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THE WOMEN OF TTN

Our members are the heart and soul of The Transition Network.  Our chapters are born, nurtured and grown through the vision and energy of these exceptional women. And they come to TTN with wonderful life stories of successful careers, diverse families, and plentiful life experiences to share.  

Browse through our Member Profiles to learn more about what brought our members to this point in their lives, what they are hoping to accomplish next and how they view their impact on the world.

Marlene McPherson

Meet Philadelphia TTN Member Marlene McPherson. She is part of the team responsible for co-writing the upcoming Hallmark Channel holiday TV special airing on December 23, Christmas Getaway.  Interview and profile by Nancy Gendimenico, TTN Marketing and Operations staff member.

A former soap opera writer, Marlene met a Hallmark Channel producer and shared her idea for a Christmas special. Their story concept fit well with Hallmark’s interest in family fare. A year later, after rounds of revisions, her team got a green light from Hallmark.

We spoke to Marlene recently to learn about her personal and professional transition experiences. After several decades as a network TV soap opera writer, she reinvented herself and moved into cable television. Her interest in becoming a TV director initially led her into the entertainment business after college. She initially worked with a soap opera headwriter and was soon writing for various shows, eventually becoming a head writer on well-known soaps including All My Children and Days of Our Lives.
 

Marlene’s early writing career allowed her to work from home, decades before solo entrepreneurship became a major work trend. Her work arrangement was a plus as a single mother, allowing her flexibility to make her own schedule. In those pre-internet days, deadlines had to be met much earlier, and a messenger service ensured her scripts were received by the networks on time.

About a year and a half ago, Marlene moved to Philadelphia from Southern California. She learned about TTN while attending the theater with a Meet Up group. She soon joined TTN’s Philadelphia chapter and has been an active member since March 2016. Marlene signed up for several SIGs and continues to be actively involved in the chapter.

Since completing the Hallmark project, Marlene is considering other types of work that will allow her to be more involved with people. “Writing is a solitary profession,” she said. In addition to volunteering with Philadelphia TTN’ers at Manna Kitchen, she also gives her time to a Philadelphia school. Her advice to others wanting to make professional changes is to consider the activities they enjoy and make a concerted effort to do them.

Living in a new city has pushed Marlene out of her comfort zone. The ability to walk everywhere has been one key to her enjoyment of Philadelphia. She appreciates the open attitudes about marital status. In a big city, it doesn’t matter whether someone is single or married. Access to art, ballet and opera is another advantage. She also travels to NYC regularly to attend the theater.

In relation to the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment issues within the entertainment/media world, Marlene expressed hope recent developments will encourage shifts in Hollywood culture. While there are plenty of women working in daytime television, more females in executive roles across the business will provide more opportunities. She suggests hiring talented writers who have the ability to create a wide range of voices and characters, whatever the writer’s age or gender. She is looking forward to the day when the best work is selected and there is no need to call for a woman writer. Writer should say it all.