News & Notes from chapter president
Dan Spehler

Dan Spehler

Hello NATAS friends-

It’s time for some exciting news about the future of our chapter!

As we welcome our new board members and officers who began their terms this month, it’s also time to complete the transition to our new chapter name, Central Great Lakes, which formally becomes our new name Sept. 1st with the start of the new fiscal year.

This past weekend, our new board met virtually to discuss our plans for the year ahead, including the transition to the new name and the mission we continue to build for our chapter, focusing on education and encouraging excellence in our industry as we aim to showcase what’s truly “central” to our cause.

In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see a new web site, new and expanded social media campaigns, and new initiatives launched to help expand our educational efforts.

We’re also working to find new ways to incentivize and show appreciation for our many chapter members who help judge entries from across the country. Your efforts are crucial to the process as we award excellence throughout the industry, and additionally, it’s a great way to see some of the amazing work being done in other regions that might inspire an idea or two of your own.

Stay tuned!

It’s certainly been an interesting couple of years, and while we’re disappointed we weren’t able to gather in-person for this year’s gala, we’re proud of the work put in by my very talented predecessor John Stealey and his team which made our live virtual show a huge success, and we’re hopeful that next year we can all reunite again for the 53rd annual Regional Emmy® Awards.

We’ve got a great team in place for the year ahead, including several new officers and governors:

  • President – Dan Spehler
  • Ohio VP – Carl Monday (2nd term)
  • Indiana VP – Vickie Binkley
  • Secretary – Susanne Schwibs
  • Treasurer – Jim Stunek
  • Trustee – Steve Warren
  • Trustee – Megan Simpson

Newly elected governors: Jasmine Crighton, Heather Schramm, Adam Snow

Returning governors: Jonathan Adkins, Terri Cope-Walton, Joe Cromer, Mitch Davis, Matt Eck, Jennifer Feick, Jonathan Shelley

Indeed, I’m honored to have the opportunity to succeed John as chapter president this year and look forward to working with our executive director Bob Hammer and meeting with our membership across the region to hear some of your thoughts and ideas on the future of our chapter.

We’re all looking forward to an exciting year ahead and we’re eager to share more with all of you soon!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any ideas, suggestions or concerns related to our chapter.

I’m available via email: or (new web address coming soon)


This past June, we welcomed seven new honorees into the Silver Circle, and I wanted to offer some personal congratulations for our new inductees. Among them: FOX8’s Lou Maglio, who I’ve watched and admired for many years, and Bob Donaldson, my longtime colleague at FOX59/CBS4 Indy.

Bob and I have traveled the country together covering major news stories, and we’re honored to recognize his many years of broadcast excellence in our region.

I’ve also spent time (many years ago) working with two of our inductees from WEWS, photographers Rich Geyser and Tom Livingston, whom I interned with in my native Cleveland. They’re both excellent photojournalists who’ve contributed greatly to their station’s success through the years.

We’re also welcoming three longtime broadcast executives into the Silver Circle this year, WFYI’s Clayton Taylor, WTVG’s Mel Watson, and WKBN’s David Coy, who have all enjoyed very successful careers here in our region.

Congrats to all of our inductees! And if you know of someone deserving of recognition in our Gold or Silver Circle, please let us know by filling out the Gold & Silver Circle nomination form on our web site.


If you don’t already subscribe to or follow Poynter on social media, it’s truly a great resource for broadcast journalists, especially in the midst of these challenging times.

From advice on how to deal what they call the ‘Unreality Crisis’ involving stories of controversial factual debate to helping journalists deal with trauma and concerns about our own mental health, they’re always worth reading and following for some great advice on how to navigate some of the challenges journalists currently face.

We’re looking forward to connecting you with some of these resources and engaging our chapter in similar educational discussions on the media’s role in society, what we’re doing well, what we could be doing better, and how to earn and keep the public’s trust through these unprecedented times. And as we prepare to mark 20 years since the events of September 11th, 2001, we’ll also be looking back at the brave and inspiring work many of you have done over the years to mark that tragic occasion in our nation’s history.

Thanks again for all you do to inform and inspire your viewers! We have an extremely talented chapter and we can’t wait to see the award-winning work you all have been doing this year!