By Deborah E. Bowman, MFA, ELS
Today we bid farewell and good luck to Deborah Bowman as she starts her retirement. Deborah has managed ASGE’s publications since 2005 and has been instrumental in the growth and development of the journals. Before taking her leave, she offers some reflections on her career and time with ASGE.
During my career in scholarly publishing, a good friend repeatedly told me, “You’ve gotta try.” He said this when I hesitated to apply for a manager position in the journals department at Elsevier. I got the job. He said it again when I was sure I could never get the Managing Editor position for GIE. He said it every time I had a chance to advance, or speak at a conference, or serve in an expanded capacity.
This year (2021) I turned 70, and on December 31, I will retire…more or less. I have happily agreed to work under contract for the ASGE for a couple of hours a day, helping your new Senior Managing Editor, Stephanie Kinnan, with some of the many, many tasks associated with ASGE’s journals. But that will be far fewer hours than I work now, and I know myself well enough to realize that I am not one to sit around relaxing. I fear the Editor in me will continue to rise up and find a way. I’ve been elected to the Board of our local Arts Council, where I started a writers’ group, which I named “The Rough Writers.” I belong to two other writers’ groups: “Scribes Tribe” and “The Project.” I am on a City Committee for Downtown Preservation for Wentzville, Missouri and am a member of several other local organizations. And I have the most beautiful, intelligent, incredible 2-year-old granddaughter, Tessa, who seems to enjoy my company. I suspect I’ll keep busy.
It’s not going to be easy; GIE journal is in my blood. I first worked on GIE at Mosby Publishing. We were called “Editors,” and we did our own copyediting. I worked with then−Managing Editor Donna Sivak before Editorial Manager was created, when everything went through the mail…or if you wanted to be really modern, a fax machine. Then Elsevier bought Mosby, and we worked on the same journals for them—until they decided to close the journals department in the St. Louis office. That was 2005, and they were closing us and moving the journals to New York and Philadelphia over the course of a year. During that year, GIE and its Editor-in-Chief, George Triadafilopoulos, needed a new Managing Editor. I was thrilled and honored to get the job and have remained so ever since.
I’ve said this many times, but this has truly been my dream job. I love publishing, I love written words and the magic they create, and I have loved getting to know the endoscopy doctors and ASGE staff. I learned, while working at Mosby and Elsevier, that each medical specialty has a different personality, and endoscopists are definitely the best. They are kind, friendly, down-to-earth, and have great senses of humor. It has been my privilege and honor to work with so many of you to create the best endoscopy journal in the world. I have a lot more I want to accomplish, and although some of it is unknown and scary, you know what? I’ve gotta try.