For Immediate Release
Scott Leadingham, SPJ Communications Director, 317-640-9304,
Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 215
NEW ORLEANS—The Society of Professional Journalists announced Brian Eckert, Director of Media and Public Relations for the University of Richmond, as SPJ’s 2011 Regional Director of the Year. The announcement was made Tuesday night, Sept. 27, at the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet, during the Excellence in Journalism conference in New Orleans.
SPJ honors one outstanding Regional Director each year for exceptional service and contributions to his or her region and the Society during the preceding year. Nominations for the award are made by chapters or members. Click here for a list of previous honorees.
Eckert is the director of SPJ Region 2, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia (see a map of SPJ regions here). Through his leadership, he has worked with chapters in every state within the region to make progress in various areas of SPJ activities.
Paul Fletcher, President of the Virginia Pro chapter, tells how Eckert “has worked unflaggingly to get the Maryland chapter back on its feet.” He has also provided guidance to the new chapter in Charlotte, N.C., and has long been involved with the Virginia Pro chapter. In addition to a previous term as chapter president for Virginia, as Regional Director Eckert has continued to advise and encourage the chapter, including chairing the selection committees for new offices and the chapter’s annual awards.
Expanding and improving membership is a key element of SPJ leadership, and one in which Eckert has excelled, preparing four new campus chapters to apply for SPJ charters. Leaders in his region and beyond have praised Eckert for his extraordinary commitment to SPJ despite an already busy schedule. Dana Neuts, Region 10 Director, said Eckert “sets a good example for the rest of us.”
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 www.spj.org.