Our Leadership

ASJA is governed by a volunteer Executive Committee and Board of Directors, elected by ASJA membership. Officers’ terms are one year. At-large board members serve for three years on a rotating election schedule. A nominating committee, led by a board-appointed chair, recruits candidates to fill empty board positions. The slate of nominations is presented to membership in an annual election, and ASJA bylaws outline the requirements for elections.

The president, vice president and staff meet twice monthly to prepare for executive committee and board meetings. At monthly executive committee meetings, officers and the past-president prepare and approve the board meeting agenda, as well as discuss proposals for the board to consider. The board meets monthly to ensure that all decisions forward the ASJA mission and comply with bylaws. During extended strategy sessions at least once each year, the board develops and discusses long-range plans. Special meetings may also be called.

Ongoing board responsibilities

  • Oversee ASJA’s fiscal health
  • Create and modify ASJA policies
  • Oversee volunteer responsibilities and accountability
  • Work directly with staff to develop strategies for membership and programming growth

Recent and current board projects

  • Restructured ASJA’s legal structure (2019-2021)
  • Oversaw the expansion of ASJA’s awards program (2020-2021)
  • Oversaw ASJA’s first two virtual conferences (2020-2021)
  • Revised ASJA bylaws (2021)
  • Launched new ASJA website (2021)
  • Launched regular virtual educational programming (2021)
  • Oversee ASJA’s lawsuit against the State of California (ongoing)
  • Initiate diversity, equity, and inclusion process and programming (ongoing)
  • Oversee new membership engagement programming (ongoing)

Board of Directors

Laura Laing

The author of three math books, Laura Laing has been a freelance journalist and writer for more than 15 years. She is currently writing an experimentally themed and structured memoir, and her essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Creative Nonfiction, and Full Grown People. Her essay, “Your Leaving” appeared in the 10th Anniversary of Consequence Magazine and received the 2019 ASJA Best Essay Award.

Emily Paulsen

A writer and editor based in the DC area, Emily Paulsen focuses on health and healthcare topics for online and print publications, healthcare organizations, government agencies, and non-profit associations. She is the co-author of three books and a former magazine editor.

Lisa Rapasca Roepe

Lisa Rabasca Roepe is a freelance journalist who writes about the culture of work, technology, entrepreneurship, and beer and spirits. Her work has appeared in Fast Company, the Christian Science Monitor, OZY, Family Circle, Good, Quartz, The Atlantic’s City Lab, The Muse, The Week, HR Magazine, Men’s Journal and Eater.

Stacey Freed

Stacey Freed was a senior editor at Remodeling, published by the Washington-D.C.-based Hanley Wood. Since 2013 she has been freelancing for national trade and consumer publications. Her writing is regularly featured in Better Homes and Gardens and USA Today special interest publications; Realtor magazine; Professional Builder; This Old House and online at OneZero/Medium; AARP; House Logic, and Trulia, among other places. Freed has won a Neal Award for specialized journalism and several awards from the American Society of Business Publications Editors. She holds an MFA from George Mason University. Her essay, “Tourist No More,” published in She Can Find Her Way: Women Travelers at Their Best (Upper Hand Press, 2017), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Milt Toby

ASJA President Milt Toby is an attorney and award-winning author who has been writing about Thoroughbred racing since Secretariat won the Triple Crown. A frequent presenter at national and regional conferences, Milt has a special interest in copyright, publishing contracts, and other legal issues affecting writers. His latest book, Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing’s Most Famous Cold Case, was published in 2018.

Terms Expiring 2022

Sally Abrahms

Sally Abrahms, a consumer and content writer, focuses on aging and baby boomers. She is the author of two books and a contributor to four. Sally is also the recipient of a New York Times Foundation, and a MetLife Foundation, journalism fellowship on aging.

Wendy Helfenbaum

Wendy Helfenbaum is a Montreal-based journalist, TV producer and content marketing writer. She chairs ASJA’s Client Networking Committee, overseeing all client-facing programs. Wendy covers real estate, architecture and design, gardening, travel and parenting for consumer, trade and digital publications, and she also works with many brands, universities and nonprofits.

Terms Expiring 2023

Beverly Gray

Beverly Gray, a film industry veteran, is the author of the bestselling Roger Corman: An Unauthorized Biography of the Godfather of Indie Filmmaking, which in paperback was tastefully retitled Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers. She has also published Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon . . . and Beyond, and, most recently, Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How The Graduate Became the Touchstone of a Generation. She blogs twice weekly at Beverly in Movieland.

Kristine Hansen

Kristine Hansen, has been a member of ASJA since 2006 and is a food, design and travel writer based in Milwaukee. Past involvements with ASJA include chairing Virtual Client Connections.

Terms Expiring 2024

Christopher Johnston

Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,500 articles in numerous regional and national publications including American Theatre, Christian Science Monitor, History Magazine, and Scientific American. His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice, was published by Skyhorse Publishers in May 2018. He teaches playwriting and creative nonfiction courses at Cleveland State University and a variety of workshops for the William M. Skirball Writers Center and Literary Cleveland. In 2020, Johnston received an Ohio Society of Professional Journalists award for best investigative reporting for a digital publication. In 2018 and 2019, he received an Ohio Arts Council grant and a Dramatists Guild Foundation Writer’s Alliance Grant. In 2019, he also received the Distinguished Professional Contribution Award from The Renee Jones Empowerment Center in Cleveland that provides a full spectrum of services to help women survivors of human trafficking recover.

Lottie Joiner

Lottie Joiner is the editor-in-chief of The Crisis magazine, the official publication of the NAACP, and a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer. She writes about social justice and civil rights with a focus on issues that impact marginalized and underserved communities. Lottie’s work has been published in The Washington Post, USAToday, Time.com, TheAtlantic.com and The Daily Beast. Most recently she was named a 2019 Folio: 100 Honoree which recognizes media professionals in magazine and digital media.

Past Presidents

Maurice Zolotow
Temple Fielding
Donald Robinson
Morton Sontheimer
James Poling
Robert L. Heilbroner
Morton Hunt
Jack Harrison Pollack
Lawrence Lader
Murray Teigh Bloom
Vance Packard
Gerald Walker
Bernard Asbell
Robert Bendiner
Norman M. Lobsenz
Jean Libman Block
Thomas J. Fleming
William Surface

Alfred Balk
Theodore Irwin
Jhan Robbins
Lin Root
David R. Zimmerman
Terry Morris
Patrick M. McGrady Jr.
Mort Weisinger
Ruth Winter
Dian Dincin Buchman
Grace W. Weinstein
Sally Wendkos Olds
June Roth
John H. Ingersoll
Evelyn Kaye
Dodi Schultz
Glen Evans
David W. Kennedy

Thomas Bedell
Katharine Davis Fishman
Florence Isaacs
Mark L. Fuerst
Janice Hopkins Tanne
Claire Safran
Eleanor Foa Dienstag
Samuel Greengard
Jim Morrison
Lisa Collier Cool
Jack El-Hai
Robert Bittner
Russell Wild
Salley Shannon
Minda Zetlin
Randy Dotinga
Sherry Beck Paprocki
Milt Toby