Note: This program has already taken place. Please check back soon for details about our October speaker.

What started in 1951 as the Worcester County Editors’ Council eventually became the Society of Professional Communicators, and then The Communicators Club. That’s a lot of history. And given the nature of the profession, a lot of stories.

We’re proud to present this captivating mix of historical anecdotes and personal reminiscences from noon to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, in a Zoom-based presentation. A $10 fee applies when registering. What’s sure to be a nostalgia-filled question-and-answer session will follow the discussion.

The panel will be moderated by Communicators Club veteran and past president Allison Chisolm, whose involvement with the group predates TCC’s creation: She joined its SPC forerunner shortly after moving to Worcester in 1992.

Allison will be joined by a quartet of former board members: Bob Datz, Mike Dorsey, Diane Gaw and Margaret LeRoux. In-depth descriptions and the many accomplishments of each distinguished panelist are listed below.

Please join us for the inaugural meeting of our 2021-2022 season. Register now to enjoy our virtual reunion!

Panel Members

Allison Chisolm (shown on left in graphic collage above) joined the former Society of Professional Communicators shortly after moving to Worcester in 1992. She won the SPC Professional Communicator Award in 1995, served as treasurer and president, and as judge for the Communicator Award and the Elaine Cencak Memorial Scholarship. She has been a writer and marketing consultant for academic, business and healthcare clients since 1996, when she founded Choice Words/Chisolm & Co.

Allison has published articles in college alumni magazines, metals trade publications and the local business press. Her biography of 19th-century Morgan Construction Company founder Charles Hill Morgan was published in October 2014 by TidePool Press. In 2016, she published the biography of innovative administrator Bill Grogan, who, in 1970, re-engineered engineering education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

Before founding Choice Words, she was a writer and editor for UMass Medical Center, Harvard University, and Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart in New York and London. Allison has received awards from professional organizations, the City of Worcester and Worcester Public Schools. See Allison’s LinkedIn profile for more details.

Bob Datz (top right in graphic) is putting his communications skills to work this summer as Park Interpreter at Wells State Park in Sturbridge. This begins the vocational transition he conceived in 2017. Bob graduated with the class of 2020 of Holyoke Community College with an A.S. in Environmental Science. He plans to continue working in that field on a part-time basis. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from Kent State University.

A past president and former board member of The Communicators Club, he chaired its outreach committee and worked with other devoted members on annual meetings in the in-person era. Bob began doing business as datzmedia in 2001, and is closing the marketing communications consultancy as of this Nov. 1. His work centered on communications strategy and online content creation, with video and in legacy media.

Previously, he worked many years as a writer and local news editor, into the current period of journalism’s demise in Massachusetts at the Telegram & Gazette, and later part-time for The (Springfield) Republican. He previously worked at the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Maine, last covering the Statehouse, and served on the headquarters staff of Cesar Chavez, co-founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America.

Bob is a West Brookfield resident who plans more extensive forays and a part-time move to Mexico in the coming months. You can find his LinkedIn page here. 

Michael Dorsey (top center in graphic) is the retired Director of Research Communications at WPI. He has been a writer, editor, and publications manager for more than four decades. He spent more than 30 years at the college, where he worked in media relations; directed the publications team; served as a longtime editor of the university magazine, the WPI Journal; helped create the university’s website; helped establish and manage the university’s first major marketing campaign; and served as WPI’s first director of research communications.

In the latter capacity, he wrote many research news releases, some of which garnered national media coverage, edited a research magazine and produced dozens of research videos.

Before joining WPI, he was a writer and editor for the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co., covered the town of Hadley, Mass., and wrote science stories for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, and Project Oceanology in Groton, Conn. He co-authored and edited a 1,000-page sourcebook on marine science for K-12 students and teachers.

He is the co-author of “Healthy Living in an Unhealthy World” (Simon and Shuster, 1984), and served as editor for two books on WPI’s history: “True to Plan: Crafting an Educational Revolution Beneath the Two Towers” (John Landry and Jeffrey Cruikshank, 2015); and “The Presiding Genius of the Place: How Bill Grogan Transformed Lives, Organizations, and Higher Education” (Allison Chisolm, 2016).

Mike served on the board of the Society of Professional Communicators/Communicators Club from 2007 to 2013; he was co-president in 2009-10 and treasurer from 2011 to 2013. His LinkedIn page can be accessed here.

Diane Gaw (bottom center in graphic) started in this business before desktop publishing was visible on a screen. Everything for layouts had to be done by mathematics. As a Publications major (now Communications), Diane took courses in statistics, journalism, article writing, interviewing, graphic design and production, and (her favorite) – copy and proof – with a minor in languages.

Her career has taken her from typesetting in printing companies to magazine editing and production, (not to mention producing an ATARI fair for the Northeast region, where Bill Gates attended as a vendor). While running her company, EDGE, she was lucky to have as clients The Rockport Co., Fallon Community Health Plan, Saint Vincent Hospital, WPI, the American Diabetes Association, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Forefield Financial, and various small businesses – and to begin website content/design, as well as accounting and training.

As she moved on to higher education and fundraising, she learned the usefulness of CRM, SEO, CMS, analytics, surveys, wireframes, social media and grant applications. She has served as a board member of The Communicators Club and previously the Society of Professional Communicators several times since the mid-1990s. Visit her LinkedIn page.

Margaret LeRoux (bottom right in graphic) has had work appear in print publications from academic to consumer magazines and online at a variety of websites. She’s informed readers about important scientific research, explained life-saving surgical procedures, inspired them to contribute to worthy causes and, as a restaurant reviewer, directed them to authentic Salvadoran tamalitos in Worcester.

As a contributing writer for Edible Boston and Edible Worcester Magazines, Margaret writes about local food and farms, from cheesemakers in the Central Mass. communities of Hubbardston, Orange and Winchendon, to wheat growers in Hardwick.

As a longtime contributor to Worcester Living magazine, she writes the stories of people who are passionate about their pastimes; for example, an artist who captures Red Sox game highlights in watercolor and an environmentalist who develops user-friendly hiking trails. Her travel stories have showcased the off-season beauty of Maine’s Acadia National Park in the fall and the Oregon wine country in the spring.

Margaret joined the parent organization of The Communicators Club — the Worcester County Editors’ Council — when she moved to Worcester in the late 1980s. She served as president of its next iteration, the Society of Professional Communicators, from 1992-93. See her LinkedIn profile.