Prairie Fever » Resume


Ted Villaire

1213 W. Race Ave, 3rd fl. ? Chicago, IL 60642 ? (312) 563-1118


Part-Time Editor/Writer
Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago, Illinois
November 2009 to present

  • Write and edit news and feature articles for nonprofit monthly e-newsletter focusing on healthy, sustainable transportation in the region.
  • Write and edit how-to articles, promotional materials, and event information for organization’s website.
  • Developing the organization’s first comprehensive style guide.

See work samples in my portfolio.

Guidebook Author
July 2003 to present

I’m the author of six outdoor recreation guidebooks focusing on the state of Illinois and the Chicago region.

  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago (Menasha Ridge Press; 2008; 2nd edition). The Chicago Tribune called this book the “the perfect guide to nature’s pleasures.”
  • Best Bike Rides Near Chicago (FalconGuides Press; 2011). Rides focus on historic and scenic areas in and around the Windy City.
  • Camping Illinois (FalconGuides Press; 2010). This is the only comprehensive guide to public campgrounds in Illinois.
  • Easy Hikes Close to Home: Chicago (Menasha Ridge Press; 2010). This book is an abbreviated version of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago.
  • Best Rail Trails Illinois (FalconGuides Press; 2010). This is the first guidebook focusing exclusively on Illinois rail trails.
  • Road Biking Illinois (FalconGuides Press; 2010). The executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists contributed the foreword to this book. 

Since 2003, I have been working with the publishers to promote the books through a variety of channels, including book signing events, presentations, and media interviews. Since 2008, I’ve been promoting the books on my website with regular blog posts, hundreds of photos and captions, and news about book-related events. Learn more about the books and see samples in my portfolio.

Freelance Writer
April 2007 to present

I’ve written freelance articles on outdoor recreation and travel for publications such as Competitor Chicago, Rails to Trails magazine, Silent Sports magazine, and (Backpacker magazine’s website). See work samples in my portfolio.

Managing Editor/Associate Editor
National Parent-Teachers Association
, Chicago, Illinois
Managing Editor: May 2005 to April 2007

  • Edited all content and managed $200k annual budget for two flagship periodicals produced by the nation’s largest child welfare organization.
  • Coordinated magazine printing, distribution, and scheduling.
  • Supervised copy editor and managed individual’s work flow.
  • Wrote and edited a variety of printed materials, including columns for magazine, training guides, brochures, and promotional pieces.

Associate Editor: November 2000 to May 2005

  • Wrote feature stories and columns focusing on education and children’s issues such as student testing, physical activity, class size, parent involvement and many others.
  • Wrote multiple training guides for leaders of small non-profits, addressing diversity, programming, fundraising, money management, advocacy, and recruitment.
  • Wrote, edited, and coordinated content for website, e-newsletters, brochures, and marketing materials.

See work samples in my portfolio.

Executive Editor/Associate Editor
Leader/Post Newspapers, Chicago, Illinois
Executive Editor: January to December 1999

  • Edited all content for weekly community newspaper.
  • Supervised associate editor.
  • Assigned stories and photos to staff and freelancers.

Associate Editor: December 1997 to January 1999

  • Wrote news and features covering local government and education.
  • Performed newspaper layout.

News Reporter (Full-Time Freelancer)
The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 1995 to March 1997

  • Covered education, local government, and business for daily and weekly editions.
  • Shot photos to accompany articles.


  • 2000: DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus, Chicago
    Master of Arts in Writing
  • 1995: Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Bachelor of Arts in English and minor in journalism, with honors


Served as a coach for the Illinois Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program in 2009 and 2010. Led weekly training hikes throughout spring and summer to prepare hikers for major hikes at Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks.