Wondering what makes CustomNEWS so special? Hands down, it’s our dedicated and experienced staff. Learn more about the unique skillsets and roles that help us delivery quality products and excellent services every time.
Meet the Team
The conference landscape continues to change. But the best practices of engaging and educating members, inspiring ads sales, strategically partnering with staff and enhancing the overall experience remain the same.
Our team of seasoned show daily producers understands the tremendous informational and promotional value that conference communications provide, and we are dedicated to making each client’s convention newspapers successful.
Quite frankly, the CustomNEWS staff has long been – and continues to be – the best in the business.
Ross E. Heller, company founder, is publisher of CustomNEWS, Inc. He produced his first show daily at a Greater Washington Society of Association Executives event in 1979 and has been at it ever since. Ross caught the entrepreneurial bug after working as a reporter for the Providence (RI) Journal, as a press secretary for a U.S. Senator, and as a lobbyist for a telecommunications association.
Tim Mercer, vice president, marketing and assistant publisher, manages client service and sales for CustomNEWS. He also works as an on-site show daily project manager, having coordinated more than 400 onsite show daily newspaper projects during his multiple-decade tenure at CustomNEWS. Tim’s extensive experience at CustomNEWS follows staff and management positions in broadcast journalism and hospital public relations and marketing. He brings a broad background in communications to the complex and deadline-sensitive process that makes up a show daily newspaper. Tim earned a BA at Colorado State University and an MA at Ohio University. Tim’s work philosophy appeals to CustomNEWS clients: Show dailies can be complex but should also be enjoyable; the final product should meet and exceed the multiple objectives of the publication established by each client; and the process should minimize staff effort whenever possible.
Jenn Waters, assistant publisher and digital media manager, joined CustomNEWS in 2001. She took on her current role in 2014. Prior to joining the firm, Jenn worked as a senior editor at a trade magazine publisher that also produced show dailies. Jenn has worked on both sides of a convention newspaper project, and can share that knowledge with clients. Jenn has developed projects for a range of association and meeting planning clients – her goal is to create a show daily that meets the needs of her client as well as their meeting’s attendees and exhibitors. She continues to learn more about social media marketing and explore new digital publishing tools (websites and email newsletters) for conferences of all sizes. Jenn also oversees the creation of digital flipbooks to allow CustomNEWS the opportunity to create a way for clients a way to share their publications with a wider audience. Jenn graduated from the Catholic University of America with a BA. (Follow Jenn on Twitter, @JennWaters1.)
Christy Pumphrey, advertising sales coordinator, enjoys working with clients purchasing print and digital ads. She believes customer service is key and always strives for a friendly cheerful attitude. She and her husband have twins, a son and a daughter; the light of their lives. Christy enjoys cooking, the beach, amusement parks, and cheering her kids at their basketball games.
The quality of our people makes CustomNEWS, Inc. the premier convention newspaper publisher in the nation. We invite you to discover how our dedicated staff can make a professional convention daily a reality at your next meeting.
Elevating Your Organization is Always Our Goal
“You will not regret making CustomNEWS a part of your team. Service is always prompt and professional, and I don’t know what we would do without them as an integral part of our annual meeting operations each year. They understand our business and our members, and they’re also instrumental in working with our sales team…. 2020 was our most successful year yet for the website component of our daily. Working with the CustomNEWS vendors was key to this success. They helped us to deliver updates to members and attendees efficiently, which was so important, especially for our first all-virtual event.”
American Society of Hematology