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Sam Fisher (left) and Donald Craven (right).
SPRINGFIELD – One familiar face at the Illinois Press Association is retiring and another will succeed him.
IPA Board of Directors Chairman Don Bricker today announced that Sam Fisher is retiring as the organization’s president and CEO, effective Sept. 1. Fisher has been the IPA’s leader since 2017.
Bricker also announced that the IPA Board has voted to appoint Donald M. Craven, longtime legal adviser to IPA membership, to be the next president and CEO. Craven has provided legal counsel to members of the IPA and Illinois Press Foundation for nearly four decades. He was interim president and CEO of the IPA from 2009 to 2010, and again in 2017 until Fisher was named to the position.
“I look forward to leading the great staff at the Association and Foundation,” Craven said. “The staff is a relatively small group, much smaller than in the past, but to call them talented is an understatement. They know their jobs, they know the membership, and they know (and like) each other.
“Having the opportunity to help them help the IPA is an honor. We have the task of preserving where we are and what we have, while at the same time working to further expand existing programs such as Capitol News Illinois and Public Notice Illinois. We will continue to have the same fights in the General Assembly on legislation impacting the press and public notices, and we will hopefully continue our success under the dome.”
Craven currently operates a general practice law firm with a concentration in media and government law in Springfield. He has been with the firm since 1986, when he joined his father, former Illinois Appellate Court Justice James C. Craven.
Fisher had informed the IPA Board at the time of his hiring in 2017 of his intention to retire at the end of 2020.
“Given the events of the past year with the pandemic, I decided to wait to retire until this year,” Fisher said. “I had advised the IPA Board’s Executive Committee this spring of my intent to retire in August.”
Bricker said of Fisher, “After almost 45 years in the newspaper business, Sam is certainly moving to a well-deserved retirement. However, I’m sorry this day has come. As a member, board member, board chairman and CEO, there are few people who can match the contributions Sam has made throughout the years to the IPA and the Illinois newspaper industry.
“But we are fortunate to have someone with Don’s skills and experience step into the role at this very challenging time. Our businesses face challenges from every direction. Don has been a key advocate for the IPA and its members for decades and will bring that experience with him every day as he works with members and the Illinois legislature to keep the Illinois news and information landscape vital and thriving.”
Fisher said he is excited that Craven will be his successor.
“Nobody has more experience with our industry and knows the challenges that we face than Don,” Fisher said. “I’ve known Don for years, as he provided me wise counsel when I was a publisher that kept me out of harm’s way. He has provided me the same sage advice and direction during the past four years. He taught me the ways of Springfield, and that is a key prerequisite of the position.”
Craven has counseled members, executive directors and board members of the Illinois Press Association, Illinois Broadcasters Association, and Illinois News Broadcasters Association on legal and legislative activities. He has testified before committees of the Illinois General Assembly on media issues, and is the author of the Illinois chapter of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press’ Open Government Guide publication.
“The friendships and professional relationships forged during that time are near and dear to me,” Craven said. “I look forward to IPA gatherings as much for the opportunity to renew those friendships as any other reason.”
Craven noted Fisher’s many contributions to the IPA over many years.
“It is important to me that I thank Sam Fisher for his service to the IPA,” Craven said, “not just over the last several years while he was leading the Association, but for the many, many years of service before that as a board member, board chairman, and prior to all that, just an active and participating member of the Association.
“Sam and I share a trait – some would say more than one – and that is a passion of the newspaper industry and for newspaper people. So, Sam, as you prepare to ‘ride your pony into the sunset’ – a phrase I have heard more than once – know that we will still be calling you for your continued participation in this industry we both feel passionate about.
“I look forward to continuing and expanding my role with the IPA/IPF and our members. I encourage you to keep those calls and emails coming.”
Craven’s hiring was also lauded by Illinois Press Foundation Board President Jerry Reppert.
"The selection of Don Craven to lead the Association is an outstanding choice,” Reppert said. “No one is more qualified to hold the post. Much of his career has been devoted to the newspaper industry. As Foundation president, I look forward to working closely with Don.”
He also had kind words for Fisher.
"Sam's leadership of the IPA was marked by one of the most challenging times in the history of the organization, but he was up to the task,” Reppert said. “COVID, and all of the issues it brought with daily operations, could never have been expected. On a positive note, that state government coverage news service Capitol News Illinois will always be much to his credit as the best program the Foundation has ever sponsored. And, the hiring of Jeff Rogers to lead CNI was remarkable.
“Sam also did an excellent job with government relations and kept membership well informed. There are many facets to being IPA president, and Sam has checked all the right boxes."
The IPA was founded in 1865 as an organization for Illinois publishers. It has evolved into one of the largest state newspaper associations in the country representing more than 400 daily and weekly newspapers.
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Associated Builders and Contractors of Illinois highlights diversity strategies during Construction Inclusion Week
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
Oct. 13, 2021
Media Contact: Alicia Martin, president of ABC Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — ABC Illinois today announced how its members are creating the right conditions to embrace an inclusive and diverse workforce during Construction Inclusion Week, Oct. 18-22.
In 2017, ABC Illinois established the Community Builders Program, which gives people from diverse backgrounds who face employment barriers the chance to learn a trade and begin a career in construction. The program upskills directly in the communities where participants live, taking a holistic approach to teaching a skill, providing career mentoring, and helping with job placement. By bringing free craft education to over 200 individuals who have faced barriers to employment, ABC Illinois is expanding the talent pipeline and rehabilitating disadvantaged communities, families, and career-seekers.
“The diversity of ABC Illinois helps drive business growth and profitability, and the Community Builders Program is based on our belief that inclusivity, diversity and equity will change the way we fill construction jobs here in our state,” said Alicia Martin, President of ABC Illinois. “We are breaking down the barriers that hold some people back based on factors that have nothing to do with their abilities and desires. The merit shop philosophy aligns with the principles of inclusion, diversity and equity, ensuring every individual has a chance to succeed.”
“Construction Inclusion Week is an invitation to every member of the 7.4 million-strong construction work forces to unite to advance inclusion, diversity and equity,” said ABC Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Tia Perry. “Achieving an inclusive, equitable and culturally competent workforce that is welcoming to all people is the essence of the merit shop philosophy. ABC Illinois is creating the conditions that appeal to an inclusive workforce.”
ABC’s diversity outreach is led by the association’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee on which both Martin and Perry serve. The committee was established in 1999 as a key component of ABC’s value proposition to develop people, win work and deliver work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. Visit diversity.abc.org to learn about ABC’s IDE strategy.
About Construction Inclusion Week: Construction Inclusion Week harnesses the collective power of the construction industry to build awareness regarding the need to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry. For more information, visit constructioninclusionweek.com.
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Illinois Principals Association encourages principal appreciation in October
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
Sept. 30, 2021
Media Contact: Alison Maley, Government and Public Relations Director
SPRINGFIELD — Lifetouch and the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) encourage all communities in Illinois to celebrate Principal Appreciation Week October 24-30, 2021, and Principal Appreciation Day on Friday, October 29, 2021. This state-endorsed recognition was first approved by the Governor of Illinois in 1990 and is celebrated annually. The IPA also joins the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) to recognize October as National Principals Month.
Principal Appreciation Day provides learning communities an opportunity to publicly recognize the work, commitment and importance of principals, assistant principals, and deans throughout the state. Lifetouch and the IPA invite all teachers, students, parents, and community members to perform some act of appreciation on Friday, October 29th to acknowledge the leadership of building administrators in Illinois’ public and private schools.
“In these challenging times, school leaders are faced with extraordinary decisions that affect the lives of those under their care,” said Dr. Marcus Belin, IPA President and Principal of Huntley High School, Huntley, IL. “The purpose and value school leaders bring to the field of education is immeasurable. What I value most is their relentless determination to move education forward and to serve their communities in a meaningful way. Let us take a moment to recognize the hard work that principals give, day in and day out.”
The 2021-2022 school year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Illinois Principals Association. Initial conversations to create a statewide principals association began in 1966 and members formally ratified the organization in the Fall of 1971. The IPA was formed when the Illinois Elementary School Principals Association (IESPA), the Illinois Junior High School Principals Association (IJHSPA), and the Illinois Secondary School Principals Association (ISSPA) joined into one organization. The IPA has long been recognized by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and other state and national agencies and organizations as one of the premier principals’ groups in the nation due to its large, diverse membership, legislative and policy initiatives, service to members and especially for the quality and range of its professional learning programs.
“School leadership matters, especially right now,” said Dr. Jason Leahy, IPA Executive Director. “As a former principal and having visited dozens of schools throughout Illinois, the quality of a school’s learning environment and the ability of a school to do what is best for its students comes as a direct result of the leadership provided by the school’s principal and leadership team. Courageous leadership is essential to equitably educate students and work to provide the resources and support they need to reach their potential. It is important that we recognize and encourage our schools’ leaders every day. The pandemic has heightened the need for us to intentionally share appreciation for those who do so much for our State’s young people.”
Lifetouch is proud to be the official school photographer for the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Lifetouch is honored to support local members of the Illinois Principals Association in recognition of “Principal’s Appreciation Day.” Lifetouch is excited to have joined forces with Shutterfly to bring together two industry leaders who share a common purpose – to share life’s joy through capturing and preserving memories with the click of a camera. While we continue to deliver the quality photography and service you expect from Lifetouch, we are creating a new, innovative experience that will allow you to do more with your photos than ever before. As a part of our mission to help you share your memories, Lifetouch and Shutterfly are truly better together! Learn more at: https://schools.lifetouch.com/shutterfly/
The Illinois Principals Association is a leadership organization which serves over 6,000 educational leaders throughout the state of Illinois and whose mission is to develop, support, and advocate for innovative educational leaders. For more information about the IPA, please visit www.ilprincipals.org
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Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
hires new tourism manager
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
Aug. 16, 2021
Media Contact: Scott Dahl
217-789-2360, ext. 5531
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau announces the hiring of a new Tourism Manager to lead the Springfield Visitors Center and tourism efforts for the City of Springfield.
Sarah Waggoner will assume the position, held by Jeff Berg who has been with the SCVB for nearly two decades, beginning on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Sarah brings an extensive résumé of tourism experience, most recently as tourism coordinator for the City of Litchfield. Most notably, she developed and oversaw the Litchfield Pickers Market, including coordination of the market, social media and marketing efforts. Additionally, her responsibilities included budget management, website functions and developing overall marketing strategies for the City of Litchfield tourism effort.
As tourism manager for Visit Springfield, Sarah will be tasked with managing the Visitors Center, serving as liaison to state and federal historical sites and institutions as well as all programming and scheduling for the History Comes Alive summer program, in its 13th year in 2022.
About Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Springfield, Illinois. As a department of the City of Springfield, the SCVB markets the capital city as a unique convention, meeting and leisure destination in support of our City, our community and our hospitality firstname.lastname@example.org
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For more information, or to schedule an interview with Scott Dahl, please call 217-789-2360, ext. 5531; 217-341-9802 or e-mail email@example.com
Warbirds over Greenville, Illinois
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
Aug. 16, 2021
Craig Baumberger, member, Greenville Pilots Association
Airstravaganza 2021 will be held at the Greenville Illinois Airport on Oct. 9-10. The main attraction will be a visit by the Mitchell B-25 bomber and the Grumman TBM (torpedo bomber) of the Missouri wing of the Commemorative Air Force based at St Charles, Missouri. These aircraft will be on static display on Saturday, Oct. 9, and will be available for rides on Sunday, Oct. 10. This is a rare opportunity for the general public to purchase a trip aboard the B-25, the bomber that flew from the USS Hornet in 1942 to deliver the first retaliatory blow against the Japanese in World War II. Rides will also be available in the TBM, the largest single-engine military aircraft in World War II and the same type flown by President George H.W. Bush in the Pacific. This is a great opportunity to get a look up close at an important part of our military history.
Rides in the B-25 will cost $395. Five people at a time will ride, with the opportunity to move around the aircraft while in flight and check out the cockpit, bombardiers station, and the cramped quarters in the fuselage. TBM rides will cost $895. There will be a limited number of rides available, so they should be booked in advance. In addition to the warbirds, Waco biplane rides will be available if booked in advance. Cessna and helicopter rides will be available on Saturday, Oct. 9
For info and to reserve a flight, contact Kevin Blaney at 618-520-5362 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention "warbirds."
The event is supported by the Greenville Airport Authority and conducted by the Greenville Pilots Association/EAA Chapter 1382. For info or to volunteer, call Craig Baumberger at 618-322-3532 or the Greenville Airport at 618-664-0926. Also, check it out on Facebook or contact email@example.com. Greenville Airport is located approximately 5 miles south of Greenville on Illinois Route 127 at 1574 Sky Lane, Greenville.
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