If there is one word I'd choose to describe Kay's work, it would be: original. Whenever I received a pitch from Kay, I knew it would be something I hadn't seen anywhere else. Kay has a keen eye for spotting trends. And her pieces for the Monitor were always cutting-edge.
Laurent Belsie
Senior Economics Editor, The Christian Science Monitor
Kay Nolan brings a high level of productivity, versatility and enthusiasm, whether she's editing copy or writing a story. In addition to strong skills and experience in both copy editing and writing, she has an aptitude and enthusiasm for adapting to changing technology. She has the reporting experience and instincts to nail breaking news elements or an aspect of an issue that was previously unreported. Kay's alertness has led to enterprise stories on the cover of our metro section. Kay also proved to be a fine copy editor, writing clever headlines, catching mistakes and diligently handling stories. She is tactful and collegial in her dealings with reporters.
George Stanley
Managing Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
I worked with Kay at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel years ago. Because of her superb editing skills, great personality, and cultural sensitivity, she was the first person I went to when I started providing communication training / services for Japanese professionals living in the United States. I ask Kay to edit a variety of writing, such as resumes, web pages and marketing materials that I or my clients have written. She not only edits the content but advises us of American cultural references and expressions. She also helps us be more concise and to the point, because Japanese people sometimes like to use indirect language to avoid conflict, which results in unclear and vague expressions. She does much more than just editing.
Rika Kanaoka
CEO, RK Communications Network
Kay has been a regular contributor to our products, and we've used her to cover everything from debates in the 2010 GOP primary for lieutenant governor and 2011 Supreme Court race to visits from Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. She approaches each assignment enthusiastically, is attentive to details and meets our deadlines. Often times, stringers will seek detailed directions on a story and follow that plan closely. Kay not only does that, but she also takes the initiative to offer observations and sometimes suggest possible follow up stories. I take both as excellent signs of her work ethic and initiative.
JR Ross
Editor, WisPolitics.com
Kay has accepted wide-ranging reporting assignments from me covering municipal and education news in more than 30 communities and school districts in Waukesha County. Kay has also filled in for our Waukesha County bureau reporters on difficult and controversial topics. I've had no hesitancy to assign such stories to Kay, knowing that she is able to quickly and accurately grasp the issues at hand while remaining alert for new developments. Kay also turns in clean, well written copy on our tight evening deadlines. Kay also has an eye for trend stories. For instance, after covering a meeting in one community on an unrelated topic, Kay picked up on discussion that Main Street was attracting a lot of bank branches and potentially crowding out the potential for a more diverse set of merchants. With additional reporting, Kay turned in a trend story about bank branches proliferating in the Milwaukee suburbs.
Eric Aspenson
Waukesha County Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Kay is a talented and thorough copy editor who has mastery of language skills and an eye for detail and accuracy. An experienced writer, Kay is sensitive to the needs and feelings of writers and she advocates for stories to be as effective as possible. In addition, Kay has an appreciation and respect for diversity, which is vital in a minority-majority city such as Milwaukee. I always admired such sensitivity as a business columnist who spent many years writing about diversity and minority business. Kay is a wonderful person to work with. I recommend her without hesitation.
Tannette Johnson-Elie
I was a reporter and editor at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for 37 years. Kay was the copy editor frequently on stories and projects written by me and other education reporters. She was not hesitant to ask questions about what the story was saying, questions that showed her intelligence in understanding the material and her commitment to being an advocate for readers who would want to grasp what the story intended to say. Furthermore, she was unfailingly diplomatic and pleasant in doing this, a valuable trait in a copy editor. Kay also showed often that she was thinking not only about the immediate duties she had but about how to make a story better by how it was displayed in the paper and by creative use of such elements as illustrations, graphics and Web links to other stories. All writers need editors, and Kay is among those editors who are good at making sure a piece of writing is better when it leaves their hands. And she did that in a way that I knew she was an ally who wanted the best for my work.
Alan J. Borsuk
Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy Marquette University Law School
It has been my good fortune to have worked closely with Kay Nolan as my copy editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Kay‘s skills as a copy editor are exceptional. One would expect any good copy editor to be intelligent, vigilant and thorough. Kay has all those qualities. But what makes her such a treasure is her superb sense of narrative clarity. When Kay has finished editing a story, it is more than error-free; it is also a better story. I also admire Kay‘s sensitivity. In the past year in particular, Kay has edited nearly all the stories I have written about child welfare and abuse. These have not been easy stories to read. Kay has read them with uncompromised compassion. I am a better reporter because Kay has been my editor. I am honored to recommend her.
Crocker Stephenson
Kay is an important part of the crucial "last line of defense" as a copy editor handling complex and often controversial stories under the pressure of deadline at a major metropolitan daily newspaper. She has saved many reporters from errors and helped retain our credibility with readers. Her attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile in vetting stories for accuracy and readability has made her a valuable part of the team at the Journal Sentinel. In one of my stories, she made a last-minute save that prevented a potentially libelous mistake involving use of the wrong photograph in a story about a criminal investigation.
Dave Umhoefer
Reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner
Kay is a terrific copy editor. Whenever I heard her voice at the other end of the phone I knew I was in good hands.
As Editor of Internal Communications at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Kay Nolan was an excellent writer and project manager. She maintained high standards for her work, with great attention to detail. She introduced interesting new columns for employees on timely topics and never missed a deadline. Kay enthusiastically tackled complex medical and scientific topics and rendered them understandable for the average reader. As technology progressed, she shepherded the transference of print publications into electronic format. Kay brings years of professional experience and tremendous skill and interest in writing, editing and communications project management.
I worked with Kay Nolan at The Janesville Gazette where she was the assistant managing editor and I was a reporter. I found her direction clear and her news judgment solid. I also thought she edited my stories well. I have worked with many editors during my career at newspapers ranging the The Tacoma News Tribune to The Sacramento Bee to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Kay was among the top tier.
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Clinical Practice Group and myself. It has been our great pleasure working with you in the role of Editor of the Focus and recorder of the Board of Directors meetings. Under your direction, Focus has developed into a major vehicle of communication for the entire CPG staff. Your professionalism was greatly appreciated as many sensitive issues were reported to the staff. The publication was timely and accurately reflected the issues facing the CPG.
Richard P. Lofgren, MD, MPH
Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer-Clinical Practice Group Medical College of Wisconsin
Kay worked as an editor in the newsroom. In her role, she offered both thoughtful direction and constructive criticism to writers. She did this while maintaining good relationships with reporters. Writers know how valuable a good editor is. Kay is one of those editors. Her standards are high, and she’s willing to go the extra mile to keep them high.
Anna Marie Lux
Columnist, The Janesville Gazette
I’m a features reporter at The Janesville Gazette and worked with Kay Nolan. Here’s what I know about Kay: She’s organized, she’s a hard worker and she gives positive feedback. When Kay and I worked the weekends together, she was in charge of editing my stories. She made awkward sentences smoother, asked questions when something was unclear and generally made me look better in print. Although Kay worked on the hard news side, she seemed to care about the whole newspaper, from news to features to sports. She asked questions about content, challenged people to use better or different sources and was unfailingly cheerful.
Catherine W. Idzerda
Kay Nolan engaged my printing and graphics firm for several years to produce publications for the corporate and medical fields. Kay has high standards and often utilized our on-staff designers to help achieve the look and quality she envisioned. She insisted on excellent color reproduction and print quality, but her enthusiasm and her respect for our staff's time, knowledge and suggestions maximized the value of the end product. In addition, Kay's appreciation for the printing process and respect for production needs makes for an excellent business relationship.
Daniel Yuhas
Owner, Yuhas Graphics, West Allis, Wisconsin