NSPA’s staff is here to serve you. You can reach us at NSPA’s headquarters at 612-625-8335. Staff members may be reached through the main number or directly at their personal extensions listed below. Our address is: National Scholastic Press Association, 2221 University Ave. SE, Suite 121, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
Laura Widmer, executive director, 612-625-6519
As executive director at NSPA/ACP, Laura oversees conventions, conferences and workshops. She is also in charge of advisory committees for both organizations. Questions regarding Minnesota High School Press Association should be directed to her, as well.
Laura's background includes two years of high school advising and 29 years of advising award-winning publications at Northwest Missouri State University. After Northwest, Laura served as general manager of the Iowa State Daily. Besides receiving the NSPA Pioneer award, Laura is a member of College Media (Adviser) Association Hall of Fame and Missouri College Media Association Hall of Fame. She started a newspaper, Chariton Valley News Press, in her hometown of Salisbury, Mo. in 2008.
Gary Lundgren, associate director, 612-625-4337
Gary is responsible for running all contest and critique programs at NSPA. He also helps with convention programming and membership outreach.
Before joining NSPA, Gary served as the senior marketing manager for Jostens, Inc. since 1997. Before that, he worked as director of student publications at the University of Arkansas and directed the Arkansas High School Press Association from 1988-1997. Prior to Arkansas, he served as executive director of South Dakota High School Press Association at South Dakota State University. Lundgren has been awarded the NSPA Pioneer Award, Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Key, Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit, South Dakota High School Press Association Founders Award and Interscholastic League Press Conference Edith Fox King Award.
Amber Billings, communications director, 612-625-7529
Amber is responsible for all print and digital design pieces for NSPA. She manages NSPA's website as well as each individual convention website and coordinates with NSPA's technical partners to ensure website maintenance, enhance user experience and oversee the development of new digital/web projects.
Prior to NSPA, Amber was the visuals editor at the Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota's completely student-run newspaper. In 2013, she won a Region 6 Mark of Excellence Award for Photo Illustration from Society of Professional Journalists. She also had an internship with Minnesota Premier Publications creating layouts for two newspapers (Downtown Journal and Southwest Journal) and two magazines (Minnesota Good Age and Minnesota Parent). She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Ashley Tilley, membership outreach coordinator, 612-625-9311
Ashley's responsibilities include membership renewals, convention registration and other bookkeeping and administrative tasks. Contact Ashley for questions about membership, conventions/workshops, invoices and store orders.
Prior to joining the NSPA staff, Ashley performed administrative work at a nonprofit that works toward the elimination of violence against women and children. She attended St. Paul Community Technical College for business management.
Olivia is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. Aside from working for NSPA, she is also a public relations intern for the Wake Student Magazine. Olivia will graduate in the fall of 2018 with a bachelor's in journalism and strategic communications.