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

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.

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

612-367-4114

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

Before joining 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

612-200-9255

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

612-200-9254

Ron coordinates print, digital and social-media communications for ACP and NSPA, and he collaborates with their partner organizations on communications for events and projects.

Prior to ACP, 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’s 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 ACP headquarters and to ACP 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 looks forward 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.