Kingsley to leave Leader Publications

Published 7:09 pm Monday, October 10, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Edwardsburg Argus
After three months devoted to &#8221pondering my opportunities,“; Daily News, Cassopolis Vigilant and Edwardsburg Argus Advertising Manager Diana Kingsley expects to be at a better vantage point to answer the question of what she's going to do next.
After almost half her life selling newspaper advertising, she is walking away.
Although she did kid former advertising representative Marla Miller that she was &#8221going to sell salt-and-pepper shakers because that's what she always said she was going to do when she got rich: ‘Everybody loves them and you sell them a pair at a time. It's so simple.' “;
Kingsley, for example, might reinvent herself as a grant writer or foundation fundraiser. &#8221I like to do that,“; she found as the first female president of Dowagiac Rotary Club and on behalf of such pet passions as the Cass County Fair and Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital.
Three months is not an arbitrary number, either.
Having focused on her career, &#8221I don't even know what opportunities are out there. I have no clue.“;
After almost 25 years selling newspaper advertising, Kingsley yearns to see what else she might do, which cinched her decision to resign as advertising manager.
In those days, in addition to chores on the family farm near Cassopolis, the former Diana Wooden waitressed part-time at an ice cream restaurant and babysat.
One project Kingsley knows she will be undertaking is an invitation from Dr. James Wierman to develop a trap-shooting club for teen-age girls with Officer Susan Worley of the Dowagiac Police Department.
Kingsley started in sales by chance with Metal Building Review, a monthly trade magazine based in Edwardsburg.
She spied a classified ad in the Cassopolis Vigilant seeking a secretary, which was work she had done for the Cassopolis Public Schools after studying secretarial science at Southwestern Michigan College.
When it was sold &#8221I did not go with them to Gary,“; Ind. &#8221It happened the same time (the owner) contracted cancer and I was pregnant with Scott. In that period while I was off on pregnancy leave - there was no such thing, but he insisted I come in every week and bring the baby,“; for which he paid her most of her salary. &#8221This was 1980. There was no medical plan, especially for women in the 1970s and '80s.“;
She joined the Niles Daily Star on March 15, 1981, in classified advertising &#8221because they wouldn't hire me in retail sales, even though I had been selling national advertisers like National Steel.“;
But she spent less than three months in that department as classified quickly expanded from one page to three.
Her being slotted into classified to input ads was certainly based on the former secretary's typing abilities.
Manager Tim Burchell was floored when she completed his typing test at 105 words a minute with no errors. He'd never had anyone reach more than 35 or 40 words per minute. She tested herself last year and could still do 78.
After being off the job for 10 months, &#8221I had to borrow an outfit to wear to the interview,“; she recalled. &#8221Bad recession in 1979-'81. I bought leftover mismatched paints at Behnke's to paint my kitchen. ‘How would that color and that color look together?' I made baby clothes and pureed everything for baby food. We gardened and canned everything. Tom got laid off that winter and he went fishing. We ate fish all winter long. I know what poor is.“;
Publisher Danny Dean brought her to Dowagiac in April 1982 when Nancie Brockway moved from Marcellus.
She worked with three more publishers, Tom Rattenbury, Doug Phares and, for the past year, Jan Griffey.
Kingsley took a seven-month sabbatical in 1991, during which she helped launch a shopper's guide in Nassau, The Bahamas.