Meet the Winning Edits Team: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Meet the Winning Edits Team blog posts! In Part 1, we met Non (likes to dance like Kevin Bacon from Footloose), Jennifer (would love to be a soaring bird), and Janna (the biggest teleportation aficionado we know). In this post, you'll meet the rest of the team, Mindy (ask her about cats), and Matt, CEO and Founder of Winning Edits!

We hope you love getting to know us. I mean, we like us, so there's no way you can't share the same sentiment! If you share any interests, have any questions about what makes us tick, or simply want to say hello, please leave us a comment below!

And you can connect with us (and send us puppy gifs) on Twitter @WinningEdits and sign up for the Winning Edits Dispatch, our monthly newsletter replete with author tips, book publishing news, literary fun, and insight for the author-entrepreneur! 

Mindy Holahan

Of course, Aunt Lucy, I'd love to look after this bear.

Of course, Aunt Lucy, I'd love to look after this bear.

What role do you serve at Winning Edits?

I'm a Senior Content Producer. My speciality is working with development teams, which we do for our larger clients. It's accurate to describe my role as the team translator, helping our content team to communicate effectively with outside development teams (web and app development). I make sure that everyone has a shared vision for what we are creating. I love this role because I get the fun of thinking structurally (like a developer) while still getting to tell stories (like a writer). 

I also take on data-driven projects for our clients, such as developing and analyzing audience surveys and conducting content audits. On a day-to-day basis, I also edit podcasts, assist with copywriting, and handle the final quality control on editorial content.

Before joining Winning Edits, what did you do?

My background is in hospitality. I spent seven years with The Hub, a group of meeting and event centers in Philadelphia. At The Hub, I worked first with the sales team and then later with the administration team, where a big part of my job dealt with compiling and analyzing sales data. This is where I learned that data can tell stories: stories about what our customers liked and what we could do to serve them better.

While I was with The Hub, I received a valuable education in customer service. My coworkers were absolute masters at making a customer feel special. Here too, I had the opportunity to use two sets of skills: the hard skills of data analysis and the soft skills of customer happiness.

What does your ideal day look like?

I'm hosting a party! My fiancé John and I love to throw parties, especially themed events (I'm currently writing an escape room party). We love to use parties as an opportunity to perfect new recipes, build a fire, and break out some records. Our household motto is "good food and good friends." My hostess superpower is that I can build a menu to accommodate any combination of food allergies and sensitivities—and you'll never even notice. If it's my ideal day, then I've spent a lot of time planning this shindig; I've prepped ahead and I have an easy-to-follow timeline so that I can concentrate on having fun with my guests.

Also, there are cats! John and I have three cats (read: so many cats). In my never-ending quest to help them self-actualize, they have become another outlet for creativity. I make them blanket forts and build them cardboard castles. It's pretty ridiculous.

What is currently inspiring you?

Thanks to my YouTube Red subscription, I spend a lot of time watching Crash Course videos to plug the holes in my knowledge about philosophy and history. YouTube Red is THE BEST if you spend any time on YouTube at all. I rely heavily on the "University of YouTube" for learning new skills—from mastering recipes to repairing my own electronics. As I mentioned above, I'm currently writing an escape room party, and I'm using the opportunity to learn Arduino so that I can build fancy props.

I'm in the home stretch for wedding planning, and so I spend a lot of time listening to this wonderfully profane Aussie wedding podcaster.

What's your guilty pleasure?

I find object-oriented reality television oddly motivating. When I need to clean, I pull up videos of British cleaning shows like How Clean Is Your House? and Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners. When I'm struggling to get my work done, I put Tabatha's Salon Takeover on and I pretend she's yelling at me to work smarter. That said, I intensely hate reality television that relies on interpersonal drama. Housewives? Rich socialites? Not interested. Watching someone clean their house while I clean mine? Very interested.

Matt Gartland

And finally, it's time for our founder, Matt Gartland!

What role do you serve at Winning Edits?

I serve as CEO, which means that a big part of my job is business development: making sure Winning Edits is working with great clients and that we are serving them well. To serve our clients well, we have to be keenly aware of how the landscape of publishing is evolving; the platforms, tools, and techniques authors are using to be successful. I love studying this and making sure we keep our clients on the cutting edge.

In terms of editorial direction, my job is to set the rest of team—who I'm thrilled you've gotten to meet—for success. I look at the larger business context for each project and to help the team incorporate it as we develop a project roadmap. We work on a variety of projects, from assisting authors with both the editorial and visual direction (covers, page layouts) for books to providing strategic planning for web page design. I provide the editorial vision, and then I help the team by removing any barriers they're facing so that they can get their work done.

Before starting the Winning Edits team, what did you do?

I come from a corporate software development background—not as an engineer, but in product management.  My role operated between the IT function and different business units, and it gave me an interesting perspective on how to use technology to solve business problems. This background helped me see the opportunity that emerging technologies are creating for the self-published author.

This background in systems thinking and software governance directly applies to developing editorial plans, where the goal is to deliver valuable content consistently over time. It's been an interesting, fun journey to bring this experience to the table of editorial content, digital content, and publishing.

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day begins by waking up without an alarm—just when my body tells me to wake up, although it will still be early. I have a relaxing breakfast with a cup of coffee and spend some time journaling. It's something I don't get to do nearly enough these days, and it really helps to unleash my creative juices.

I'd get to read a new good book. Midday or early afternoon I'd get out of the house for something physical: go for a run, go to the gym, or go hiking. After that, I'd have dinner with close friends, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour.

What is currently inspiring you?

The team inspires me—both the Winning Edits team and the team at my other company that I co-own/co-run, Rocket Code. Being someone who is a high producing individual, to now get comfortable delegating the work that I have always enjoyed doing but can't responsibly tackle alone, I'm so inspired by all members of the teams—watching them step up and make commitments that help to keep me from working insane hours. I am so grateful and humbled by watching our teams support our clients and make their visions a reality.

Who is your favorite superhero?

While I love many superheroes, Batman is my favorite. He's mortal and he's borne from an adversity that he uses as his motivation to good, hard work for the benefit of others. He doesn't seek recognition; he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. While I don't go around beating people up after midnight, I self-identify with the internal motivation to be far better than you would be without making some sacrifices. This has helped motivate me to use the benefits and opportunities I've had to pay it forward with business that can provide careers and lifestyles for the people I care about—my team members.

Thanks again for reading, and meeting the Winning Edits team! We'd love to get to know you more. If you'd like to learn more about the team, come say hello to us on Twitter @WinningEdits!

And don't forget to check out our new Resources page, which has some of our favorite editorial tools, calendar software, publishing books, and resources for brands and authors. Check it out!