A 28-year veteran of publishing, Kay Acton has played an integral role in the growth of some of the nation’s most successful magazines. She began her career at Southern Living, the largest regional publication in the world. During her 12-year tenure at Southern Living, she held several key positions, including editorial coordinator, assistant managing editor, production manager, and copy chief. In 1996, Kay was named managing editor of Weight Watchers magazine. Two years later, Weight Watchers won a prestigious Clarion Award for Most Improved Magazine. In 1999, Kay headed up the testing of hotdots, an internet-shopping magazine. As executive editor, she focused on the editorial content of the magazine and its companion Web site.
In 2001, Kay joined Coastal Living as executive editor and, shortly thereafter, was promoted to vice president/editor in chief. Under Kay’s leadership, Coastal Living won two prestigious Editorial Excellence Awards, was named to the coveted Adweek “Hot List,” and was nominated for several National Magazine Awards. She has made numerous television appearances, including a guest segment on the TODAY Show.
Currently, Kay serves as a media consultant in the publishing industry. She is an active member of the dean’s advisory board for the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, and serves on the advisory boards for the AU Women’s Leadership Council, AU Journalism Department, and Auburn Magazine. Additionally, she served on the guest faculties of the New York University Summer Publishing Institute and the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute for several years.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Kay has a bachelor’s degree in public relations/journalism from Auburn University. She resides in Birmingham with her two children, Sarah and Sam.