JEA selects Veronica Purvis as next executive director

JEA selects Veronica Purvis as next executive director

By Sarah Nichols, MJE, president

The Journalism Education Association is pleased to announce Veronica T. Holmes Purvis, MSM, CAE, as its next executive director.

Purvis is a people-focused lifelong learner, mentor and professional with more than 20 years of experience in association leadership, marketing and strategic planning. A Certified Association Executive (CAE), she holds a Master of Science in Program Management and Marketing (MSM) and brings expertise working with nonprofit organizations. 

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as JEA’s executive director during this critical time in journalism and education and look forward to partnering with a strong board and membership,” Purvis said. “There is tremendous opportunity ahead, and I am eager to learn more about the JEA community so we can deliver consistent member value together.

“I look forward to marrying your wisdom about the profession with my 22 years of leadership experience to grow JEA’s programs, increase member engagement opportunities and develop sustainability for the association.” 

While the executive director is an employee of Kansas State University, JEA’s host institution, the position no longer includes teaching at Kansas State University’s A.Q. Miller School and is devoted full time to association leadership with emphasis on strategic planning, fundraising, budgeting and managing events.

“It’s a big change for the association, knowing we’ve gone after someone outside our traditional network of journalism educators,” said JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE. “And that was by design. We’ve got a phenomenal member base and leadership team within scholastic journalism, and that will continue. What we gain from Veronica is an executive with operational and strategic expertise from outside scholastic media education. She is outcome-oriented and motivated to help us meet our goals, from member experience to financial growth to increasing organizational capacity.

“I was drawn to Veronica’s focus on personal relationships and emphasis on empowering individuals to meet their potential, which is such an important piece of JEA’s success in a volunteer-based organization. At the same time, Veronica has established herself as a leader committed to addressing JEA’s critical needs in diversity, equity and inclusion and has the track record to prove it.”

The search committee was impressed by Purvis during a series of online interviews, which took place in December and January and included an in-depth presentation outlining her vision to benefit the association while empowering its staff and leaders.

“I’m looking forward to the business acumen Veronica will bring to the executive director position,” JEA Vice President Valerie Kibler, MJE, said. “It will be terrific to have a person with such extensive leadership experience have a fresh viewpoint on the journalism education community. I’m excited about her vision for JEA and her forward thinking.”

She will begin the position July 1, 2022 as current director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, finishes his contract June 30. She attended the Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles April 7-8 for introductions at the JEA board meeting, adviser reception and general membership meeting.

Purvis said, “I admire the dedication and passion of the leadership and staff and am excited to advance the mission together while we continue to cultivate a culture of innovation and inclusivity.”

Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.

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