NSPA/ACP staff, July 2019
Ashley Tilley, convention and membership manager,
Ron Johnson, communications director,
Laura Widmer, director,
Gary Lundgren, associate director, and
Judy Riedl, business and projects manager.
NSPA’s staff is here to serve you.
You can reach us at NSPA’s headquarters at 612-200-9254. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Central Monday-Friday.
Staff members may be reached through the main number or directly at their personal extensions listed below.
Our address: National Scholastic Press Association, 2829 University Ave. SE, Suite 720, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
Laura Widmer, executive director, 612-200-9265
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 the Hall of Fame of College Media Association (College Media Advisers) and the Hall of Fame of the Missouri College Media Association. She started a newspaper, Chariton Valley News Press, in her hometown of Salisbury, Missouri in 2008.
Gary Lundgren, associate director, 612-367-4114
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.
Ron Johnson, communications director, 612-200-9295
Ron coordinates print, digital and social-media communications for NSPA and ACP, and he collaborates with their partner organizations on communications for events and projects.
Prior to NSPA, Ron had a three-decade career as a collegiate-media adviser and educator at Indiana, Kansas State and Fort Hays State (Kan.) universities. Through those years, his students benefited from NSPA and ACP educational programs, and many of them work at news organizations across the country.
Ron is past president of two national and one state journalism association, and he is a long-time speaker for ACP, NSPA and other journalism associations. He helped lead passage of legislation protecting the First Amendment rights of Kansas student journalists and advisers, and he’s a former editor of The Best of Newspaper Design, published by the Society for News Design.
He is based in St. Joseph, Mo., with travel to NSPA headquarters and to NSPA events.
Ashley Tilley, convention and membership manager, 612-200-9254
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 ACP staff, Ashley performed administrative work at a nonprofit that works toward the elimination of violence against women and children.
Judy Riedl, business and projects manager, 612-367-4162
Judy joined NSPA as business and projects manager in August 2018. She assists with critiques and awards conventions, membership and financial matters.
Judy has led student media programs at four major universities—Marquette University, University of Oregon, Auburn University and University of Minnesota—two of which were private non-profit corporations. She also worked for several non-profit agencies in the business and finance areas. A long-time member of ACP, CMA and CMBAM, Judy is looking forward especially to working with member schools. Judy earned a journalism degree from University of Colorado-Boulder and business and economics degrees from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.