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Brian Eckert named SPJ Regional Director of the Year


For Immediate Release:

Contact: Chad Hosier, SPJ Awards Coordinator, 317-920-4791,
Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785,

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Brian Eckert, director of media and public relations at the University of Richmond and Region 2 Director of the Society of Professional Journalists, has been named the 2013 Regional Director of the Year.

The award was announced at the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet at Excellence in Journalism 2013 in Anaheim, Calif. This is the second time Eckert has won the award since its inception in 2001. The award honors a regional director who serves and contributes to his or her region in the most outstanding fashion during the previous year and is based primarily on nominations and letters of recommendation.

Region 2 comprises six professional chapters and 13 student chapters in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia

When presenting the award, outgoing president Sonny Albarado praised Eckert for his dedication to the organization and the personal relationships he has formed within it. And it’s clear that the relationships Eckert has forged relationships that have benefitted the organization.

“Being a region director is a religious experience,” Eckert said, laughing. “I have prayed for leadership to show up in places.”

He noted several pro chapter presidents that have come out of the woodwork when chapters seem particularly barren of leadership.

Eckert, an SPJ member since 1987, joined the Virginia Pro board in the late 1990s and has held a number of positions over the years, including president from 2003 to 2005. The Virginia Pro Chapter was named the outstanding small chapter by SPJ National during this period thanks to many of his efforts.

During the past year, he has been a member of the seven-person SPJ executive committee that oversees the entire society and its 8,000 members. Brian continues to serve SPJ as executive director of the Virginia SPJ & SDX Education Foundation, the chapter’s educational group.

“The point of all of this is that this is not an award for me,” Eckert said to the banquet attendees. “I have done nothing except for as people to do something. So really, this award is for every chapter in Region 2.”

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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