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SPJ welcomes six new regional directors at Sunday’s elections

By Billy O'Keefe

By Michelle Phillips & Mark Anthony Smith
Six newly-elected regional directors for the Society of Professional Journalists said Sunday that they remain committed to promoting journalism ethics and increasing membership in their respective regions.
Regions holding elections this year are 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Luther Turmelle, a bureau chief for the New Haven Register, was re-elected as region 1 director. He has held the position for a decade.
Region 1 covers Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Members discussed everything from the importance of SPJ membership to paperwork.
In region 4, incumbent director Jeremy Steele stepped down and was replaced by James Pilcher, a reporter at the Cincinnati Inquirer. Steele presented the Ohio University chapter with an award. The region covers Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Liz Hansen, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, was re-elected as region 5 director in an uncontested race. Region 5 covers Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.
Regions 4 and 5 both presented a proposal for a super-regional meeting with each other. Their directors plan to hold the meeting in northern Kentucky from April 1-3. Both promoted making training available with the latest technology.
Members agreed to reach out to smaller newspapers, as well as college and high school students.
Incoming SPJ President Hagit Limor officiated over the election for region 7, which covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Outgoing Director Holly Edgell passed the torch to her successor, Kelsey Volkman, following a unanimous vote.
Members from region 8, Oklahoma and Texas, voted unanimously to re-elect incumbent director Scott Cooper of the Oklahoma Gazette. Members also discussed fundraising ideas.
John Ensslin passed the region 9 torch to Donald Meyers in order to run for SPJ treasurer. During their meeting, members discussed the increased interest in journalism among high school students. Region 9 covers Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.