Carol Ann Riordan
The American Press Institute
Throughout my 26-year tenure with The American Press Institute, I was honored and privileged to work with thousands of top-flight journalists who were attendees and discussion leaders for our leadership programs. As Vice President of Programming and then Interim Executive Director, I had a front seat to the ongoing transformation of the newsmedia industry, and the women and men who were leading the charge. From the moment I met her, it was quickly apparent that Jody was at the front of the pack. Jody has all of the gravitas of a “Capital J” journalist. But, she also has a deep understanding of the tremendous challenges and opportunities facing journalists today: bringing together the core values and practices of traditional journalism with all of the assets of the digital world. She honors the history of our industry and keeps her eyes focused on what the future holds. Many try to embrace that philosophy. Some succeed. Few have the capabilities to make it happen day after day. Jody is the exception. My most rewarding moments at API was watching Jody at the front of the conference room, which was filled with off-the-charts smart journalists committed to taking their craft and careers to the next level. Lucky them. Jody brought them new knowledge, best practices and innovative approaches that set their course for excellence. She challenged them. She raised the stakes. But, most of all, she filled them with enthusiasm, hope and a desire to better serve their readers and communities. Seminar members returned home with a renewed sense of purpose and the power tools to make it happen. She brings additional talents to the table: the ability to envision, carefully plan and flawlessly execute training programs. No detail is too small or insignificant. She understands that each contributes to the overall success of an event, from designing curriculum that addresses critical issues to making attendees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. In addition to her expertise as a journalist, editor, collaborator, coach and teacher, Jody has the talents necessary to engage and build relationships with numerous constituencies – from newly minted reporters to senior newsmedia leaders. She brings integrity, authenticity, warmth and a wicked sense of humor to every encounter, whether it’s teaching a course or working the room at an industry event. Simply put, people adore Jody because she’s the real deal. I appreciate the opportunity to support Jody’s candidacy for this position, which Sincerely,would leverage her many talents and greatly contribute to NewsTrain’s continued success. Jody does not just do things well. She makes them better.
With all best wishes,
Carol Ann Riordan Interim Executive Director (ret.)
The American Press Institute