Welcome . . .

. . . to my online resume.

Here you'll find all of the pertinent details -- my personal goals, professional background, and the requisite writing samples. Is that all there is? Of course not. This is a mere snapshot -- and I'm always up for creating something new and exciting for both myself and my clients. Especially my clients. Which could include you.

Want to know more? If you'd like more information, additional samples, or have questions for me regarding a potential project, please feel free to e-mail me at angieshultis@gmail.com.



Lofty Professional Goals

  • Provide quality writing services, including press releases, newsletters, news and feature articles, columns, blog posts, and more
  • Provide quality editing services for both print and online media
  • Cultivate long-term, ongoing professional relationships
  • Undertake projects in a variety of fields and formats
  • Incorporate my knowledge of, and passion for, education wherever possible
  • Create new opportunities both for myself and the clients I serve

Solid Professional Background

Freelance Writer

  • Providing and managing online content and e-newsletters, for The Budget Fashionista and related sites through Simply Good Media; other duties include site editing, community management, and forum management using WordPress and ExpressionEngine

  • Contributing writer, North County Journals (St. Louis metro area)

  • Staff writer, Illinois Business Journal

  • Providing press materials, newsletter, grant-writing services for local non-profit organization, The River Bend Self-Development of People Community

  • Providing news, feature, and column work for various publications including The Homesteader (Florida) and Petoskey Area Parent Magazine (Michigan)

O'Connor & Partners, Inc.
Account Manager, Public Relations

  • MarCom Gold Award for Website Writing, Oct. 2009

  • Professional Advisor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville PRSSA, 2009-10

  • Communications, branding and public relations responsibilities for a wide range of clients include:

  • Proposal writing

  • Media relations

  • Client counsel

  • Critical communications

  • Internal communications

  • Brand creation

  • Reputation management

  • Award submissions

  • Writing and editing press, customer-oriented, and business-to-business materials

  • Website and blog writing and editing

Editor/Staff Writer
The Citizen-Journal, Boyne City, Michigan

  • Five years as the sole full-time editorial employee for a weekly, content-heavy community newspaper

  • Duties included developing short- and long-term editorial lists; writing news, feature, opinion, and sports pieces on a weekly basis; copy editing; proofreading; design and layout

  • Developing and executing special publications (including tabs and guides) as needed

  • Maintaining positive on-going relationships with citizens and community leaders

  • Extensive experience managing freelance writers and other staff

Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Teacher
Triangle Elementary School, Mount Dora, Florida

  • Worked with ESE students with varying exceptionalities, as well as mainstream students, in third and fourth grade regular education classrooms

  • Helped establish inclusion classroom practices in elementary school setting

  • Skill areas: planning and implementing lessons based on state and federal benchmarks, maintaining Individual Education Plans, developing activities for diverse learners, maintaining parent/teacher relationships, participating in ongoing professional development

Strong Educational Foundation

Michigan State University
Bachelor of Arts, psychology
Class of 1991

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
English coursework including classes in literature, writing (poetry, fiction, technical)

Writing Samples

Online Content Links:

Illinois Business Journal:

Farm prices across region still booming from development, The Illinois Business Journal, Alton, Ill. March 2008

Agents weather slower real estate market, The Illinois Business Journal, Alton, Ill., Sept. 2007

North County Journals:

Bridgeton considers red-light cameras, Hazelwood-Bridgeton Journal, Bridgeton, Mo., 10/24/07

The Budget Fashionista:

How to Shop Bluefly.com, The Budget Fashionista, Jan. 8, 2009

Michelle Obama Look for Less: The Inauguration Sheath, The Budget Fashionista, Jan. 20, 2009

Goodwill and Nick Graham Team Up to Repurpose (Whatever That Means), The Budget Fashionista, Oct. 15, 2007

A Musical Life
By Angela Shultis

Front Page Feature: The Citizen-Journal, Boyne City, Michigan, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002

For Robin Lee Berry, making a career of music in northern Michigan is a no-brainer.
Make no mistake, the Boyne City singer/songwriter has a passion for her art, and has made a living from it when she’s needed to. But her passions in life are many, and raising her children is one as well. And that’s not something she wanted to do anywhere else.
“I’m not good in a metropolis,” Berry said. “The big city is fun, it’s exhilarating. But it isn’t going to be my lifestyle.”
For many aspiring musicians, the big city is assumed to be the only lifestyle, the only place where exposure can be gotten and connections can be made, on the road to traditional showbiz success. Musicians like Berry prove, however, that there are other ways to make yourself heard.
And heard she is. Having made several albums, Berry is most recently being featured among a handful of other successful women performers on a nationally-released CD entitled “Going Driftless,” a tribute to acclaimed singer/songwriter Greg Brown, with whom Berry struck up a friendship during festival performances in the area.
Among the other names on the CD are such accomplished singers as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Lucinda Williams. Berry, for her part, is pleased to be in such good company, and even more pleased that her friend Brown selected her to be included.
“Greg’s music has a genuine honesty,” she said. “From the very first second that he strums a note, the key is in the lock and the tumblers are moving. He dares to go [in his songwriting] where I haven’t heard other people go.” His songs attract her, Berry said, because they’re “about real stuff … and not just about his life, but the lives of others. There’s a connection to realness, to being a real human being.
“I’m so grateful I got to maintain being some form of friend [to Brown].”
Over the years, Brown and Berry have continued to correspond and listen to each other’s music.
“I always feel flattered that he’s listening to mine at all.”
The disc, released this month, is an effort to raise funds for breast cancer research, with all proceeds going to support that cause. The $15 CD will be available in local stores, but Berry and her husband Tony Williams will also be keeping copies on hand. “You can stop us on the street [to purchase one],” Williams said emphatically. “We’re always carrying.”
And while she’s enjoying the modicum of success she’s been allowed, she’s fully aware of, and appreciative of, the fact that nothing she’s done has come particularly easily. “My friends are always asking, ‘why are you always doing stuff in the hardest way possible?’” she laughs. “I say, ‘because I’m stubborn and stupid.’”
More accurately, though, it’s likely because she’s taking other things into consideration. Like her kids.
At a relatively young age, Berry said, living in the Lansing area where she grew up, she threw her “fate up into the wind,” not really knowing what she wanted. What she got was a start in music, a marriage, and a pregnancy.
“I had a son, and that was hugely grounding,” she said. Within two years, Berry was divorced with two children and on her own. The music, however, was not something she was ready to walk away from. It was, in fact, the only way she knew how to make a living.
“I never learned to type,” she said. As a performer, “I could go out and make $75 in a night. I couldn’t figure out a way to do that any other way.”
Starting out in the East Lansing area, Berry got her first taste of northern Michigan life one summer when she got a job singing in a small resort band. Immediately taken with the area, she moved her kids up, and found that while the first three (summer) months were “glorious,” they were followed by the increasingly dreary and desolate months of fall, and then winter.
“Right off the bat we entered poverty,” Berry laughs now. She worked odd jobs in the off-season to make ends meet, and discovered that the key was to work as a musician as much as possible in those busy and prosperous summer months.
Though times were hard, the scrimping and saving were a legitimate trade-off for what northern Michigan offered for her young family. “What I was really trying to do was provide a safe environment,” she said. “Where I really like to live is in the woods.”
And though her older children are grown, living in the woods is what she’s still doing with husband Williams and their daughter, Ruby.
Residing in a log Cabin, built by Williams, nestled in the woods near Advance, the couple keeps busy with their joint business hand-crafting cedar furniture under the name Log Art, Inc., as well as working on their always-in-progress outbuildings which include a wood shop where they create their one-of-a-kind pieces and a nearly-finished recording studio for Berry.
Filled with family treasures and fitted with large windows to let the outdoors in, the studio will soon become, Berry hopes, her link to the outside world of music. Though she has a passion for all that’s rustic, she’s also not afraid of technology, embracing it as the way to make her seemingly incongruous pursuits work together. With the latest equipment in the form of a portable mixing board, Berry is ready, after taking some time to step back, to get back to her music in a big way.
“Next year is when my best work will happen,” she said. She’s got songs enough for a full album, and a few to spare, and the best part, she said, is that she can do her recording right there in her home studio. The resulting CD, she said, will be compatible to almost any other professional equipment she’ll encounter, enabling her to take her work and add other backing tracks as needed elsewhere.
“I can [record] right here and I don’t have to drive three hours, and at the same time not lose my connection [to home].”
The beauty of available technology, said Berry, is that you “can live in this place and liver your heart’s desire. Because of technology, I can take my world and put it on the web all over the world. I don’t think I have to tour heavily to make it happen.”
It’s a good thing, since touring heavily is not something Berry can see herself doing anytime soon. In all honesty, she said, “if I could have found a way to [tour] and be present as a parent, I might have toured more. But I could not justify it.”
So far, Berry’s approach has been working. Though she still feels as though she’s “struggling, searching,” she finds that she’s accomplishing some of the things she’s set out to do.
“I’m multi-focused,” she said.
And ultimately, the balancing of music and art and family are what you make it.
“It’s our table,” she said. “We can really put whatever we want on it.
For more information about the “Going Driftless” CD, call Berry at 582-9718.

The Harry P. Leu Gardens provides enjoyment & education
By Angela Shultis

Destinations and Daytrips: The Homesteader, September 2005, Lake County, Florida

Florida – the name itself is indicative of brilliant, bountiful blooms. It’s no surprise, then, that the state is home to a number of horticultural gardens, open to the public for both education and simple aesthetic enjoyment.
It may be a surprise, however, that one of these lush jewels can be found in a city known for big, bold, larger-than-life attractions – Orlando. The Harry P. Leu Gardens are like an oasis of calm amidst a beehive of activity. Located on 50 rolling acres, the gardens offer an opportunity to check out some of Florida’s most beautiful flora, while taking a break from the fast-paced Orlando attraction scene.
Established in 1961, the garden is a gift to the City of Orlando, made possible by property owner and Orlando philanthropist Harry P. Leu. Leu, with his wife Mary Jane, purchased the property (which includes a stately home, now a museum) for $40,000 in 1936. The couple enjoyed traveling, and brought a wide variety of plant species back to their Orlando home as souvenirs, resulting in an expansive and enviable collection.
Even as it served as a private home, the property was opened to the public by the Leus, in the interest of sharing their treasured gardens.
When the Leus ultimately decided to deed the house and gardens to the City of Orlando, it was with the stipulation that they would remain, in perpetuity, a not-for-profit botanical garden, for the public’s enjoyment.
To this day, it has remained as such. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a variety of gardens within the grounds, including a palm garden, a bamboo garden, a flowering tree garden, a wildflower garden, and a daylily gardens. The camellia collection, a favorite project of the Leus, is billed as the largest documented collection in eastern North America. The formal rose garden is the largest in the state. New gardens are being developed on an ongoing basis; this year, additions include the jungle-like Tropical Streams Garden and the new Kitchen Garden, a backyard wonder populated with herbs, vegetables, and a butterfly garden full of colorful winged visitors!
Located on the grounds as well is the Leu House Museum. Tours are given at regular intervals throughout the day, giving visitors a chance to get acquainted with the four very different owners the house has had since its construction in 1888, as well as a bit of hometown Orlando history. The Garden House, another feature of the Harry P. Leu property, serves as a library, art gallery, museum, and educational facility, as well as a gathering place for local horticultural, environmental and historical groups.
In further keeping with the Leus’ wish that the garden provide enjoyment and education for the public, a variety of tours are offered at the garden on an ongoing basis for both adults and students. Classes and workshops are also scheduled regularly.
Memberships in Leu Gardens may be purchased, giving members special discounts and privileges while supporting the non-profit organization.
The gardens, located at 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, are open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. except on Christmas day; Leu House Museum tours begin every 30 minutes from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
The cost of admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children grades K-12. On Mondays, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon (excluding tour groups) admission is free.
For more information, call Harry P. Leu Gardens at (407) 246-2620 or visit http://www.leugardens.org/.

The Family That Gardens Together
By Angela Shultis

Women Wise Column: Petoskey Area Parent Magazine, Petoskey, Michigan, July 2001

In this era of complicated, high-tech entertainment, one of the greatest joys my kids and I share is about as basic as it gets.
It requires no helmet, elbow pads, or other protective gear. No special adapter pack or gaming console. Not even training wheels. And we don’t have to leave home to do it. All we do need is a gardening trowel or two, a hose, and a little big of luck in the weather department. Though my kids are as taken as any others with computer games, Disney videos, and roller blades, they are not, thank goodness, immune to the simple delights that can be found in a small patch of earth and growing things.
You can find us, on any given sunny moment at home, hunched over some corner of the garden, either digging holes for new plantings, plucking a never-ending crop of pesky weeds, or simply checking out what’s new under the sun. Puttering in the garden offers the opportunity for a multitude of lessons in multitude of disciplines for gardeners both big and small.
A garden, even a small one, is a microcosm of life forms, just waiting to be stumbled upon.
If you ever gardened with me and my kids you’d think the main objective in digging in the dirt was to see what new creepy, slithery, crawling creature you could turn up. Worms are the most popular of our gardening companions, the bigger the better. Unearthing yet another squirming worm is enough to send my children into ecstatic shouts, begging to be the first one to hold it.
Roly-polies” are the next most treasured find (my son calls them “Rollie Pollie Ollies”) and ladybugs, of course, are always audience-pleasers. Beyond that grubs and millipedes inspire awestruck oohs and ahhs (though no one volunteers to pick those up), and we all have fun checking out the seemingly endless variety of spiders that tuck themselves cleverly under just about every leaf and flower.
Even I, as an adult, have discovered through gardening a new and abiding respect, dare I say affection, for bees, once the object of my undying scorn. I now labor side by side with these buzzing hard workers, and my kids are also beginning to understand the function of these sometimes daunting insects.
Gardening, too, can be an adventure in discovery of the plant world. In the early spring, my kids follow me (without coaxing) in my anxious first visits to our small perennial garden, pushing aside stray dead leaves left over from last fall, peering hopefully at every square foot of ground in search of any sign of new growth. The kids are surprisingly interested in what types of plants are pushing through the soil and, for those youngsters who enjoy surprises (are there any that don’t?) the discovery of a first new bloom opening up in the early weeks of spring is as exciting as, say, the news of a new Rugrats movie. Well, almost.
When a child is given their own flower pot, planting petunias they’ve chosen at the nursery or some marigold seeds picked up at the grocery store, turns into a mini-science experiment, combined with a lesson in responsibility, without even trying. And very little has given my daughter more pride than when we all sat down to enjoy some of the tomatoes she grew in her own pot on the porch.
The real charm of gardening together, however, is not necessarily about lessons. Gardening as a family can simply open the door to a whole lot of spontaneous fun. For example, getting dirty is something natural for kids that we grown-ups rarely allow ourselves to do. I have to say, once I get over worrying about getting the stains out of my daughter’s favorite sundress, we have a whole lot of fun getting a little dirt under our fingernails. And when the hose is out, a run through the sprinkler can’t be too far away. Many an afternoon has started out as a simple watering job and ended as a hose-squirting, drenched-clothing, kid-squealing, dog-dashing extravaganza.
So, if you’re trying to find some back-to-basics family fun this summer, think about the possibilities that lie just outside the back door. And don’t just assume your kid is too sophisticated for it. You’d be surprised at what a little dirt and water can do, for all of you.

Area schools set to cope with state funding cuts
By Angela Shultis

Lead News Story: The Citizen-Journal, Boyne City, Michigan, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003

With state lawmakers handing down per-pupil funding cuts of nearly $200 per student for the current school year, area districts are looking at tightening belts and cutting fat.
Unfortunately, pointed out Boyne Falls School superintendent Mark Parsons, “There’s no fat in our schools.”
Indeed, after a freeze on per-student state foundation grants had districts looking to trim excess expenses in the 2003-04 budget, area schools are struggling to find more wiggle room in already-tight budgets.
In East Jordan and Boyne City, the reduction translates to approximately $250,000 per district in lost students funding. According to Boyne City schools superintendent Jim Cooper, that means pulling from fund equity.
“For the past year we’ve tried to watch spending, tried to build the fund equity,” he said. As it stands the school has maintained enough fund equity to survive the loss, and the gradually increasing enrollment helps as well.
“We’ve added programs in tough economic times, and we said we’d tough it out and see what happens,” Cooper said. “We are in good shape, and I’m confident we’ll make it through this.”
Likewise, in East Jordan, drawing from fund equity has been pegged as the only way to make up for the loss of a quarter of a million dollars from this year’s budget. “We’re going to absorb most of that out of our fund balance this year, and hope for better days in 04-05,” said East Jordan school superintendent Chip Hansen. Some cuts will have to be made, Hansen noted, primarily in the form of consumable supplies and materials such as custodial maintenance supplies.
“Losing $250,000 mid-year is an impossible number to deal with, but we’re going to minimize the impact as much as we can,” Hansen said. The fund equity, he added, will be used just as it’s intended; “It’s there for a rainy day and this is certainly one of those.”
For East Jordan, the reduction comes practically on the tail of a budget revision for the 02-03 school year that pulled $180,000 out of the fund equity. With the additional $250,000 coming out, that leaves the balance at about seven percent of the general operating fund. “It’s substantially lower than we’d like it to be, but that’s what it’s there for and that’s what it will be used for,” he said.
Having the equity to draw from, at this point, is something to be thankful for, Hansen noted, pointing to other districts around the region, like Kalkaska and Pellston, that could be put in the hole by the reduction. “Our area schools are doing better than most,” he said. “We have to be thankful for that.”
It is, it seems, a time for taking comfort in the fact that no district is alone in facing the axe of state budget trimmers. “Everybody’s in this thing together,” said Boyne Falls superintendent Parsons. “It raises a whole lot of questions,” including, he noted, the fact that smaller districts like Boyne Falls are seeing the same amounts cut as “schools getting over $10,000 per student.” In Boyne Falls, as in Boyne City and East Jordan, the student foundation grant, pre-cut, is set at $6,700 per student.
The cuts of $196 per student, for Boyne Falls, means a loss of $64,000, a setback the school can’t take lightly. Despite having adopted a deficit budget last spring (balanced, as required by state law, through pulling from fund equity), an increase in enrollment of 13 students this fall gave school administrators hope for the future.
“We were excited with our growth,” Parsons said. “We thought, ‘we’re going to do alright.’” Now, with the recently-announced cuts, “we’re right back into it.”
For the time being the school, like all others, will make small reductions, as in the supply budget, and keep an eye on the future.
“The reality is we’re going to take a hit this year, it’s going to impact us and create even more challenging decisions for next year,” Parsons said. “What we have to do is the best we can, and hopefully minimize as much as possible the impact on our students.”

Pets need a place to find shelter from the storm, too
By Angela Shultis

Editorial page column, The Citizen-Journal, Boyne City, Michigan, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004

When the weather’s fit for neither man nor beast, please remember to keep your “beasts” inside. Or, at the very least, provide appropriate shelter to give your pets refuge from the nastiness that is a northern Michigan winter.
Two nights ago, I awoke to the sounds of a cat (not my own) climbing up the screen of my sliding glass door. By the time I got there, the freezing feline was scampering off, leaving me no other option but to leave the garage door open a crack, should he return, and make the rounds to reassure myself that my own pets were all inside, safe and warm.
The bottom line is that no domesticated animal should have to find itself relegated to fend for itself in the sub-zero temperatures we’ve experienced of late.
According to Charlevoix County Animal Control Office Julie Whitley, there are specific guidelines as to what dog owners, especially, must provide for their pets. A shelter in good condition is required by law, and, Whitley said, “we like to see it insulated in some way.”
The shelter must also have a floor, and a covering over the opening where the pet enters and exits, as well as bedding. Bedding, Whitley continued, does not mean a blanket, which can get wet and freeze. “Generally, we like to see it filled with shavings, whether it’s pine shavings or cedar shavings, and straw is an excellent thing to pile in there like a nest.”
A blanket on the garage floor, Whitley emphasizes, is not sufficient. “The State does not recognize that [as appropriate shelter],” she said. “They have got to have an area to get in out of the wind, that they can heat up [with their body heat].”
Liquid water, too, is a must-have; the frozen stuff doesn’t make the grade. “Ice and snow do not count,” Whitley said. “They lower the dog’s body heat and tend to burn the fat.” Additionally, extra food in the winter months is in order, especially if the dog is outside all of the time. “They need extra fuel to keep them warm,” she said.
Owners of horses and other livestock are required by law to assure that the animals have some sort of shelter or windbreak though, in this case, the proper topography can qualify as shelter. “If there’s a valley or a stand of trees to get behind, as long as they have something like that and are not standing out in a barren, open, flat field,” Whitley said. Livestock also require unfrozen water. “Snow is not adequate for any animal this time of year,” she emphasizes.
Conditions for cats, though less regulated by the law, should be guided by common sense. “If they’re going to be outside cats, they need to have someplace warm to get into, with bedding and fresh water,” Whitley said. Even owners of indoor cats who may be outside during the day would do well to provide a small, doghouse-like shelter for their kitty, somewhere “they can go in to get out of the weather rather than up in a vehicle’s engine. That’s a common thing when they don’t have a warm place to go.”
Whitley also stresses the importance of having some type of identification on pets, in case they do get lost, a possibility that’s more likely when snow obscures scent and landmarks that pets might normally use to identify their location. Identification is also especially important if an animal is traveling in the car; with plenty of weather-related car accidents, it’s not uncommon for an animal to run from the scene out of fear.
Anyone with concerns over the welfare of an animal left out in the cold is urged to call Whitley at 582-6667. All calls, she notes, are held in “extreme confidence” and can even be anonymous. Whitley also encourages anyone with questions to call her, and notes that she’s available to speak on this topic, and others, at schools and for adult organizations.
The bottom line here is, while you’re bundling up under blankets in from of the fireplace during these crisp winter nights, don’t forget your pet. They rely on you to do the right thing. In fact, their lives depend on it.