Posted on

News for Your Organization

PCUMCFeb2016We’re working, this week, on the Spring newsletter for Piney Creek United Methodist Church. This expanded edition features Christmas news and photos of their renovated kitchen area. The kitchen improvements are important to the church. The ladies host fundraising breakfasts in the fellowship hall and needed a more modern facility for their project.

ISI builds the newsletter and adds photography to images and text supplied by the Church. ISI authored, maintains and hosts the Charge website.

Piney Creek UMC by Imaging Specialists, Inc.
Summer 2015 Edition of the Alleghany Historical – Genealogical Society Newsletter. PDF file has been optimized for fast download.


ISI also produces the newsletter for the Alleghany Historical – Genealogical Society. The quarterly newsletter contains historical photographs, research articles and current club news for members. ISI designs and produces the entire newsletter for AHGS from concept to printing. Additionally, ISI authored, maintains and hosts

Newsletters inform, unite and motivate members. They also encourage new membership and donations. Newsletters are effective, in any format- printed, emailed, or on a website. Online, PDFs work very well as they can be formatted for optimum appearance, security and load times. A PDF file will look and reproduce consistently, regardless of the user’s hardware or operating system. Text and graphics display and print without degradation in quality, and PDF viewers are free to the user.

If your group needs an effective newsletter, contact Imaging Specialists, today.


Posted on

New Titles From Star Route Books

We have recently finished some interesting book projects. While each of these books is unique, all are exceptional. And all are educational.

EddClayCoverFrom Hardscrabble to Pearl Harbor by Edd Clay. Mr. Clay’s book is a memoir of his early life in Haywood County, North Carolina, his naval service in World War II and afterward. He was actually on a heavy cruiser, the USS Minneapolis, “rounding Diamond Head” during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

For Mr. Clay’s book, we designed the page layout and cover, formatted the images for print, proofread the manuscript and generated a digital file for the printer. All proceeds from sales of the book benefit Barium Springs Home for Children. Mr. Clay sells the books on and at speaking engagements.

Edd Clay was born in 1919 and grew up near Bethel, North Carolina, at that time a remote mountain enclave. Before he should have been driving, he was hauling lumber over his father’s treacherous plank road, the only way out on the first two miles to market. But as he drove, he dreamed of expanding his horizons. At 18, he left home to join the Navy.


Alleghany County North Carolina Abstracts of Deed Books A1 and B2 by Rebecca Moon, to benefit Alleghany Historical Museum. Rebecca’s work on the book is impressive but not surprising given her extensive work on her web site, The Cheek Family of Alleghany County. She researched, transcribed, formatted and indexed the first two deed books for the county and then donated rights to publish the finished work to the Alleghany Historical – Genealogical Society. She has also generously added enough data for several future books.

For the Deed book, we designed the cover and adjusted the pdf to make a print-ready file. ISI is producing the books, “on-demand,” for the Historical Society who uses proceeds to help pay expenses of the Alleghany Historical Museum.

Print-on-demand technology has benefited this fund raising project in several ways. The Society was able to immediately proceed with the project without the outlay of any up-front funds for a traditional press run. And since books are produced on-demand, there is no need for costly storage space. The Blue Ridge Business Development Center currently donates an office to the Society for storage of existing inventory. Books can be ordered in small batches as they are needed or they can be drop-shipped directly to customers who order online. And that’s not all: the Society is making more profit per book than with any book they have ever produced.

Find the Alleghany Deed books  and all AHGS books in our store on Main Street in Sparta or online, at


HealingMyJourneyHomeCoverHealing, My Journey Home by Meachele Mothership Montgomery. Meachele’s book- already a huge success with over 200 copies sold in the first month- is the triumphant story of how she traveled the length of the Appalachian Trail after the tragic death of her husband, Roy.

For Meachele’s book, we performed complete digital prepress services: We worked with Meachele to design page layout in a way that matched her personal style, helping to select and place her photography. We laid out the cover, helped proofread the manuscript and formatted images for print. ISI is producing books, on demand, for Meachele. She orders in batches and sells, primarily, at local signings and appearances but has also developed a web site for marketing outside the region. We’re also proudly retailing these exceptional books in-store and online, at

Born Meachele Ronald in Berlin, Germany to Erika and Floyd Ronald, a 28 year Army Veteran. She became an Army Brat who followed the family around the globe. Before serving in the U.S. Navy, she graduated from the University of Chapel Hill, NC with a degree in Anthropology. After marrying her husband, Ray, in Wales, she resigned her commission in 1986. She became a full time mom and helped with play groups. Once her third son was born, the family was stationed back in Wales. The family enjoyed horses and hiked over the countryside. Meachele’s husband, Ray, retired from the U.S. Navy in 1998, and they built their dream home in the mountains of North Carolina. The family continued exploring the mountains near Mount Rogers, Va. Meachele and Ray had always dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail with their younger son, Eric. In March 2011, Meachele decided to hike the trail with her dog, Cianna.


CalliAnteaterCoverThe Anteater That Couldn’t Eat Ants was written and illustrated by Calli Brielle McIntyre, as a part of her Crowning Purpose initiative, which focuses on allergy research and anti-bullying education.

For Calli’s book, we began with her watercolor paintings and story, already divided into page breaks. We scanned the originals and placed them into pages adding bleed and adjusting images wherever necessary. We added page numbers and text over the images in a font selected to complement Calli’s art without overpowering it. We will produce final books for Crowning Purpose to sell and place in appropriate facilities. We will also sell the books in our store and online, at

Calli Brielle McIntyre advocates for children suffering from food allergies and victims of bullying. Through her personal experiences of being bullied because of her food allergies, Calli created her personal platform in 2009 to bring awareness to the growing number of children with food allergies. About one third of children with food allergies report that they have been bullied specifically because of their allergies. Calli has hosted several Be a PAL: Protect A Life events to educate students and teachers on how to recognize anaphylaxis and how to keep peers safe. In 2014 she hosted her first Teal Pumpkin Project to provide allergy safe treats at Halloween. Calli was featured in a FARE publication (formerly FAAN) because of her advocacy work. During Calli’s reign as Miss NC Junior High school, she traveled and promoted B.R.A.V.E (Building Respect and Values For Everyone), the official platform of the Miss High School America Organization.  She has reached over two thousand preschool and elementary students with empowering steps to put an end to bullying. Calli believes that the earlier you equip children with the proper tools to defeat a bully, the more successful they will be in their teen years. Copies of The Anteater That Couldn’t Eat Ants will be donated to school libraries through Crowning Purpose, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, that Calli founded in 2015.  Proceeds from her book sales will go to food allergy research and anti-bullying education. Calli is currently working with her local state representatives to get North Carolina House Bill 520 passed that would require restaurants in North Carolina to complete training on food allergies.

headerNOTE: The next BookFest will be June 27 in Downtown Sparta. Plan to come and meet regional authors in participating stores that Saturday. BookFest is a great way to shop for books and visit with authors in a relaxed atmosphere. If you’re considering a publishing project, contact ISI for information.

Posted on

Fall 2013 Events

There are several community events coming up. We’re glad to be involved in them!

Tonight & Tomorrow – Nov. 1 & 2 – 6:30 pm – The murder mystery dinner theater, The Fourteenth Annual Genealogy Society Meeting and Potluck Supper by Vicky Town presented by Alleghany Community Theatre, will take place at the VFW Hall in Sparta. Proceeds will benefit the Alleghany Historical-Genealogical Society, and the Northwest Regional Library System, to which the Alleghany County Public Library belongs. Tickets are $20 each.

For this event, ISI printed programs, designed flyers, and put together the cast board. (Most of ISI is also volunteering, as club members.)

Tuesday, November 12 – 6 pm – Claire Halsey will give a presentation on & at the Alleghany County Public Library.  This is a free event, but the Library appreciates advance registration.

Saturday, November 23 – 11 am-2 pmBookFest in Sparta – Regional authors will be appearing for book signings at downtown shops.  The complete line-up will be announced soon. This is a free event, but the authors & store owners appreciate purchases. ISI is the sponsor of BookFest.

Friday, November 29 – Grand Opening for Sparta Revitalization Committee‘s Christmas Tree Gallery, next door to the Chamber of Commerce. ISI, with other downtown businesses, will have a tree. The Tree Gallery will be on display through Christmas, with free admission. This event is part of the Good Neighbors Choose Local campaign. For GNCL, we printed bumper stickers & tent cards for regional businesses.

Saturday, December 7 – 3 pm & 8 pm & Sunday, December 8 – 3 pm – Christmas with Elvis – Wayne Euliss will perform at the Priser Theatre (22 South Main Street) in downtown Sparta. Tickets are $12 each, with limited seating. To reserve tickets, call 336-372-2039 and leave your name and number. For this event, ISI printed designed and printed table tents and tickets and designed flyers.

If you have an event, need marketing materials, or want help with project branding, contact ISI.

Posted on

ISI Receives Awards from NCSH

If you came to the release party for Paths & Passages -Navigating the Blue Ridge and Stratford Oaks Tales, The Tale of Gretchen, you’ve heard our latest news. If you weren’t able to attend, here it is:

Imaging Specialists Inc - 2012 NCSH AwardsSaturday, the 20th, we traveled to Mooresville, NC for the annual awards banquet of the North Carolina Society of Historians. Imaging Specialists was well represented this year: Claire Halsey was awarded a Paul Jehu Barringer, Jr. & Sr. Award of Excellence for her genealogy work and Jeff Halsey was named the NCSH Historian of the Year!

ISI also received a Willie Parker Peace History Book Award for the latest book in our history series, Regimental History of the 61st NC Infantry (published last fall) about Alleghany County men in the Civil War. We gathered text, photos, battle maps and battle summaries for the book; laid out and re-set the text; and optimized the photos for the book which is now available on-demand from Star Route Books and in our shop in Sparta.

Suzanne Mellow Irwin and Zach Hamm, with their families, also attended the meeting and won awards for the first in their series of children’s books, The Stratford Oaks Tales. Zach received a Paul Green Multimedia Award for his artwork and Suzanne a Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award for the story.

A couple of projects of the Alleghany Historical-Genealogical Society also won awards. We were proud to accept awards for the newsletter- our fourth!- Joe M. McLaurin Newsletter Award and the Alleghany Historical Museum, which won an Evelina D. Miller Museum Award.

Elizabeth Bray Sherrill, President NCSH and Jeff Halsey NCSH 2012 Historian of the Year

Imaging Specialists publishes the AHGS quarterly newsletters. We also produce the books in the Stratford Oaks series.

We plan to submit several projects and nominate others others in our community for consideration in 2013.

If you know of other projects you think deserve recognition, nomination forms are located on the NCSH site.

Imaging Specialists and the Halsey family is proud to have accepted these honors from the North Carolina Society of Historians. We sincerely appreciate the consideration of President Elizabeth Sherrill, the NCSH Board and the Judges. And we appreciate the help and support of the Alleghany Historical-Genealogical Society.

Posted on

Imaging Specialists’ Trip to the Musuem

We’re shining a spotlight on the Alleghany Historical Museum! Since the Museum’s opening in 2009, a regular feature of the award-winning AHGS newsletter has been “What’s New Old at the Museum?” In preparing this feature, we’ve photographed items to include. The current newsletter only reaches members of the Society (membership’s only 10 bucks a year), and old newsletters are available online.

We wanted to expand on that feature and make the information available to even more folks. Watch the video below, over on YouTube, or catch it on Alleghany Community Television. ACTV will use the footage as filler between programs, so it will have a huge potential audience- currently around 5000 homes!

Contact us if you’re in need of commercial photography services.

(Sorry the animation’s a little choppy on YouTube!)