ASJA is governed by an Executive Committee and the Board of Directors and it's a prestigious honor to serve members and colleagues. These positions demand a significant amount of time that officers and the board give back to the ASJA. The Executive Committee and Board members are elected by the ASJA membership. To be elected, Board candidates are recruited by a nominations committee, after which the general membership votes on the final candidates. The ASJA Board meets almost every month to create policy and ensure that the ASJA’s mission and objectives are being followed.
ASJA's administrative and fiscal year runs from July 1 - June 30. The current volunteer leadership is listed below. To contact ASJA please use this Contact Form.
Board of Directors
Milt Toby, President, Georgetown, KY
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.
Laura Laing, Vice President, Baltimore, MD
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. @llaingwriter
Lake Oswego, OR
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.
Immediate Past Presidents
Immediate Past President
Randy Dotinga, 2nd Immediate Past President, San Diego, CA
Randy Dotinga, former president of ASJA, is a top advocate for writer rights and protections. He has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 20 years. He specializes in health/medicine, politics, history, books and the odd/unusual.
Terms Expiring 2020
Beverly Gray, At Large, Santa Monica, CA
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 (www.beverlyinmovieland.com).
Jennie Helderman is a Pushcart Prize for Fiction nominee whose nonfiction books and articles have won literary, book club and press awards. She has chaired the editorial board of a 150,000 circulation quarterly, run a store front social agency, and advocated for women's, children's and First Amendment issues from the grassroots to the national level. She is presently working on a memoir about living in Alabama during the civil rights battles.
Parul Kapur Hinzen is an arts and culture journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Esquire, ARTNews, Art in America, Guernica and Slate. She was previously a press officer at the United Nations and spent a decade freelancing from Europe. She founded the Books page at ArtsATL, Atlanta's leading arts website, and headed book coverage there from 2010-2014. She is also a fiction writer and is at work on her second novel.
Lottie Joiner, At Large, Washington D.C.
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.
Terms Expiring 2021
Carolyn Crist is a health and medical journalist based in Georgia whose stories have appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Reuters, Runner's World, U.S. News & World Report and Wired. Her first book, The New Science of Narcissism, will come out in fall 2020. Carolyn also co-chaired the 2018 and 2019 annual conferences.
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. She is a newly elected ASJA board member.
Terms Expiring 2022
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.
Arielle Emmett, Ph.D., is a US Fulbright Scholar (Kenya 2018-2019) who has just returned from ten months of teaching and research on the Chinese in Kenya. She is a Contributing Editor to Smithsonian Air & Space, and has traveled and reported on science, politics, and the environment from Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, and several European countries.
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. @WendyHelfenbaum