The first year Kindra participated in DWFI’s international conference proceedings, she was asked to simply serve as a note-taker along with several others. Another writer was commissioned to write the book of proceedings using all the note-takers’ notes. When the author received Kindra’s notes, however, he used so much of her written summaries that she was given a co-author byline. For the next conference, Kindra was asked to serve as the sole author of the proceedings book. The third engagement for DWFI proceedings will include educational sessions for all notetakers to streamline and shorten the production timeline.
The biggest challenge of writing conference proceedings is figuring out how to manage the “fire hose” of information that pours from the mouths of speakers and panel members and from their slides, most of it extremely technical. Kindra possesses a unique ability to pull out the most important points of any talk, even if the material is highly technical and in areas of study not familiar to her. “You quickly comprehend things, which is a rare talent,” says Molly Nance, the institute’s director of communications and public relations. This work is extremely challenging, and Kindra is often called in to “fix” the work of other note-takers who are struggling to organize the material into powerful summaries. Between conference sessions, Kindra is often found getting to know stakeholders from all over the world to better understand the needs, hopes and capabilities of those who are charged with this very important global task. “This is key! By doing this, you become an extension of DWFI,” Molly says.
After writing session summaries, Kindra checks facts, polishes the copy, helps write introductions and transitions, and makes recommendations for layout and organization of the book. Once the layout is completed, she helps proofread, ensuring proper language use. But, more importantly, she ensures the main points are getting across to readers who could be future partners, donors or advocates of the institute.