In 2000, I faced a life decision: whether to continue teaching community college writing courses or accept the editorship of NEW MOBILITY magazine. So I prayed — as I often do — that God would make my path clear. Many of us with disabilities, with our overriding need to live independently, reject the idea that God guides our lives. As for me, over the years I have grown to accept that much of my life path has, in ways beyond my understanding, been chosen for me.
The application process, trial editing and writing assignments went smoothly. I told myself that either path would be right since teaching and editing both centered around what I love doing most — writing. Then came a three-hour interview with Barry Corbet, Jean Dobbs and then-owner Jeff Leonard at Barry’s home in the Rockies. Afterward, I flew home to Oregon and awaited their decision. When Jean called and offered me the job, I realized how much I wanted it. I got emotional, choked up — and could not speak.
“Tim, are you there?” asked Jean.
“Yes, yes, of course,” I finally managed. “I’m … overwhelmed, and happy to accept.”
I’ve been extremely fortunate to serve as NM’s editor. Now, 211 monthly issues later, I have reached another fork in the path: At the end of June I will retire as editor. I hope to stay connected to the magazine, both in print and online, editing and writing in a part-time capacity.
NEW MOBILITY has made recent changes under Jean Dobbs’ leadership. The magazine, newly redesigned, has a bright future. Since 1991, Jean has risen from intern to managing editor to editorial director to publisher. Her multiple talents, dedication and unparalleled experience make her the best possible person to guide the magazine, and we are all the better for it.
Ian Ruder officially becomes our new editor on July 1. He has a fresh outlook and just the right leadership qualities — a wealth of personal experience with disability issues, nearly two decades of journalistic writing and editing experience, and a talent for shaping stories that resonate with our readers. He is also extremely well-connected with United Spinal chapter members and freelancers.
Josie Byzek, always committed and competent, takes on the newly created position of executive editor. She is our advocacy expert, champion of diversity and indefatigable voice of passion. And a damn good writer. Most recently she has infused new energy into our online presence and social media platforms and eagerly steps up to meet any new challenge.
Seth McBride is our new associate editor, a gifted writer, exceptional athlete, world traveler (and new father), poised to grow and prosper with NEW MOBILITY — we all hope — for a long time.
Bob Vogel, with decades of NM writing and reporting experience, known for his insightful profiles, adventure, recreational and product expertise, anchors our freelancers. And our stellar lineup of columnists is a rich blend of talented veterans and new voices.
As bright as NM’s future is, we are nothing without you, our faithful readers. May your paths remain connected with ours — and may we continue to educate, encourage and support one another for years to come.