a variety of other careers. I had offers that ran the gamut from hopping the fence to PR to becoming a restaurant manager. Being the foodie that I am (we’ll come back to that), that one was tempting, but in the end, I realized there was only one thing I knew how to do and do it well.

In 2008, I started mJay Ink, an editorial consulting business that specializes in magazine publishing. I consult with publishers on developing editorial policies, plans and budgets; I brainstorm and conceptualize unique and engaging content for their magazines; and I manage the day-to-day processes and procedures of magazine production. I currently oversee three magazines: Prime Living, a bi-monthly luxury lifestyle magazine in Houston; Process, a quarterly publication geared for the print and creative communities (there are two editions, one for the Southwest region of the U.S. and one for the San Francisco/Bay Area); and MASK Magazine, a quarterly magazine produced by MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids), an amazing nonprofit organization in Scottsdale that educates parents of school-age kids on the issues facing them today.

Oh, and back to that food thing. I recently started a new company called PB+J Creative, which specializes in publishing culinary and lifestyle books and publications. Right now, we’re in the process of ironing out the details on a recipe book with a local chef and launching a new magazine all about dining in the Valley.

As you can imagine, sleep isn’t a luxury I enjoy much. My trusty iMac is my BFF and I may as well have my iPhone surgically adhered to my hand. But my down time (when I get down time) is spent goofing off with my incredible 9-year-old daughter Emily, enjoying time with my wacky family, or relaxing with my wonderful (and patient) sig-O, Mark.

About a year or two ago, I got on some Facebook stream asking to list 25 random things about me. I haven’t looked at it since then, but thought this would be a good place to revive it:

1. I love the water, yet I can’t swim.

2. When it comes to food, I’m a creature of habit to the point that it’s clinical. If I could eat the Szechuan Chicken at Fate for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of my life, I would. Editor’s note: Fate, sadly, is no longer open. 🙁

3. My dream job is blackjack dealer in Vegas.

4. I’ve never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

5. I’ll choose salty over sweet any day...

6. ...but donuts will always reign supreme.

7. I’ve had a recurring dream since I was about 8-years-old. It explains a lot about who I am.

8. I sucked my fingers until the age of 7 ... until my dad ordered me to get the cutting board and knife from the kitchen. I think I passed out after seeing the knife in mid-air, my hand firmly held to the board. I never sucked them again.

9. I know that in just the right situation, my super-human strength will kick in.

10. I have a love/hate relationship with rollercoasters.

11. I’m an extremely aggressive driver.

12. I turned a guy gay once.

13. I’m too inquisitive for my own good.

14. I’m also too sensitive for my own good.

15. I have a very small window of comfort. It falls in the 73- to 74-degree range.

16. I’m wary of people with pencil-thin lips.

17. I’ve never been in a fistfight, but I’m pretty sure I could throw down if I had to.

18. My motto? Always go with your gut.

19. I’ve been working on “the great American novel” for 20+ years now. But that pesky little thing called life always seems to get in the way.

20. When I was a kid, I heard Lawrence Welk say the “F” word in an L.A. convenience store.

21. Judy Blume’s mom was my kindergarten teacher.

22. If I could change anything about myself, it would be my voice. Mine can peel paint off walls.

23. I’m a hopeless romantic.

24. I love a good cry.

25. I have no regrets.

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

1 Comment

  1. I sat next to Michelle on a two-hour flight a couple years ago — and we didn’t figure out we knew each other until we were in our final approach. Other than me sleeping for much of the flight, it would sure have been more fun to chat the whole time rather than just the last few minutes.

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