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Margot McGraw Toppen
Online Media - Content and Marketing Specialist
EXPERIENCE | EDUCATION | FOOTNOTES | CONTACT

E X P E R I E N C E

TRAVELZOO INC.
August 2003-present
Chicago, IL

Producer: Founded company’s Chicago office (first hire) and helped build strong Midwest Sales/Production team. Collaborate with high profile travel companies such as ATA Airlines, Funjet Vacations, Hyatt Corp., to execute highly effective advertising campaigns.

AMERICA ONLINE
October 2000-July 2003
Chicago, IL

Senior Editor: Managed creation and production of content on AOL Local products, including but not limited to the Digital City Chicago. Acted as team leader for a staff of editors and freelancers based in key Midwest markets. Implemented internal processes aimed at improving product quality/integrity. Created innovative editorial enhancements that resulted in better user experience and a more sustainable city guide product.

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
June 2000-March 2003
Evanston, IL

Adjunct faculty: Authored and taught an introductory workshop to give Medill School of Journalism graduate students an overview of the New Media job field and provide them with a crash course on writing for the Internet, Web site design, information architecture and production.

SWING TIME!
April 1999-present
Chicago, IL

Executive Producer/Business Manager: Educational/cultural arts program tours throughout Chicagoland, with performances at more than 50 schools and park districts since inception. Program combines dynamic dance performances with historical information about the history of American jazz music and dance. Acquired skills: business development, sales & marketing, budget management, customer relations, scheduling.

Instructor: Teach various forms of dance to children and adults. Develop class curriculum that is constantly evolving for dance disciplines including ballet, jazz, swing, ballroom, Argentine tango, salsa, tap.

SCOUT ELECTROMEDIA
April 2000-October 2000
Chicago, IL

Chicago Editor: Developed content for MODO, a wireless handheld device that delivered entertainment listings to users based on their location.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE
October 1996-April 2000
Chicago, IL

Editor/Producer: Coordinated and produced multi-media content for special editorial sections on Metromix.com, the Chicago Tribune’s online entertainment guide. This included setting an editorial calendar, assigning and writing stories, editing and uploading video and sound clips, art direction and front- and back-end production. Managed five editing assistants who produced events listings for the Chicago Tribune Friday guide and Metromix Web site. Acted as liaison between the Metromix/Friday guide editorial staffs and the technology team to oversee development of internal database tools.

IMAGINATION PUBLISHING
June 1995-October 1996
Chicago, IL

Assistant Editor: Wrote feature stories, edited copy, generated story ideas for a variety of custom magazines. Clients included: American Airlines, Staples, Avon, Pier One Imports, Sylvan Learning Center.

PICK-STAIGER CONCERT HALL
September 1993-June 1995
Evanston, IL

Marketing Assistant: Sole editorial responsibility for Concertline, a quarterly events publication for the Northwestern University School of Music. Quarterly contributor to Fanfare, the School of Music alumni magazine. Wrote radio spots, designed ads, developed grass roots marketing projects for Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

E D U C A T I O N

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
September 1991-March 1995
Bachelor of Science of Journalism. GPA: 3.5/4.0; Also completed the Integrated Arts certificate program and a minor in Sociology.

Gotham Writers' Workshop
New York, NY
Fall 1999
Online writing course in Fiction and Television Sitcom Writing.

Eurocentre de Madrid
Madrid, Spain
Summer 1993
Intensive language courses in Spanish; travel through Europe.

F O O T N O T E S

Software fluency: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, JavaScript and HTML authoring, Adobe Premiere, Macromedia SoundEdit 16, Flash, DeBabbelizer, Quark Xpress, Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)

Writing specialties: Entertainment and performing arts (dance, theater, music), education, consumer technology, small business, creative writing

Hobbies: Dance performance and instruction (jazz, ballet, swing, lindy hop), screenwriting, hiking, triathlons

C O N T A C T

By e-mail: mmtoppen@yahoo.com

By phone: 312-371-7318