Meet a Fellow Heartlander: Thea Teich
By Carol Reed
Remember the Y2K crisis? Thea Teich does. Clients of her then three-year-old business, Teich Technical and Marketing Communications, were among the many companies scrambling to avoid data loss when countless date fields would change from 99 to 00. Thea’s incoming jobs slowed drastically.
Around this time, she met indexer Alex Nickerson, whose husband Bob was an acquaintance of Thea’s. The two got to talking about indexing, and Thea immediately saw that it drew on the same skill set she had developed in technical publications. Her background in diverse subjects (especially the physical and biological sciences, environmental protection, and business) also seemed to fit the bill.
Alex agreed to show Thea how to index in return for assistance with her projects. Not long afterwards, as Thea’s existing clients regained their ability to move forward, Alex and Bob moved to the East Coast. Thea then joined forces with another independent communicator to do indexing and pre-publication projects for publishers. She also became an associate of Potomac Indexing. Since then, indexing has accounted for 25–50% of her total business. She especially likes to index business, scientific and technical subjects, and she also finds herself indexing a number of process-oriented books, such as training, teaching, and research methods.
Running her own communications business isn’t easy, Thea admits. Client delays, “feast or famine” workflows, and converging deadlines are part of the deal. “If you want consistency, a relatively smooth schedule, and the ability to leave work at 5 p.m. every day,” she says, “you don't work independently.” But she likes the variety of projects and subject matter in her indexing and marketing work, along with the opportunities to keep learning and to meet other professionals with wide-ranging interests.
When Thea’s not working, she enjoys reading, knitting, exercising regularly, gardening, and attending wine tastings. She’s taken a number of wine-related trips, including a 2010 jaunt to Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley in France. Among her favorite memories are fine food and fine wines in the lovely Château Fombrauge vineyard*. Next on the list: Italy!
Much, much closer to home, Thea notes, the Ohio Valley region produces very good grapes and wine. In fact, she says, the U.S. wine business was at one time centered in the Ohio Valley and New York, long before California, Oregon, and Washington came to dominate the industry. For Heartlanders wanting to explore regional wineries, Thea’s picks include Kinkead Ridge (Ripley, OH), La Vigna (Georgetown, OH), Henke (Cincinnati, OH), and Burnet Ridge (Cincinnati, OH).
Research suggests that light-to-moderate wine consumption is associated with improved cognitive function,** so maybe Thea’s on to something. Regardless, work and hobbies that keep us learning are something to celebrate. Cheers!
*We don’t currently have an elected office for Heartland Field Trip Coordinator, but if anyone cares to amend our bylaws, I heartily suggest we nominate Thea.
**The tax deduction possibilities for an indexing business are intriguing, though I’m not sure my accountant would see it that way.
© 2012 by Heartland Chapter of ASI. All rights reserved.