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News & Press: NABJ News

Vickie Thomas and Ryan Williams honored with President’s Award

Wednesday, August 15, 2018  
Posted by: Veronique Dodson
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Vickie Thomas and Ryan Williams honored with President’s Award

Broadcast journalists recognized for outstanding service to NABJ


(WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 15, 2018) – Capping the organization’s 43rd Convention and Career Fair, NABJ President Sarah Glover has honored Vickie Thomas and Ryan Williams with the President’s Award. The annual award is for outstanding service and commitment to the organization.

Williams chaired the 2017 and 2016 conventions. The New Orleans gathering in 2017 garnered the highest NABJ convention attendance for a singular convention in the organization's history: 3,273. Thomas took the 2018 convention planning to new heights with fearless leadership from beginning to end, with attendance at the Aug. 1-5 Detroit gathering hitting 3,000+ for the third year in a row.

Williams’ and Thomas’s volunteer efforts are noteworthy at a pivotal time in the organization’s history, said NABJ President Sarah Glover. "I'm proud to recognize both Ryan Williams and Vickie Thomas with the President's Award for 2018. Their leadership and commitment to NABJ is unparalleled. They each served selflessly to ensure that our New Orleans and Detroit conventions were spectacular. Williams and Thomas each worked tirelessly to rally the troops and laid the groundwork for future convention teams to take NABJ to a higher level of effort and success.

“For that, NABJ is enormously indebted to them both. The turnaround success of our organization has been largely due to the success of the annual gatherings the past three years. It's a privilege to honor both Ryan and Vickie with a President's Award."

Williams, for the last seven years, has served as the director of multicultural initiatives at NBC News, where he directs foundation relations and diversity advocacy activities.  He previously served as managing director for NABJ. “Williams is a true volunteer servant,” Glover said, “and he brought additional support from his own network to help ensure successful NABJ conventions in 2016 and 2017.”

"I'm extremely honored to receive the President’s Award for the second time from NABJ,” Williams said. “NABJ is my heart, and I'm proud to give back to this organization in any way. Special thanks to my NBC colleague and NABJ President Sarah Glover, the NABJ board, convention committee members and NABJ staff, as well as the support of NBC News/MSNBC for its constant commitment to an inclusive newsroom and diverse storytelling."

Thomas, the city beat reporter for WWJ News Radio 950-AM in Detroit, served on the NABJ board as the Region II and then the Region IV director from 2014 to 2018. She has been president (twice) plus vice president for broadcast of the Detroit chapter of NABJ, and was instrumental in helping the city land this year’s convention. Earlier, Thomas started a scholarship and internship program for college students interested in the field of broadcast news.

Thomas was instrumental in NABJ selecting Detroit as the 2018 convention site. “She ensured NABJ's success from day one, working to coordinate with the local chapter, stakeholders, staff and volunteers, and she also brought numerous Detroit partnership opportunities to NABJ,” Glover said. 

Thomas responded: “To join the likes of Dr. Sheila Brooks and the outstanding two-time NABJ Presidential Award recipient Ryan Williams is truly a remarkable accomplishment and honor for me.

“I am extremely grateful that our President Sarah Glover bestowed this prestigious recognition upon me for my contributions to make NABJ18 a smashing success.  I could not have pulled it off without a strong team led by Deputy Regional Director Georgette Johnson and Detroit Chapter President Vincent McCraw. Thank you also to our national staff and team of consultants who helped make the Detroit convention one for the history books!  I’m forever appreciative.”




About the National Association of Black Journalists: An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit


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