NSPA staff

NSPA’s staff is here to serve you.

You can reach us at NSPA’s headquarters at 612-200-9254. Our summer office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. CDT 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



As executive director at NSPA/ACP, Laura oversees conventions, conferences and workshops. She is also in charge of advisory committees for both organizations.

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 the 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



Gary is responsible for running all contest and critique programs at NSPA/ACP. He also helps with convention programming and membership outreach.

Before joining NSPA/ACP, 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.

Lori Keekley

Associate director for Quill and Scroll



Lori rejoined NSPA/ACP in July 2022 as the associate director responsible for Quill and Scroll. The honor society merged with NSPA July 1, 2022.

Lori focuses on Quill Scroll membership, activities and contests.

Keekley had served as a journalism teacher and newspaper adviser at St. Louis Park High School (Minnesota) since 2002. Her teaching and journalism experience includes Plymouth Middle School (Minnesota) and Portage High School (Indiana).

She has been honored as Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, with the Gold Key from Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Pioneer Award from NSPA.

She was director of national contests and critiques for NSPA and ACP from 1998 to 2000.

Ron Johnson

Communications director



Ron coordinates print, digital and social-media communications for NSPA/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 ACP and NSPA 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.

Karli Keith

Convention and membership manager



Karli’s responsibilities include membership renewals; convention registration and sponsorships; and other administrative tasks. Contact Karli for questions about membership, conventions/workshops, invoices and store orders.

Before joining the NSPA staff in February 2023, Karli worked as a sales associate and as a legal/governmental affairs assistant. She’s a broadcast journalism graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.