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Rod Hicks to Lead NABJ New Orleans Convention Efforts

Friday, October 14, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aprill Turner
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 RodHickNew2012           Benet Wilson2

       Rod Hicks                                                Benét  J. Wilson

2012 Convention Chair                           2012 Program Chair

        Rod Hicks to Lead NABJ New Orleans Convention Efforts

                          Benét  J. Wilson to Lead New Orleans Convention Programming


COLLEGE PARK, MD (October, 14, 2011) - NABJ President Gregory Lee announced today that he has selected Rod Hicks as Convention Chair and Benét Wilson as Program Chair for the 2012 NABJ Convention to be held in New Orleans, June 20-24, 2012.


Hicks will serve as Convention Chair for a second year, after a successful 2011 Philadelphia Convention & Career Fair. Hicks is a veteran journalist currently working as an editor for The Associated Press on its Philadelphia-based East Regional Desk, which covers 10 states. He also held editing positions at newspapers in New Jersey, Michigan, Missouri and Alabama. He earned a master's degree in newspaper management from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in mass communication from the University of Alabama.

Hicks has a long history with NABJ, having served on the national board in the early 1990s as a regional director representing members in six Southern states. He was co-chair of NABJ's Election Committee in 1999 and served as a committee member for the two subsequent elections. He attended his first NABJ convention in 1989 in New York, and has attended every convention since. His wife, Velvet S. McNeil, is chair of NABJ's annual photo auction.


Wilson has been a trade journalist for 20 years, covering issues as diverse as aviation, employment and training, welfare reform, economic development and agriculture/agribusiness.  She spent five years in senior corporate communications positions at Delta Air Lines, Rolls-Royce North America and Mesa Air Group.   She has also spoken at conferences and seminars, consulted with aviation and aerospace companies and written extensively on social media trends.


Wilson is on the board of directors for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Aviation Communication program, is chairman of NABJ's Digital Journalism Task Force, a member of the Online News Association and of its Diversity Committee and a member of Black Social Media Professionals.  She was one of the founders of McGraw-Hill's Social Media Council, created to help create a company-wide social media policy and help business units navigate the latest tools and technology.  


"New Orleans 2012 is gearing up to be one of the best Conventions NABJ has ever had. I am pleased that Rod is continuing as our chair and that we now have Benét on board," said President Lee. "This is a fantastic duo, and New Orleans promises to have great training, programming, and workshops to meet the needs of our attendees."


Convention programming will focus on innovation, education and entrepreneurship in the dissemination of news. NABJ members will walk away with skills that will increase their relevance in the newsroom. There will be a continued emphasis on digital skills, along with courses that focus on journalism basics. While sharp reporting, writing and editing remain the cornerstones of good journalism, the tools and technology to execute them have changed, and NABJ members need to adapt to the changing industry.  


The Convention will be at the Hilton Riverside Hotel. For information on registration and booking a hotel room, please visit here. 


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