Jeff Walter is the newest member of the Hammock editorial team, joining in March 2020—shortly after we started working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although he has been part of our team for more than a year, none of us have worked in the office with him! Before finding his home at Hammock, he worked as a copy editor for The Tennessean and its parent company, Gannett, for nearly 20 years. Jeff lives outside of Nashville with his wife, Carol; their dog, Sadie Mae; and their cat, Woodrow.

What is the first thing you do when you sit down at your desk each morning?

Before sitting at my desk, I sit in a recliner next to my desk, where I start my day with coffee and Bible study. Once I move to my desk, I check my work-related email and make my tentative plan for the day, based on whatever writing assignments I might be working on and any meetings that might be scheduled. I say “tentative” because things are always subject to change: a new assignment with a more pressing deadline, for example, or stories submitted by other writers that need editing.

What’s your favorite organizational tool, whether electronic or otherwise?

I would have to say my to-do list, which is a Google calendar. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with many electronic tools, including calendars, as they don’t always function the way I want them to function. But if I don’t put a task on some type of planner, it’s unlikely to get done.

If you could hop on a plane right now, where would you go?

NatalieWillisNatalie Willis is the first smiling face you see when you emerge from the elevators at Hammock headquarters. As manager of administration, she handles ad sales, production and circulation for various publications, assists the CEO and COO, manages accounts payable, helps with budgeting and expenses, is responsible for events … basically she keeps the office humming in every way imaginable.

Where are you from originally and where did you grow up?

I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My parents were missionaries during the few years of my life, and we moved around during my preschool years. I lived in Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee before we settled in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, where I started second grade and attended college.

Where did you go to college and what was your degree?

TaylorZTaylor Zimmermann, project manager at Hammock, is a big part of the management team for H2U’s monthly newsletters, is in charge of magazine ad tracking and approval, and is responsible for social media marketing for Hammock. (Though not an official part of her job description, she’s the primary reason CEO Rex Hammock gets his assigned writing in on time.) Taylor cheers for the Crimson Tide, knows all of New Orleans’ nooks and crannies, loves traveling and (shhhhh!) is a hula-hooping champ.

Where are you from originally and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in New Orleans. I grew up in a part of New Orleans called Metairie.

Where did you go to college and what kind of degree did you get?

I went to the University of Alabama and graduated with a marketing degree with a concentration in global business.

What did you do before coming to Hammock?

IMG_2263Megan Hamby, writer/editor, graduated in 2011 from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in journalism, and like every good new journalist, she got a job in retail. Before landing at Hammock, she also spent a couple of years in book publishing. Our early bird millennial recently regaled us with a few details about her life:

What is the first thing you do when you wake up and/or get in the office each morning?

I’m always the first person in the office. I could be an awesome employee and get the coffee started every morning, but I haven’t figured out how the coffeemaker works. The first thing I do is check emails and make a to-do list for the day. I get more done in those first couple of hours than I do the rest of the day.

IMG_1112Today is a bittersweet day for Hammockites, as we bid a happy retirement to Bill Hudgins, a brilliant writer and editor and equally brilliant friend. After graduating from Columbia University in 1972 (get him to tell you a story about NYC in those days!), he honed his ability to file tight, smart stories on deadline at newspapers such as the Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald, Cleveland (Tenn.) Daily Banner and Nashville Banner. His next career turn was into public relations when Rex Hammock recruited him to join Buntin Public Relations, then a start-up subsidiary of the Buntin Group, a regional advertising and marketing firm.