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 January 1 - December 31. The current volunteer leadership is listed below.
Board of Directors
Laura Laing, 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
Emily Paulsen, Vice President, Rockville, MD
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 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.
Poornima Apte, Treasurer, Walpole, Mass.
Poornima Apte is an engineer turned technology writer. She writes branded content features, white papers, case studies, video scripts, infographics, and other content marketing assets for a wide range of clients including Forbes BrandVoice, Vox Media, VentureBeat, Dell Technologies, Verizon, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Chemical & Engineering News. Poornima's specialties include AI, robotics, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and digital transformation. She reviews literary fiction for Booklist and Kirkus and is a proud member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.
Milt Toby, Past 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.
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
Terms Expiring 2023
Stacey Freed, At Large, Pittsford, NY
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.
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).
Kristine Hansen, At Large, Milwaukee, WI
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.
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.
Terms Expiring 2024
Christopher Johnston, At Large, Cleveland, Ohio
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, 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.