Editor’s note: Heart
When inspiration struck me for this month’s cover story, The Amys, I didn’t realize just how profoundly moved I’d be by the award winners our committee selected.
I had a feeling Gail Selk was going to be a force of a woman.
I’d never met the former owner and publisher of Madison Magazine before sharing lunch with her recently at Cafe Hollander. I knew only a bit about her — she owned the magazine with her then-husband, the late Jim Selk, from 1978 to 1996, which is when they sold the magazine to Morgan Murphy Media. I also knew from a phone call weeks earlier that she was the one who started Best of Madison, which celebrates 40 years of incredible popularity and success this year. But I was excited to learn more about the woman who played a big part in this magazine’s history.
She told me to look for the woman in the green coat. I was not prepared to find her in a windbreaker and matching hat that were in an electrifying shade of lime green. She wore giant Warby Parker sunglasses and had come straight from her Pilates class to meet me. She’s 84.
I was right about her being a force. Before we even sat down, I could already tell she blazes her own trail. Over my BLT and her omelet, I learned she was the first woman to become an advertising sales representative for Madison Newspapers and also the first woman to serve as board president of The Madison Club. And she’s proudly been sober for 40 years, she told me.
Selk is just one of the incredible women I’ve had the opportunity to meet recently. When inspiration struck me for this month’s cover story, The Amys, I didn’t realize just how profoundly moved I’d be by the award winners our committee selected. I should have known it might get emotional, as the awards are in honor of Amy Gannon and her daughter, Jocelyn, who died in a tragic accident. I cried in every single interview I conducted.
I cried when Hilary Samsa’s voice cracked when she said, “I’m so proud of her” over the phone, talking about her daughter who received our Jocelyn Scholarship. I cried when Vanitha Suresh, a Carnatic vocalist, serenaded me with a beautiful song that her aunt taught her at 4 or 5 years old.
Please click here to learn more about these intelligent, talented, incredible women. I feel honored to have met them.
I unfortunately never had the opportunity to meet Amy Gannon. But boy do I feel like I’ve learned a lot about her through getting to know these women who so aptly represent her.
They have your heart, Amy.
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