As a new part of the ABC News section of HerbalGram, we are profiling ABC staff members who help ABC in achieving its mission to promote the responsible use of herbs and phytomedicines. Every organization needs people who are dedicated, loyal, committed, flexible, and willing to cover as many bases as possible to make things work. The longer someone like this stays in an organization (or business), the more institutional memory the organization has, enhancing the day-to-day operations, and making the organization all-the-more effective.
ABC will celebrate its 15th birthday on November 1, 2003, yet some of ABC’s employees have been working with the elements of what became the organization (i.e., HerbalGram) for more than 15 years. The ABC employee with the longest record of service is Margaret Wright.
In 1988 I was publishing HerbalGram as a small proprietorship called Herb News. Former Managing Editor Barbara Johnston was the first employee. Upon the strong recommendation of an old friend, I hired Margaret to help with basic office and administrative work: photocopying, opening mail, handling subscribers and accounts receivable, bank deposits, etc. She had previously owned a plant-leasing and maintenance business for commercial buildings; she would deliver plants for lobbies and offices and return weekly to water, fertilize and care for them. An herbal education organization was a perfect place for a plant lover!
Margaret’s job has always been integral to HerbalGram and ABC’s operations, and it has grown enormously over the past 15 years to a point where she has become a major part of the "glue" that makes ABC operate smoothly. Her job description now includes the following functions: bank deposits, accounts receivable, accounting of membership dues and donation pledges, membership renewal notices, HerbalGram mailing list, classified advertising, employee health insurance, address changes and updates to membership files, support of the sales and membership departments, support to the Finance Coordinator, donor management, subscription and library sales agencies, and much, much more.
Almost every aspect of ABC’s operation, publications, and educational programs are dependent in some way on Margaret’s highly reliable work experience at ABC. ABC could not be the organization we are today without Margaret’s long-standing record of excellent service.