Farewell—and Profound Thanks—to Nancy Winchester

Nancy WinchesterIt is with mixed feelings that ASPB announces that Nancy Winchester, ASPB’s director of publications, will be retiring in the New Year: happy for Nancy, sad for ASPB.

Nancy joined ASPB on December 1, 1997, and her 23 years as the Society’s publications director have overlapped with extraordinary upheaval in the scholarly publishing industry. We will sorely miss her many vital contributions to ASPB and its publications program.

In the late 1990s, early in Nancy’s tenure, she oversaw the initial transition of Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell to online publishing, and she has guided the Society and our journals through the (still) choppy waters of Open Access ever since. This journey includes the launch of our first Open Access journal, Plant Direct, and establishment of the three-way partnership with the Society for Experimental Biology and Wiley, who co-own it.

All three of ASPB’s journals have seen continuous innovation and change under Nancy’s leadership, and her business acumen (and hard work!) has ensured that they are accessible to the global plant science readership. Importantly for a mission-driven organization like ASPB, Nancy’s efforts have raised well over $100 million in revenue for the Society, allowing us to provide support for the ASPB community in myriad ways over the years.

Nancy staffed 10 (10!) editor-in-chief searches for Plant Physiology, The Plant Cell, and Plant Direct and worked closely with all of these editors throughout their terms. She has also served continuously as senior publications staff liaison to the ASPB Publications Committee, board of trustees, and board of directors.

With Wiley, Nancy established our joint book publishing imprint, through which we have brought to the world a second edition of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Plants (initially self-published by ASPB 20 years ago) and, in 2012, The Molecular Life of Plants, as well as several other titles.

During her final couple of years with the Society, Nancy has shepherded ASPB into its nascent partnership with Oxford University Press to produce and distribute Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell, a change in business model and approach that adds strength and resilience to our journals program and that is destined to facilitate the journals’ eventual transition to an Open Access future.

As Nancy put it, “The program I have directed extends far beyond the Society membership to include authors, reviewers, and editors from all over the world and from all fields of plant biology. I have great affection for the Society, which has been my professional home for 23 years. I am impressed by the organization as it stands today—dynamic, forward thinking, and progressive—and proud of whatever role I have played in its successes.”

Always a champion for the teams she has led and participated in, Nancy added, “I have been blessed with the brightest and most competent staff I have known. I am thankful to have worked with such talented people elsewhere at ASPB, too, and I am most grateful for the opportunity to have served a brilliant community of scientists doing work that I truly believe will be this planet’s salvation.”

Over her years with ASPB, Nancy has earned the deepest trust, respect, and gratitude of the Society’s leadership and staff. We all wish her peace and good fortune in her retirement.

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