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SPJ assembles search committee for new executive director


For Immediate Release:

Dave Aeikens, SPJ President, 320-255-8744,
Karen Grabowski, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 215, kgrabowski@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS - The Society of Professional Journalists has assembled a committee that will lead the search for its next executive director. SPJ President Dave Aeikens made the announcement today in a letter, which is included below.

Dear SPJ, SDX board members and committee leaders.

Certainly, I wish we did not have to do this search. Terry Harper set a great example for all SPJ leaders, both staff and volunteers. His leadership and stewardship has put SPJ in an excellent position, obviously improved from when he began seven years ago. Knowing his condition, he did suggest we prepare for the time he would no longer be executive director. We will miss him and we are working to pay him a lasting tribute to recognize his life and contributions to SPJ.

The committee that will lead the search for SPJ’s next executive director has been assembled. This committee will lay the ground work this month and make recommendations to the executive committee June 27 about a job description, characteristics the winning candidate should have, timeline, scope and search logistics.

The search process will start in July when we make a call for potential candidates. It is unclear at this point how long this will take. The committee is working on a timeline. We will move with all deliberate speed. This is the most important decision a board of any kind makes – deciding what professional will lead the day-to-day operations of the organization.

The people who have been selected to this eight-person committee bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds. All have solid SPJ credentials.
This group will review resumes, vet the candidates, create a list of finalists, conduct face-to-face interviews and recommend a candidate for the full SPJ board to consider. The decision of whom to hire as executive director rests solely with the SPJ board.

President elect Kevin Smith of West Virginia and secretary-treasurer Hagit Limor have been selected to co-chair the committee. They are presumably the next two presidents of SPJ. Smith is a journalism professor from West Virginia and Limor an investigative television journalist from Cincinnati who turned around her local chapter and has risen quickly through the national ranks.

The committee:
Steve Geimann, Washington D.C.; SDX president; former SPJ president; Wells Key winner; an editor at Bloomberg News.
Darcie Lunsford, Miami, Fla.; Region 3 director; leader of the Regional Director caucus; member SPJ executive board, associate editor south Florida Business Journal.
Ian Marquand, Montana; Wells Key winner, president Montana Pro chapter; former FOI chairman
Lucy Dalglish, Washington D.C.; Wells Key winner; former FOI committee chair, former Minnesota Pro chapter president; executive director of the Reporter’s committee for Freedom of the Press.
George Daniels, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; chairman Journalism Education committee; member nominations committee; former SPJ Diversity fellow; 2009 Scripps Leadership Institute Facilitator; journalism professor University of Alabama.
Renee Petrina, Indianapolis, Ind.; member Gen J committee, copy editor, Indianapolis Star.

We will keep you updated as the process moves forward. If you hear from or know of any potential candidates, please refer them to Kevin and Hagit. Thank you for your support of SPJ and for your work on its behalf.

Dave Aeikens
SPJ National President


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