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There are excellent bosses, teachers, encouragers in the world.

If you are lucky in the work force, you will encounter one of them in your lifetime.  Or maybe a couple of them…..or if you are really lucky, there will be many, many sincere people who say the right thing at the right time and make you feel better that day.

Just so you know where I am going with this….I love Alan Herzberger. He is the digital managing editor of NewsOk.  He is an encourager. He makes you feel like you can do whatever you think you can do…..and usually you can.  He has ideas.  They are great ideas and people listen when he talks.

Here is what he said about me on his very popular blog:

An afternoon break with Helen Ford

Wallace, the trendsetter

<a href="" title="p1010966.jpg"><img src="" alt="p1010966.jpg" border="5" hspace="10" vspace="10" /></a> <a href=""></a><font color="#ff0000"><strong>Nan Buxton, Penny McCaleb and Susan McPherson wait to sample some of the foods in the cooking class. (Photo provided.)</strong></font> <strong><em>SUSTAINERS COO</em>K…</strong>.<strong>Gail Bollinger </strong>demonstrated her culinary skills at a Junior League class called the “Joy of Sustainer Cooking. ”She showed women how to prepare the classic seven-minute icing for chocolate layer cake and how to blanch and cook fresh green beans. Her lunch menu also included baked salmon which she and her husband, <strong>Lee Bollinger,</strong> caught in Alaska.This is the second cooking class in a series. <strong>Susan Robertson</strong> showed the group how to bake eggs and <strong>Carl Milam</strong> will have a class at Musashi’s.<a href="" title="get-attachment-11.jpg"><img src="" alt="get-attachment-11.jpg" border="5" hspace="10" vspace="10" /></a> <font color="#ff0000"><strong>Bob and Linda Bowles and Mary Ann and Don Morrison were at the going away party for the Morrisons. The Bowles were hosts. (Photo by David Faytinger.)</strong></font><em><strong> FOND FAREWELL…</strong></em><strong>Mary and Don Morrison</strong> were honorees at a party hosted by <strong>Linda and Bob Bowles.</strong>The group gathered for hors d’oeuvres in the Bowles home which was filled with Linda Bowles’ artwork. The group then went to Charlie Newton’s Restaurant for dinner.The Morrisons are moving February 27th to Spokane, Washington.<a href="" title="get-attachment1.jpg"><img src="" alt="get-attachment1.jpg" border="5" hspace="10" vspace="10" /></a> <font color="#ff0000"><strong>Don Reeves, Lynda Haller, Gretchen Jeane were at the retirement party for Haller at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Reeves and Jeane presented her with a “Wrangler.” (Photo by David Faytinger.) </strong></font> <em><strong>AND THE WRANGER GOES TO….</strong></em>Director of public relations and museum events at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum <strong>Lynda Haller</strong> was honored at a reception. She is retiring after 13 years at the NCWHM. Executive Director <strong>Charles Schroeder </strong>welcomed the guests and everyone enjoyed a telephone tribute to the honoree. Movie stars left recorded messages and pictures of them were shown on the big screen.Curator of the Cowboy Collections <strong>Don Reeves</strong> gave Haller a <strong>Jacque Smiley</strong> necklace. She also received the “Oscar of the West,” a “Wrangler,” sculpture of a cowboy on a horse. She presented her own video thanking her co-workers.<a href="" title="get-attachment-1_21.jpg"><img src="" alt="get-attachment-1_21.jpg" border="5" hspace="10" vspace="10" /></a> <font color="#ff0000"><strong>Chris Salyer, Richard and Mary Geren and Meg Salyer were at the progressive dinner for Mount St. Mary High School. (Photo by David Faytinger)</strong></font> <font color="#ff0000"><strong> </strong></font><em><strong>HOUSE PARTIES…</strong></em>Three neighbor couples hosted a progressive dinner to benefit Mount St. Mary High School. <strong>Manda and Mark Ruffin</strong> bought the auction item a couple of months ago and brought eight guests to the party. Hosts were <strong>Patti and Mark Mellow, Meg and Chris Salyer and Lori and Ty Tyler.</strong><strong> Kurt Fleischfresser</strong> of the Coach House cooked the food, including Beef Wellington.The Mellows served hors d’oeuvres, the Salyers had the main course and the Tylers were hosts for dessert. At the Salyers home vases held tropical flowers and the guests took the arrangements home as party favors.<a href=""></a> <a href="">Parties Extra! Podcast: Meg Salyer, President of Accel Financia</a><img src="" border="0" /> <font color="#008000"><a href="">Click here for Parties Extra! photo galleries</a></font>

Helen is a trendsetter here at OPUBCO Communications Group.  And that’s no exaggeration. After getting to know her about five years ago, I gave her the “trendsetter” title much to her amusement.

I wasn’t amused. It’s the truth.

  • It started with the blog.
  • Then came the podcasts; she was the first to regularly bring in Oklahoma City’s heavy hitters to our podcast studios.
  • Then came the niche publications; she was quick to participate and share her ideas for the OKC N Style magazine that we’ve produce over the past few years.
  • Then came the videos. You can set your watch by her Parties Extra! video series. Every week, she delivers. Here’s the one from last week:
  • She’s made a career of being a hard worker and the ultimate ambassador for The Oklahoman (and now and And just to prove her trendsetter status, she was unafraid to shoot her own video and post to her blog I have a hunch we’ll see more of these posts in the future.And I have a hunch they will get better and better.”

Cecil’s 100th birthday from Parties Extra! on Vimeo.

  • After I read this, I cried.  It made me feel like a new person.  I was ready to  re-tackle  the world…..I wanted to write, edit, produce and do all those things he said I could do.

  • And for the record, he is one of the people who thought I would write a novel when I said I was going to. Here is what I said about him ( and others) in the credits of the novel that I just finished.

    “Thanks to Alan Herzberger, Ford Sanger, Barbara Beeler, Lela Sullivan,  Linda James, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Bill Wallace, Bennett Brinkman, Lee-Ann Graham, Carole Kelley, Susan Sigmon for believing that a book was forthcoming.”

    See, he is an encourager.

    One other encourager that I know was my first boss… Joan Gilmore. At that time she was Women’s Editor of The Daily Oklahoman. I had just finished college.

    I wrote feature stories for her. They were long ones at the time. Her editing style for my stories was that she did not change one word. They went into  the newspaper just as I wrote them. In her eyes, they were perfect.

    I became a better writer with that encouragement. If she thought that I could write, then I had better write.

    And I was a public relations graduate.

    My writing and my current production capabilities became much, much better with encouragement.

  • And that is… thanks to Alan Herzberger!!

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    Helen Ford Wallace

    Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›

    Alan Herzberger

    Alan Herzberger is the Vice President of Audience Development at The Oklahoman Media Company. He focuses on digital strategies for The Oklahoman and for He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports department.... Read more ›