Resume

NUT GRAPH:
An Eagle Rock resident, Brenda Rees is a freelance journalist with decades of experience under her belt that showcases her versatility and always hungry curiosity.  She’s written for The Los Angeles Times, Westways Magazine,Arroyo Monthly,Edible San Fernando Valley, Pomona College Magazine and more. She cut her editorial teeth and won awards at The Tidings, a weekly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese and later created Southern California Wildlife a blog featuring wildlife issues in the Greater Los Angeles area.  Graduating with a degree in journalism from St. Thomas College in St. Paul Minnesota, Brenda also volunteers her editorial services as newsletter editor for Friends of Griffith Park as she continues to be a student of the world and finally able to tell the difference between a crow and a raven.

SKILLS, TALENTS AND STRENGTHS
Ability to multitask and effectively coordinate a variety of projects with positive results; deadline-conscious with the ability to visualize appropriate steps to the final project; constantly willing to take on new challenges with a spirit of Midwestern professionalism that makes working experiences – both remotely and in-person – fun, engaging and a hoot.

EXPERIENCE

Writer
FREELANCE JOURNALIST, Eagle Rock, CA Nov. 1993- present | www.brendarees.com
Freelance journalist for daily, weekly and monthly publications, including The Los Angeles Times.

Proposes local, regional and national story ideas, creating features and posts for various media outlets including: Los Angeles Times’ Calendar Weekend (seven cover stories, among others), Calendar Live, and SoCal Living (two front page articles); Westways Magazine; Pomona Monthly; Edible San Fernando Valley; Arroyo Monthly Magazine; L.A. Parent Magazine; Pasadena Magazine; The Tidings Weekly and more. Created the Southern California Wildlife blog involvingwildlife issues found in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Staff Writer – Good Reads
The EASTSIDER LA, Los Angeles, CA Sept. 2014- present | www.theeastsider.com
Freelance writer for bi-monthly column which features profiles, first-person articles, interviews and historical aspects of life in East Los Angeles. Proposes story ideas, conducts research and arranges photo opportunities. Publishes through Blox CMS.

Case Study Writer
ARTCENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN, Pasadena, CA, Sept. 2014 – present | www.designmattersatartcenter.org
Editorial historian chronicling students in the Designmatters concentration as they learn how to effectively use design techniques and skills to activate or influence positive social change.Observes sessions, compiles information and drafts final case studies which are used online to communicate the department’s mission, displayed on campus and added to historical archives. Interviews students, teachers and associates about their classroom experience and project outcomes.

Projects have included: Mattel, the Nike Girl Foundation, Vans Shoes, Cedars-Sinai Research Center for Health Equity, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach Health and Human Services, Coaniquem Pediatric Burn Facility in Chile and others.

Board Member/Newsletter Editor
FRIENDS OF GRIFFITH PARK, Los Angeles, CA, June 2017 – present | www.friendsofgriffithpark.org
Contributes to the conversation about challenges and issues facing Los Angeles’ largest public park. Sets tone and oversees editorial content and graphic design for the non-profit’s 24-page newsletter and manages relevant social media posts. Assists with special projects: camera trapping, P-22 Day, L.A. River cleanup, tree planting, etc.

Copy Editor
OPM Design Group, Burbank, CA Jan. 2018-present | www.opmdesign.com
Edits and rewrites text for clarity, readability and accuracy for a variety of clients. Projects include: art books, medical and educational brochures, website copy, written proposals and more.

Public Relations/Social Media Consultant
Contractor who handles public relations campaigns, drafts press release, and oversees editorial placement along with social media outreach and website copy for various local organizations/events including the popular Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) Day. Other clients: Frogtown Artwalk, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, Gamble House Lecture Series, Heritage Square Museum and Fire Family Foundation.

Creates overall public relations program and strategy pitch letters to print, TV and radio. Designs brochures, postcards and flyers; updates event website and blog content. Writes contributed articles for local publications websites, blogs, etc.

Editor
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?, Santa Ana, CA, Oct. 1999 – 2013
Oversaw editorial content and layout for bi-monthly newsletter (and later online version) about professional development programs for California K-12 science and math teachers. Rewrote existing materials for flow and to match AP style. Coordinated copy, photos and graphs for both printed and online newsletter

Manager of Communications
DESCANSO GARDENS, La Canada, CA, Oct. 2008 – June 2010
Served as key player for public relations, external and internal communications for public botanical garden. Generated ongoing awareness of Descanso Gardens to core audiences with coverage in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and online. Editor of Gardens’ quarterly newsletter Descanso News and coordinated content for website an email blasts. Worked with outside printers and designers for marketing materials. On-site photographer and videographer for internal and external communications and marketing use.

Calendar Editor
L.A. PARENT MAGAZINE, Burbank, CA, Oct. 2004 – Dec. 2007
Oversaw editorial content for the monthly publication. Researched and wrote listings, highlights, special articles, media reviews and established new columns. Coordinated copy, photos and graphs for design; oversaw design and gave creative feedback on layout.

Staff Writer
THE TIDINGS WEEKLY NEWSPAPER, Los Angeles, CA, May 1997 – June 1999
Reporter/photographer for weekly publication of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Originated story ideas from concept to finished product, often on tight deadlines. Worked comfortably on a variety of projects and provided copy editing and proofreading skills.

Manager of Creative Affairs
MGM ANIMATION, Santa Monica, CA, Aug. 1994 – March 1997

Creative Executive
WALT DISNEY TV ANIMATION, North Hollywood, CA, Sept. 1992 – Nov. 1993

Creative Affairs Director
UNIVERSAL CARTOON STUDIOS, Los Angeles, CA, April 1989 – Sept. 1992 

Creative Executive Assistant
HANNA-BARBARA, Hollywood, CA, April 1986 – April 1989

Editor/Writer
HARD TIMES PUBLICATIONS, St. Paul, MN, Sept. 1981 – June 1984
Conceptualized and produced Hard Times, a local monthly humor publication.

Editor
MINNESOTA DEPT. OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, St. Paul, MN, Sept. 1980 – June 1982
In charge of monthly 12-page newsletter devoted to government job service programs.

ADDITIONAL SKILLS
Photography, Blox CMS, Zoner, Photoshop, WordPress, basic HTML, Mailchimp, Hootsuite

EDUCATION
Journalism BA, Minor in Public Relations, 1982 cum laude, College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST