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Board of Directors

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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.

 

 

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President – 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.

 

 Bria Brown – Vice President Print 

Bria Brown is the Eastsider Reporter for C&G Newspapers, covering education, government and community news in Macomb County. She began her career as a contributing writer for Top Flight Magazine, landing an internship as the Southeast Michigan American Heart Association Communications Intern and later as an intern for the Oakland University Communication and Marketing department.

Transitioning from print to broadcast journalism, Bria gained experience from HOM-TV as a general assignments reporter and Orion Neighborhood Television as a news anchor, reporter and producer.

Outside of work, she is the creator and host of Bria Brown Live on ONTV, a show that brings in-depth interviews from the movers and shakers of Metro Detroit. Bria Brown Live serves as a platform to inform her audience of current events, while also highlighting various compelling stories.

Brown graduated from Oakland University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

 

Josh Landon – Vice President Broadcast 

 

Alicia Nails – Secretary

Alicia Nails is an Emmy Award-winning television journalist and the director of Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity where she also teaches Reporting on Race, Gender and Culture.
After graduating from Michigan State University in 1978, with a B.A. in Telecommunications [now Broadcast Journalism] , 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 70s and early 80s. She produced programming featuring 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, Nails 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, she 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.
Nails’ career next took her to New York City where she produced documentary programming detailing the community-building activities conducted by United Methodist Churches around the country. 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.
Nails 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 Balls, The Parade of Stars telethons, and other major, city-wide special events.
In 2002, Nails 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. She also produced major media events including The Salute to Emery King and the Salute to 25 Year Journalists. She heads up an annual Spirit of Diversity event which has honored national figures, including: Washington Post Reporter Wesley Lowery; New York Times Visual Op-Ed Columnist Charles M. Blow; Pulitzer Prize winning columnists Robin Givhan and Leonard Pitts.
Her writing has appeared in the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, the Michigan Chronicle, and BLAC magazine, where she serves on the advisory board. A freelance writer through her company, SaidWrite, she is a board member of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation.
Nails has executed city-wide PR campaigns for the African World Festival, the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and served on the National Communications Committee of The Links, Incorporated, writing external communications and internal executive communications while serving as managing editor for the organization’s national publications. She serves on the PR team for the Oakland County (MI) Chapter of The Links.
Nails 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 she attended metro Detroit schools, including both St. Martin de Porres High School and Southfield High School.
She resides in Southfield where she also designs for her company, Peace of Jewelry, LLC.
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Rod Liggons – Treasurer

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.

Georgette

Georgette C. R. Johnson – Deputy Region II Director, Parliamentarian

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.