Two of our long-time partners, Seth Maislin and Kay Schlembach, have retired as Potomac Indexing partners as of the first of January this year, and we will definitely miss their contributions to our operations and company culture.
Evolution is the name of the game, however, and thanks to our open communication and shared responsibility project management model, all of Kay’s and Seth’s clients’ projects and preferences have been seamlessly transferred to our remaining partners.
A Fond Farewell…
from founding member, Richard Shrout
Kay Schlembach and Seth Maislin have been integral to the culture of PI since almost the beginning of the company. Although the goals of the current partners will remain very similar as we move forward, in keeping with our partnership in integrity philosophy, there will be a look and feel difference given that it will be impossible to replicate Kay’s and Seth’s valuable contributions to Potomac Indexing.
Both Kay and Seth are teachers par excellence. They both liked to put the partners through exercises that became great teaching moments. I remember one business exercise in particular where Kay urged us all to come up with our expected income in X number of years. Three of us came up separately with the same number. Seth’s number, however, was four or five times greater. We haven’t quite achieved his number yet but we are getting closer. So I would describe Seth as a true visionary in regard to where PI could eventually go. And if we needed someone to just talk— on anything—to anyone—both creatively and intelligently, he was our choice. Seth’s biggest contribution has been his technical expertise, especially in regard to taxonomy, and embedded Word indexing and similar related techniques.
Kay, on the other hand, has been a behind-the-scenes worker bee and surrogate mother for PI. Kay’s biggest contribution to the company has been her managerial skill. She ran many complex projects with teams of indexers. These projects were often technically complex, such as the index to Bartlett’s Quotations for the iPad and iPhone.
We all had lots of fun working together whether remotely via Skype since we all live in different states, or at ASI or other conferences. Seth would keep us in stitches with his constant stream of puns and jokes. Kay’s humor was very different. She would often come up with a pun but we would have to explain it to her. She was so good natured and would eventually figure it out and start to laugh. Kay’s generosity of spirit is legendary at PI; she always knew what gift to give anyone who needed a gift for whatever appropriate reason. We hope that she will continue to serve as a consultant to us in that respect.
So, an era has passed. PI will never be quite the same. We intend to continue to improve and to learn lessons gained from both Kay and Seth. And they are still around. PI has a strong relationship with Seth’s new company, which values our expertise in doing certain kinds and sizes of projects. And Kay, staying on as an associate, still loves to work on K–12 textbook and accounting book projects.
Kay and Seth, we will miss you both very much as partners. And we wish both of you and your wonderful families all of the very best.
And a Warm Welcome
to our new partner, Meghan Brawley
Meghan Brawley is Potomac Indexing’s newest partner—newest both in her addition to PI’s management team and in her time in the industry. Meghan has been indexing since 2012, after completing the American Society for Indexing (ASI) Training in Indexing course, but she worked in libraries for around ten years before that.
Meghan’s life in information access started in college with a late-night work-study position at the university’s reserve desk. In between checking out file folders of photocopied articles and biology study binders, she studied for a history degree. Meghan also learned to cruise databases for the fun of it, following subject heading trails to exciting new information. But Meghan ended up considering librarianship only in the last week of her senior year, when a professor and mentor suggested it as a career.
And librarianship was a perfect fit until Meghan and her military husband had their first child. Suddenly, the nights-and-weekends schedule of the public library reference desk didn’t fit with the boots-on-the-ground-in-24-hours operations tempo of an Army unit, plus the frequent relocations of military life.
Freelance book indexing began to look like a great, flexible backup career, so Meghan joined the American Society for Indexing and took their Course in Indexing. Along the way, Meghan met Kay Schlembach at a regional conference in St. Augustine, Florida, where Kay kindly shared her advice on indexing with small children in the house. Not long after that meeting, Kay connected Meghan with PI, and she became a very valuable PI associate. It was very easy, when the time came to look for new partners, to invite Meghan Brawley to Potomac Indexing to manage projects.
Meghan hopes to expand PI’s client base into other subject areas, and is working with Richard Shrout on our new religious publishing efforts, as well as expanding our embedded indexing offerings.
The Trail to Texas—Yee, Ha!
After persevering through a long legal paperwork trail (the American incorporation system isn’t quite up with “virtual operations” pass-through companies like ours), we have finally left our original Maryland limited-liability company home and have formed a new Potomac Indexing, LLC in the great state of Texas. Texas makes our operations much simpler, so we are very grateful to have our legal home in new partner Meghan Brawley’s home state. Due to the different physical locations of our partners, though, our billing address is still in Maryland for the time being. Although we conduct almost all of our business through the internet, some accounting operations still need a home in the physical world. We’ll keep you posted when our banking and deposit operations shift to a new location. 🙂