Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and as an employer that proudly features many women in our workplace, Old Town Media wants to salute all the women who are making inroads in their art, profession or life. As a tribute to the women who have inspired us, the ladies of OTM talk about their favorite inspirational woman.
Kerrie Luginbill, Creative Director/Partner: Joanna Coles
I started following Joanna when she was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, which she was for six years before being promoted to chief content officer for Hearst. Yes, all of Hearst Magazine’s publications.
She’s the first person to hold the position of “chief content officer” and her job is to oversee and work with the editors of every Hearst Magazine in the United States and internationally – that’s more than 300 magazines around the world.
She’s the total package: talented, hardworking, giving and beautiful. She sits on the board of Women Entrepreneurs New York City, an initiative to expand female entrepreneurship with a focus on underserved women and communities and she’s left massive footprints at every publication she’s ever worked for.
I think what I like about her the most is that she is a total powerhouse and her leadership style is to hire the right people and then get out of their way. In an interview with Refinery29, she’s quoted saying, “I think you want to edit to your strengths and hire to your weakness… As a team, we are greater than the sum of our parts. Nobody can be great at everything.”
One of the reasons I really started following her (before I knew anything about her), was because I saw a photo of her on Instagram in her office, after hours, wearing pajamas and walking on a treadmill desk. I thought to myself, “That is badass.” Then I immediately Googled the cost of treadmill desks.
Vallene Kailburn, Art Director/Founder: Ellen Degeneres
Besides just being crazy charismatic and extremely entertaining, Ellen Degeneres is truly inspirational for using her platform to actually make people’s lives better. With all that she’s done – helping veterans, giving $1.6 million to cover 41 students’ college costs – it blows my mind that her show is continually as entertaining at it is.
Stacia Fortenbery, Digital Marketing Specialist: J.K. Rowling
J.K Rowling is one of the first authors who made reading fun and addictive for me. She created a wonderfully magical world that sparked my imagination and creativity at a young age. (I’m still waiting on that Hogwarts letter, to be honest.) The Harry Potter universe provided me with strong, independent and opinionated female characters that served as perfect role models. J.K. continually inspires generations of young girls and women through her charitable contributions and strong, feminist opinions.
Oh, and let us not forget her amazing Twitter takedowns.
Brianne Wittenauer, Digital Project Manager: Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is an incredible girl boss and go-getter. She is most known for her writing and acting in T.V. shows The Office and The Mindy Project. Mindy was only 24 years old when she joined The Office staff and was the only female on the team at the time. She is hilarious, witty and bold, and I very much admire her for breaking through norms and rocking it as one of the first Indian-American women on T.V. I’m currently reading her book Why Not Me? and constantly find myself laughing out loud and unable to put it down.
Katie Hutmacher, Designer: Jessica Walsh
She is a partner at Sagmeister & Walsh in New York, and probably most well known for her series 40 Days of Dating with friend and collaborator Timothy Goodman. She taught herself how to code at age 11 by trial and error and created a website to help teach kids HTML and CSS (which actually brought in Google Ad revenue). She interned under Paula Scher at Pentagram (after declining an offer from Apple) and worked for Print Magazine.
She had a background in digital design and then studied at RISD, which is a very hands-on fine-art school, and it really shows in her work. She blurs the line of commercial and fine art by interjecting her personal style and voice into each project, such as Quotes on Shit, Pins Won’t Save The World, Build Kindness Not Walls, 12 Kinds of Kindness. She also uses a lot of vibrant colors, which I admire because it is the complete opposite of my personal style. When she has a concept, she finds a way to make it happen, even if that means failing the first 20 times. I admire her because she doesn’t limit herself to one medium (everything from web and video to her personal fashion style and magazine covers) and when she wants something out of her career she makes it happen.