Questex Media, publishers of Cadalyst, surprised CAD insiders by announcing that long time veteran Sara Ferris was being replaced as editor-in-chief. In her place would be Amy Stankiewicz, previously an editor-in-chief for Geospatial Solutions. See press release.
Not much was said about Sara. Nothing about her many years of service. There was no way for her readers to get in touch with her. Sara had risen from the ranks to the top editorial spot in the #1 CAD print publication. Now, stripped off her platform, was she to just fade away?
I asked Dana Fisher, Sara's boss, what happened. Dana confirmed the departure, but as publisher are wont to do, would not provide contact information nor disclose the reasons for her departure. A few weeks later, I was able to get in touch with Sara. Sara would not comment on the reason, either. So much mystery...
But at least we can do a Q&A to help provide a postscript to her career:
How long were you at Cadalyst?
I joined the Cadalyst staff in January 1995 as managing editor (just in time for Release 13). Before that, I worked on a number of other publications within the company, starting in 1989.
What were your various positions?
I was promoted to senior editor in August 1997. I became executive editor in May 2000 and editor-in-chief in Nov. 2003, at the time Cadalyst acquired Cadence.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the industry?
My hope is that readers found value in Cadalyst’s many publications, whether it’s tips, industry analysis, product reviews or tutorials. Despite shrinkage in the print publication, we were able to expand online offerings to actually increase the amount of content covered.
Can you list some highlights of your tenure?
For me, the highlights are the many fine people I’ve worked with, in particular other members of the editorial team, both staff and contributors, as well as the readers who’ve taken the time to write, call or stop by at trade shows or conferences. It’s always enlightening to hear from CAD users who are passionate about their work and their tools.
In terms of the publication, I’m particularly proud of its online success. The original Web site and e-mail newsletter date back to 1996. It was a challenge to keep them going in a corporate culture that for many years was focused entirely on print, not on the Internet.
Other challenges that stand out include broadening the editorial focus from strictly AutoCAD to all CAD products and integrating the two publications when Cadalyst acquired Cadence a few years back.
What are your immediate plans?
I’m finding that unemployment is lots of work. But I do hope to remain involved in the CAD industry. In fact, I’m currently working on an article for Desktop Engineering.
You can email Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.