The HSPA Foundation board of directors expanded to 12 people with the addition of three new members.
Jack Pate, president and publisher at the Evansville Courier & Press; Neal Ronquist, group publisher of Paxton Media Group’s Central Indiana Newspaper Group; and Gary Suisman, president and publisher at the Journal and Courier (Lafayette); officially joined the board during the group’s April meeting.
The board also established its officer lineup for the year at the meeting.
Henry Bird, The Herald Bulletin (Anderson), is president. John Rumbach, The Herald (Jasper), is vice president. Pat Lanman, Vevay Newspapers Inc., is secretary. Jeff Rogers, Home News Enterprises, is treasurer.
The board voted to expand its membership to involve more industry professionals from around the state in HSPA Foundation’s work to serve Indiana through newspapers, said Karen T. Braeckel, Foundation director.
“The additional voices will facilitate decision-making for our wide range of membership – small and large, daily and nondaily newspapers,” she said. “With limited funding each year, we need to choose the best projects to fulfill our mission and benefit the citizens of Indiana.”
Pate had served on the HSPA board of directors since 2005. His term ended this year, and he received recognition for his service during HSPA and HSPA Foundation’s Annual Meetings in March.
“I want to continue the work of promoting Indiana newspapers and get involved with the Foundation’s efforts to provide continuing education, journalism scholarships and other services,” Pate said.
The Foundation’s work in supporting access to information is an important tool in reminding the public that newspapers perform a critical watchdog role, he said.
Newspapers are at a critical juncture in their history, making this an important point in the history of the Foundation as well, Ronquist said.
“While we work creatively to stabilize our business model, we certainly cannot forget the purpose we serve in protecting the freedoms we enjoy,” he said. “It is vital that we educate the public on the role newspapers play in our society.”
The mission of serving Indiana through a variety of media platforms is important in giving Hoosiers the information they need to be successful and make informed decisions, Suisman said.
“It all starts with basic reporting and news gathering, which the Foundation supports,” he said. “I hope to be of assistance as the board makes decisions to help move journalism forward throughout the state.”
The Foundation’s next board meeting will be July 29.