Region II Director: Vickie Thomas
Vickie Thomas is the City Beat and Morning Drive Reporter for WWJ/CBS Radio. Thomas is a former Co-Anchor of the weekly news program, “In-depth Detroit” on WWJ-TV. She is a graduate of Henry Ford High School in Detroit. Thomas attended Michigan State University and graduated from Wayne State University, cum laude with an honors degree in broadcast journalism. The highlight of her academic career was as an intern in Congressman Louis Stokes’ office on Capitol Hill where she was instrumental in getting commemorative legislation passed honoring Olympic Gold Medalist Jesse Owens.
Thomas joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in 1991. Throughout her radio career she has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, the National Association of Black Journalists and others. She also received the national “Gabriel Award” from UNDA-USA for the WWJ Black History Month Series “The African-American Church: The Heart and Soul of Metro Detroit’s Black Community”. In 2009, Thomas was featured in “Who’s Who in Black Detroit” as a “Female Powerhouse.”
While serving as Vice President-Broadcast of DC-NABJ, Thomas started a scholarship and internship program for college students interested in the field of broadcast news. She also enjoys visiting local schools for Career Day to talk to students about her job and giving them advice on what they need to do to break into the business. Thomas has served on the boards of the Midwest Aids Prevention Project (MAPP) and CASA Maria Family Services.
President – Felecia D. Henderson
As assistant managing editor, Felecia Henderson leads a 20-member department of journalists who report entertainment and lifestyle stories for The Detroit News. The award-winning editor also serves on the newspaper’s senior management team that oversees newsroom policy and operations.
She joined The Detroit News in 1989 as a copy editor/page designer and worked her way up the editing ranks, with her first managerial position as editor of the weekly On Detroit section from 1993-1999.
Henderson received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Radio-TV and Journalism from Murray State University in Kentucky and is working on a Master of Organization Development from Bowling Green University. She previously worked at the Courier-Journal in Louisville and The Cincinnati Post.
In 2014, Henderson was named president of the Detroit Chapter, National Association of Black Journalists. She previously served as the organization’s vice president-print.
In 2011, Henderson was among 55 named Women of Excellence by the Michigan Chronicle. The honor was preceded in 2010 when she was named an Esteemed Woman of Michigan, an honor recognizing 75 Michigan women who excelled in their profession, risen above unacceptable circumstances and found ways to help others. Henderson has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists Detroit, the Michigan Press Association, the Gannett Corp., and the Society of Newspaper Design. Memberships include the National Association of Black Journalists, Society of Features Journalism, Leadership Detroit XX, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Henderson was married to the late Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Radio One Detroit talk show host, Angelo B. Henderson, who served as national NABJ parliamentarian (1993-97) and president of the Detroit Chapter NABJ (1991-94). Their son, Angelo Grant Henderson, is a student at the University of Michigan Dearborn and is owner of Greatness The One LLC, a brand dedicated to inspiring young people to be great through fashion, product and design.
VP Print: Vince McCraw
Vincent D McCraw is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in print and digital media. He has covered news stories on government, politics, civic and community affairs in the Detroit, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. markets.
A native of D.C. and a 1980 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta with a B.A. in mass communications, McCraw started his journalism career as an intern at the Atlanta Journal in 1980. From 1981-1985, he worked as a reporter and city editor at The Atlanta Daily World, one of the nation’s oldest black newspapers.
During a 15 year career at The Washington Times, McCraw covered the mayoral administrations of Marion Barry and Sharon Pratt Kelly. He covered D.C. politics, government and community affairs and frequently covered issues from Congress and the White House that affected the District of Columbia. In his later years at the Times, McCraw served as an assistant city editor directing a team of reporters covering the District government.
In 1999, McCraw joined the Metro Desk of the Detroit News as an assistant city editor directing a team of reporters covering Detroit, government, politics and community affairs. Since then, he has served in several roles at the paper including slot editor on the Copy Desk, and assistant city editor for the Neighborhood News tabloids that offered coverage of communities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
Since 2008, he has served as an Editor-Producer on the News’ Digital Breaking News Desk.
McCraw joined the National Association of Black Journalists initially through its Atlanta chapter in 1980 and has been a member of the national and local chapters in Washington, D.C. and Detroit. In 2015, he was elected Vice President-Print of the Detroit chapter. In that role he directs all the chapter’s social media platforms.
VP Broadcast: Erica Murphy
Erica Murphy has worked in the broadcast news business since 2008 when she accepted her first paid position as executive producer of “Inside Detroit with Mildred Gaddis” on WCHB. Murphy has worked as a news anchor, reporter, producer, editor and writer. Some of the stations she has worked for include WWJ Newsradio 950, WDET 101.9 FM, WJR Newstalk 760 and WCHB 1200 AM. In April, Erica transitioned from WWJ to WJR to take on a role as a news anchor and reporter. In September, she also joined WJBK’s Fox 2 News team as a writer and assignment editor. Erica aspires to become a TV news reporter and anchor one day.
Erica is the proud mother of one daughter, Paige Coleman. In her free time she enjoys ballroom dancing, couponing and singing karaoke.
A Canadian national who moved to Detroit in the late 80’s, Ms. Murphy received the bulk of her education in the Detroit Public School system as well as Wayne State University.
Treasurer: Rod Liggons
Rod Liggons is a lifelong Detroiter and has worked in both radio and television across the state of Michigan. Rod’s career began as a reporter in Muskegon. After more than a year on the air, Rod began working in public radio at WMUK in Kalamazoo. After brief stints in Flint and Ann Arbor, Rod began working at WWJ Newsradio 950. Hired as a member of the technical operations team, Rod’s energy and eye for news was noticed and he was promoted to producer/assignment editor. He also gained on-air reporting and news writing experience. It was his exceptional writing skills that caught the eye of WXYZ where he was hired as planning director. For the next six years, Rod was responsible for the planning of the day’s stories as well as responding to breaking news. Rod followed this position with working at WDIV in Detroit. After his departure, Rod was named deputy campaign manager for the Detroit City Council candidate James Tate. After a successful campaign, Rod was named community liaison for Councilman Tate, a position he held for five years. His talents for interacting and engaging Detroit’s communities gained Rod his current position as community engagement manager for the Detroit Land Bank Authority.
Secretary: Alicia Nails
Alicia Nails is an Emmy Award-winning television journalist, an attorney, and the director of Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity (WSU/JIM) where she also teaches Reporting on Race, Gender and Culture.
After graduating from Michigan State University in 1978, with a B.A. in Telecommunications, she joined the United Negro College Fund’s national Telethon Team, producing The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars fundraisers in television markets throughout the south.
This led to a position as a producer at WXIA -TV (NBC) in Atlanta, in the late 70’s and early 80’s. She produced programming featuring Ms. Yolanda King, then Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, the legendary Della Reese, civil rights icon Julian Bond, writer Ntozake Shange, actor Bill Nunn, and many other notable thought leaders. There she won a Georgia Emmy Award for her public service announcement on the Egleston Festival of Trees. In response to the city’s Missing & Murdered Children’s Crisis, Alicia co-produced the national Gabriel Award winning documentary Murder by Neglect, The Children’s Story, detailing the socio-economic conditions surrounding that tragedy. It won a Georgia Emmy as well.
Returning home to Detroit in 1982, Alicia produced Detroit Black Journal at WTVS TV 56 (PBS). Emmy award nominated documentaries produced for that series included The Black Family: A Legacy of Survival, and W.E.B. and Booker T. Washington, contrasting their philosophies for achievement and advancement.
Alicia’s career next took her to New York City where she produced documentary programming detailing the community building activities conducted by United Methodist Churches. She then produced for the nationally syndicated Essence Television program, hosted by Susan L. Taylor. This assignment allowed her to produce features on Maya Angelou, LL Cool J, Spike Lee and Detroit’s own gospel sensations, The Winans, among others. Essence TV also traveled to the African nation of Gabon, where she produced a special on the 25th anniversary of the presidency of Omar Bongo.
Alicia then joined WJBK (CBS), now Detroit’s FOX 2 affiliate, working as a producer on the morning entertainment and issue oriented Dayna Show, until that program’s cancellation in 1990.
Enrolling in Wayne State University’s Law School, she earned her J.D. in 1993. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1994, and the Illinois Bar in 1995. After practicing Commercial Litigation, she returned to the United Negro College Fund to head up the Detroit campaign – producing events including the Mayors’ Scholarship Ball, The Parade of Stars telethon, and other major special events.
In 2002, Alicia worked as a writer/producer at WWJ NewsRadio 950 (CBS), Detroit’s only all news station, where she also wrote and delivered feature reports.
In 2003, she accepted her current position as director of Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. Here she recruits, trains and mentors students for careers in print and broadcast journalism, to diversify America’s newsrooms.
Alicia was born in Chinon (She-non), France, where her parents, the late Odell and Elizabeth Nails, were stationed with the United States Army. The family moved to Detroit within the year and Alicia attended metro Detroit schools, including both St. Martin de Porres High School and Southfield High School.
She resides in Southfield where she is currently working on her first book of contemporary fiction.
Deputy Region II Director, Parliamentarian: Georgette C. R. Johnson
Georgette has 25 years of uniquely varied expertise in areas of media, marketing, community and public relations, crisis management, event planning, government, business and education. She is president and chief strategist of Master Plans & Strategies founded to guide individuals, organizations, businesses, municipalities and ministries through tough terrains by using her four core service areas of Integrity Relations (media/community/public relations), Strategic Media/Marketing, Event Management and Crisis Management.
Her passion is for entities in transition and assisting them in finding their brand, position and voice in the media and community. Georgette is an active member of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists as parliamentarian and programming committee chair as also serves as deputy region II director.
Her passion is for entities in transition and assisting them in finding their brand, position and voice in the media and community. Georgette is an active member of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists as parliamentarian and programming committee chair.
She spent several years in Pontiac serving as Director of Communications for the Pontiac School District and Executive Assistant to the Superintendent. Georgette served four years in the City of Pontiac as Press Secretary for the Mayor and Executive Office Liaison with seven city departments. In Pontiac, she led many marketing campaigns from combating recall elections to recruitment and positive positioning. She has scripted, planned and executed four State of the City Addresses, Mayor’s Inaugural Ball, State of the District Address and many other high profile events. Before the mayor’s office in Pontiac, she was spokesperson for the Detroit Housing Commission.
Georgette has Homeland Security training and certification through the National Emergency Training Center in Emmittsburg, MD which has been put to the test with successful results in the handling of everything from bomb threats to homicides to anthrax.
Georgette’s experience in media began at WJBK-TV2, however, most of her illustrious career was developed at WWJ Newsradio 950. She started as the first official station intern and over 12 years held every position and assignment from writer to executive producer and planner of major productions and special events to public affairs liaison and assistant operations manager. Georgette also spent nine years in the newsroom producing numerous award-winning newscasts, series, documentaries, special productions and coaching writers, producers, editors and reporters. Special productions included the Ask The Mayor Show (Mayor Coleman Young), The Mayor Dennis Archer Show, Ask the Governor Show, primary and general elections, ITT Automotive Grand Prix, Detroit International Auto Show, Mazda/Free Press International Marathon and other remote broadcasts. She has handled public relations for various clients including McDonald’s©.
Georgette has received numerous awards for her leadership and community involvement such as 2011 Esteemed Women of Michigan, 2007 Detroit Public Schools Volunteer Entrepreneurial Award, 2006 Board Member of The Year – Oakland Primary Health Services, Who’s Who of Executives & Professionals, Gabriel North American Award, Outstanding Young Women of America, Detroit City Council Testimonial Resolution and Spirit of Detroit Award. She was first published at age 10 when she wrote a feature story published in the Detroit News Sunday Magazine. Georgette has planned and executed many local as well as national events and conferences.
Georgette is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University where she received her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity, an honors program. She has completed the FastTrac NewVenture program through Wayne State University’s TechTown. Georgette has been a licensed minister for 14 years and pursuing chaplaincy credentials. She holds four State of Michigan insurance licenses: Property, Casualty, Life, Accident & Health.