Joanne Cleaver has been latticing since 1981 — practically since the career lattice was invented (in 1976).

Immediately after graduating with an MSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1981, she began her career as a freelance business journalist by writing for Crain’s Chicago Business. Over the next two decades, she expanded her skills and clients by writing books on family travel and small business growth; managing national conferences for freelancers; and developing a methodology that supports major research projects that measure and support the advancement of women in the workplace. Today, she manages association projects using that methodology to advance women in the accounting, transportation and other industries.

By 2004, Joanne had done just about everything except be a staff editor, so she joined the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a deputy business editor. She remade the paper’s Sunday real estate section, winning a national ‘best’ award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in 2006. By 2008, the section fell victim to the falling revenues undermining the entire industry, and she turned her attention full-time to the freelance projects she had maintained all along. Check out Joanne’s personal portfolio.

In 2010, Joanne returned to the world of major media companies, this time on the business side as senior content manager for Tribune Digital, where she designed and produced interactive features. Branching laterally, she became certified as a communications consultant, coach and media trainer.

Based on her extensive understanding of workplace culture, based on all those research projects she’d managed and all the reporting she’d done, Joanne crafted a partnership with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning that resulted in The Career Lattice, published in spring 2012 by McGraw Professional.

By 2012, Cleaver had again returned full-time to the world of small business ownership, refocusing her company, Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., as a strategic communication and media training consultancy. Wilson-Taylor helps organizations and experts develop and deliver strategic messages that build reputation and authority.

Joanne is represented by Holly Root of The Waxman Agency.

Joanne speaks to business, professional and women’s groups about latticing for professional and business success. She’d love to hear from you.

That diagram above is Joanne’s very own career lattice. Over. Up. Over. Up. And Over.