When we created the position of editorial coordinator 10 months ago to better regulate the flow of copy, pictures and layouts during the weekly closing of SI, we wanted someone with energy, dexterity and a talent for nagging. Trish Chesler has filled the bill.
Chesler, 31, has proved she can adroitly juggle the many elements that makeup the magazine. "I love this job," she says. "It's perfect for me. I'm too hyper to sit at a desk all day. I need to be buzzing around."
Chesler's buzzing begins each week on Thursday when she joins representatives from SI's production department for a meeting at which the editorial and advertising page lineups, known as mockups, are discussed for upcoming issues. During that meeting Chesler must ensure that the articles the editors have planned are properly positioned in the magazine. Later, toting several clipboards, each bearing various versions of mockups for any of half a dozen forthcoming issues, she meets with the editorial department heads to set deadlines for the current week's magazine. "We have to be sure that we get things to the printing plants on time—and not all at once," Chesler says. "Somebody has to know exactly what's going on and when things have to get done. That's me."
By Sunday, with deadlines nigh and the copy flow swelling, Chesler is in full buzz. Using three computers, she communicates changes in the story list and page positions to the staff and monitors the progress of every story. And she scurries from office to office, making sure editors, reporters and copyreaders keep things moving along. It takes more than a little courage. "She's young and diminutive," says executive editor Peter Carry. "She has to go into editors' offices late at night when tempers are short and tell them what to do. And they have to listen."
"I'm the in-house nudge," says Chesler, laughing. "I annoy people. It's nothing personal. I see the big picture."
Chesler developed a knack for nudging while baby-sitting for little sister Terri and younger brother Paul Pfeifer at home in Amityville, N.Y. And she demonstrated a flair for detail-tracking as manager and statistician of the St. John the Baptist High boys' soccer team, which finished the 1980 season unbeaten and won the southern New York State Catholic high school championship.
After graduating from Fordham in 1986 with a degree in communications, Chesler was a production assistant for Working Title Films and an assistant director of 4D Productions in London. At 4D she coordinated music videos for ex- Beatle George Harrison and Pink Floyd alumnus Roger Waters. "I don't think Harrison liked me," Chesler recalls. "He would come in with his peanut butter sandwich in a paper bag and not talk to me at all."
Chesler, who lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Wayne, a filmmaker, and their 20-month-old son, Derek, joined SI five years ago as an administrative assistant and later was operations manager in the art department. After all her globe-trotting and job-hopping, we would like to tell you that Chesler has settled down. But the buzz around the office suggests otherwise.