USAO Alumni Reunion Happens Everyday At Tate Publishing
Under normal circumstances, if a group of 11 USAO graduates are together, there must be an Alumni Association event. But this happens everyday at Tate Publishing in Mustang, where more than 10 percent of the publishing company’s workforce are alums of the University of Science and Arts.
"I don't know what you guys are doing at USAO, but you need to bottle it. You are turning out top-tier talent with a great work ethic," said Dave Dolphin, director of book production at Tate.
USAO graduates serve at all levels of the company. Melanie Harr-Hughes, a 2004 graduate, serves as creative director for Tate. Rachael Sweeden (’06) is the director of operations. Art graduates Brandon Wood ('03), assistant creative director, and Kristen Polson ('04), illustration associate, oversee the illustration department at Tate.
Other graduates at Tate include Ryan Bell ('08); Chris Castor ('08), multi-media producer; Jeff Elliott ('06), illustrator; Kurt Jones ('07), illustration associate; Ashley Luckett ('08), copy editor; Sara Wood ('02), acquisitions assistant, and Marcie Price ('06), illustrator.
"Tate Publishing is a great place for USAO graduates. They work in a positive, energetic and creative atmosphere. We are proud of our alums at Tate and know they have a great impact on the success of the company" said Julie Bohannon, director of Alumni Development at USAO.
Good communication with each other after graduation and a creative environment is what draws USAO students to Tate Publishing. " I think that a major factor is that we have stayed in relatively close communication with each other after college so that we were able to contact each other easily. Also, USAO teaches students to be creative and many of the positions at Tate Publishing that are filled by USAO students involve creative design," said Rachael Sweeden.
Sweeden says that skills learned inside the classroom and out benefit her at Tate. "USAO taught me how to work well with others and how to lead groups of people in discussions and projects. I assisted with some of the USAO functions regarding Welcome Week and my workstudy job in the Academic Resource Center also taught me a lot about dealing with the public."
Tate Publishing and Enterprises is a Christian based, family owned, main line publishing organization with a mission to discover unknown authors. The organization was formed after founders Richard and Rita Tate published their first book with a traditional mainline royalty publishing company.
"We soon found out that what we had invested many years of our lives in was no longer ours. Our rights were now the publishers and the majority of the royalties were going to them. That's when we set out to redefine what a mainline royalty publisher should be," said Rita Tate.
"The author is involved in all processes of their book and approve all the steps -- from editing text to cover design," Harr-Hughes said.
The company is growing rapidly and is publishing 100 books a month with a goal of increasing to 120 a month. They have doubled operations since 2007. The creative department has grown from five designers to 35 designers/illustrators within the past three years.
The organization recently was named one of the "2008 Best Places to Work in Oklahoma." This year the company launched their newest enterprise, Tate Music Group, already demanding attention in the competitive music industry.
More information about Tate Publishing is available at www.tatepublishing.com.