Editor’s Note: We’ve hijacked this space. Ever since the first issue of the DCDM Newsletter in January of 2014, Anne Hennessy has written the profile of one of our Editorial Review Group Chairs. But now, since Anne is retiring at the end of this week after 28+ years of stellar service at Doody’s, we are profiling her. And she will be so angry at us when she opens her copy of the August 2020 issue of the DCDM Newsletter and discovers that her colleagues are not letting her slip away without fanfare.
Clare Konner, Managing Editor: As the newest member of the Doody’s team, you may think I wouldn’t have much to share about Anne. However, from my first day at DEI in early January until we started temporarily working from home in March due to the pandemic, I spent every day working alongside and learning from Anne (and continued that close communication via Teams, GoToMeeting, Zoom, etc., etc. from then on). We got to know each other during this time, but that’s not surprising – Anne can get along with anyone and have a conversation about anything. When you talk to her, her qualities immediately stand out: she is kind, genuine, unassuming, accepting, and exceptionally gifted, eloquent, witty, and hardworking. Though the classical music always playing in her office may have played a role, Anne made me feel completely at ease, supported, and confident from day one. Between working together through daily tasks and the entire DCT process, we bonded over our shared love of editorial style guides and grammar pet peeves, Trader Joe’s, trips to Italy (and its food), murder mysteries, family, and our Irish roots. She told me all the “good places” to go in Oak Park as a resident of our town for many years, which helped me feel excited and settled when my family was new to the area. From the beginning, Anne’s instruction was comprehensive to ensure Doody’s services maintain their integrity and level of excellence, yet easygoing, courtesy of 28 years of expertise – and because it’s her nature. I couldn’t imagine the day she would leave as it has been such an enjoyable privilege being her colleague. Now that the day is finally here for Anne to transition to retirement, I leave her with this message: Anne, Doody’s success is a testimony to your skill and dedication. Thank you for being an inspiration and sharing your time, wisdom, patience, and humor through every interaction. I wish you tons of fun, joy, and good health in your next phase!
Tim Butzen, Operations Director: From the time I interviewed with her (when she calmly explained for the umpteenth time what Doody’s Core Titles is) to the very latest correspondence we’ve shared, Anne has truly set the bar for professionalism, patience, and partnership. Anne has been a source of constant grounding, someone I could count on to help me see the bigger picture when I panicked about the details. She has unflinchingly entertained my ceaseless questions about Doody’s history, people, and operations – and I’m grateful she’s allowed me to return the favor once or twice! What I appreciate most about Anne is the trust and faith she placed in me by partnering with me on growing an editorial enterprise she has spent nearly three decades building, which has quickly become a focal point in my career. And of course, I can’t forget the little moments of joy Anne has brought to the office: spending generous amounts of time discussing books, food, family, and travel; cursing bitterly the chill of our offices; celebrating the squeak of the book cart as it chugged up and down the hall; catching the latest NPR story at the end of the work day; rolling our eyes together at books that were nearly impossible (or deeply unpleasant) to catalog; getting the latest weather and traffic updates from her trips next door to Trader Joe’s; and taking that big sigh of relief when we finally got a new review group off the ground. While I’m so excited for you, Anne, to take this next step, I hope you know how much you’ll be missed. Congratulations on your retirement! Read fiercely.
Laura Constans, Advertising Manager: Although I’ve had the pleasure of working with Anne in the office for a relatively short time before switching over to working remotely, I noticed right away her quick wit and her steadfast warmth, along with her friendly and calm demeanor. I am extremely appreciative of her fast, clear, and concise responses to my (many) questions that have helped me to learn (and continue learning) the ins and outs of DEI. And I am very aware of her important role in building Doody Enterprises, Inc. into the incredible company that it is today. Thank you for all that you contributed to the company. You will be missed! Enjoy your new adventures in this next chapter of the journey!
Melissa Kansa, Production Manager: Since I started at Doody’s, one of the best parts of my week has been the chance to talk to Anne when in the office. Anne is a lover of theater, both plays and musicals, which she enjoys attending with her family and friends. She’s been a long-time fan of Steppenwolf Theatre and we’ve had a great time talking about the newest shows in town. Also a fan of the Chicago restaurant scene and Chicago Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel, she loves to pair a night of theater with great food. But beyond all that, this warm and kind woman’s grounding is shown through her favorite evening out: a Chicago Cubs game paired with a hot dog. We wish Anne the best of luck and joy in her retirement paired with plenty of Cubs games, theater, good food, family, and friends.
Rich Lampert, Principal, Doody Consulting: Alongside her work for Doody’s Review Service and Doody’s Core Titles, Anne also edited virtually all of the reports written by Doody Consulting, the affiliate of Doody Enterprises. With Anne’s keen eye and ear for the language, she improved every report that crossed her desk. Even though Dan Doody and I thought we were good writers, Anne always uncovered sloppy language and questioned sloppy thinking. Doody Consulting developed a reputation for providing our clients with clear and well-reasoned recommendations, and Anne’s editing was invaluable in building that reputation. If these were normal times, Anne would now have a chance to attend more Cubs games and theater performances. However it happens, though, I know Anne will find her way to a long, happy, and fulfilling retirement.
Steve Haiman, Chief Technology Officer: I have known Anne for almost three decades and worked with her at Doody Enterprises for a good portion of that. Summing that up in a few short paragraphs is impossible other than Anne is one of the smartest, funniest, most competent, detail-oriented, organized, talented, kind, connecting, and giving persons I have had the honor to know. Over the years, I produced some of the software that powers the operations of Doody Enterprises, and I can honestly say that this code came to life in no small part of Anne’s incredible attention to detail, and her constant eye on the needs of Doody’s customers.
With Anne at the editorial helm, our products came to fruition, including our print versions Doody’s Journal, Doody’s Annual, and Doody’s Rating Service. Then starting in 1995, she managed our line of web-based products, including Doody’s Electronic Journal, Doody’s Core Titles, and Doody’s Collection Development Monthly. All of these products were in no small measure successful due to Anne’s incredible talents as Editor-in-Chief.
One of Anne’s greatest talents is her ability to build relationships. Whether it was connecting with our Editorial Review Group Chairs, our reviewers, our customers, our advertisers, fellow staff members, or our Library Board of Advisers, Anne’s ability to choreograph and connect all of the dots together made our publications possible, both from a content and deadline standpoint.
On a personal note, over the many years, I also have come to know Anne as a true friend. Anne was always there for me, always willing to listen and to work through whatever came my way. For that I am truly grateful.
My wife Nancy and I wish Anne the very best in a well-deserved retirement. It is our hope that it is filled for her and her husband Alex with many joy-filled moments, including non-pandemic times at Wrigley Field with her beloved Cubs. Thank you, Anne, for all you have done for Doody Enterprises, and for all you have done to enrich my life and our customers’ needs.
Dan Doody, Publisher: Everybody loves Anne. I mean, everybody. Since she started at Doody Publishing, Inc. in February of 1993 as our fourth employee, we’ve had more than 160 other employees work beside her. All those former (and current) employees have only one thing in common: they loved working with Anne. Since Doody’s Core Titles debuted in December of 2004, Anne has been the Editor-in-Chief of all 17 annual editions we’ve published thus far. That has enabled her to recruit, orient, and work directly with more than 400 volunteer Librarian Selectors. Over the last 17 years, Selectors would come to the Doody booth at MLA with only one question: “Is Anne here this year? I’ve got to meet / see her.” Even her neighbors love her. I know; I live in her neighborhood. Every neighborhood party is better if Anne and her husband Alex are there. They are the ones with the rare gift of making everyone feel comfortable in their presence.
Why does everybody love Anne? A few reasons:
- She’s ALWAYS friendly, kind, empathetic, and generous of spirit.
- She never wavers. She knows who she is and projects it no matter who she’s interacting with.
- She’s as dependable as a Swiss watch and as versatile as a Swiss army knife. (She loathes clichés, so that one will really get under her skin.)
Do you know how important it has been to our company to have Anne here every day? In relating so well to all our employees and key volunteers, she established a culture of caring and competence no team of MBAs could create so effectively.
People of exceptional character like Anne live noteworthy lives and build meaningful careers. How lucky for us to be in the company of such an exceptional person as Anne all these years. Godspeed, Anne, as you move on to the next notable period of your life.
“It has been a privilege working with you. Perhaps it is fitting that this is my last year shepherding DCT through to publication. I was witness to librarians’ fierce dedication to the mission of disseminating quality information to support health and health care, even in extraordinarily challenging times.” – Anne Hennessy to the Librarian Selectors of Doody’s Core Titles 2020