Food for thought

Posted on Jul 13, 2018 :: Editors Note
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

It was just a couple years ago that I was feeling lost in my life. My youngest son had just entered kindergarten, and after staying home to raise my three boys for more than 10 years, I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t a full-time mom.

My quest to figure out what came next led me to Fox Valley Technical College and earning an associate degree in professional communications. The program turned out to be ideal both as a complement to my bachelor’s in journalism and a way to refresh my skills.

When I went back to school, I did so assuming I’d take my career in a different direction. Never did I expect to return to journalism, where I assumed there were no jobs. I was surprised, then, to land at Insight Publications. If I didn’t expect to work as a journalist, I doubly didn’t expect to take a job as a reporter writing about business and manufacturing.

I’d worked on the copy desk at the Oshkosh Northwestern in the early 2000s and was comfortable hiding behind my red pen and editing other people’s writing. And if ever I were to write, it would be human interest pieces.

As I delved into my new role as staff reporter, I quickly grew to love my work. Turns out I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Writing for Insight, I’ve met so many fascinating people all passionate about what they do, and I’ve had the honor of telling their stories. Manufacturing is the lifeblood of the Wisconsin economy, and for that reason, I feel so lucky to start this new role as editor of Insight on Manufacturing.

This month’s cover story by Insight Managing Editor MaryBeth Matzek delves into food safety. It’s a critical issue to the state and Northeast Wisconsin. Food shipments topped $43 billion in 2016, and Wisconsin ranked third in the nation — behind Illinois and California — as the top food manufacturing state in the nation.

Recent high-profile foodborne illness cases underscore the importance of making food safety a priority. This fall, Plymouth’s Lakeland University will debut the nation’s first bachelor’s degree program in food safety and quality, and companies such as Green Bay’s Cherney Microbiological Services work with businesses to safely produce and package food.

Don’t miss this month’s Manufacturing First Expo & Conference spread. We’re all enjoying the precious and few Wisconsin summer days, but October and Manufacturing Month will be upon us in no time. The eighth annual event’s one big day will feature keynote speaker Bob Chapman of “Truly Human Leadership” fame.

As I settle into my new role, I’d love to hear from you. If you have ideas you’d like to share, send me an email or give me a call. I can’t wait to keep sharing your stories.