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May 19, 2023 - May 20, 2023

Catering - Manakish Oven & Grill - Best2023 NABJ Region II ConferenceCatering - Manakish Oven & Grill - Best

May 19-20, 2023

“Region 2 Believes in YOU”

Hyatt Regency Wichita
400 W Waterman St., Wichita, KS 67202


View the Digital Program Book Here!

Registration Onsite!

We can all use a morale booster! And this year’s conference will be just that! We’re coming together in the Heart of the Country to lift each other up! We will not only focus on enhancing our skills and making or renewing connections, but more importantly, we will focus on empowering YOU!

Through sessions & training and career advancement & networking opportunities, NABJ “Region 2 Believes in YOU” will encourage our family of journalists, communicators, and students to use this pivotal moment in time to take charge of their career journeys by helping them:

  • Rejuvenate their passion

  • Grow more confident in their abilities

  • Elevate into leadership

  • Gain new knowledge about the industry and beyond

Catering - Manakish Oven & Grill - BestRegistration RatesCatering - Manakish Oven & Grill - Best

(Total includes a $3.00 administrative fee)

Early-Bird/Online Registration Closed by May 12, 2023

Onsite Registration is available in-person on May 19-20, 2023
*No Cash Accepted • Debit or Credit Cards Only

  • Professional Member (Professional/Emerging Professional/Alumni/Academic/Media Related Members) – $50

  • Student Member – $25

  • Nonmember – $60

  • Student Nonmember – $30

Contact Information:

Catering - Manakish Oven & Grill - BestHotel Rates & InformationCatering - Manakish Oven & Grill - Best

Host Hotel

Hyatt Regency Wichita

Hyatt Regency Wichita

  • Address: 400 West Waterman, Wichita, Kansas 67202

  • Booking Dates: May 19-21, 2023

  • Booking Closed: April 28, 2023

Overflow Hotel

Fairfield Inn & Suites Wichita Downtown

Fairfield Inn & Suites Wichita Downtown

  • Address: 525 South Main Street Wichita, Kansas 67202

  • Booking Dates: May 19-21, 2023

  • Booking Closed: Friday, May 5, 2023

Catering - Manakish Oven & Grill - BestScheduleCatering - Manakish Oven & Grill - Best

View the Digital Program Book Here!

Friday, May 19, 2023

4:00 – 7:00 PM | Registration/Check-In | Hyatt Hotel Lobby

6:00 – 9:00 PM | Opening Night Mixer | KMUW, 121 N. Mead, Ste. 200, Wichita, KS

“Region 2 Believes in You!” It’s time to kick off, kick back and connect. Join fellow journalists from across the region for an opening night networking mixer.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

7:00 – 9:00 AM | Registration/Check-In | Hyatt Hotel Registration Desk

9:00 – 11:00 AM | Rise and Shine with Sheinelle Jones | Grand Eagle Ballroom D

We’re starting the Region II Conference off right! The Wichita native and co-host of the 3rd hour of The TODAY Show will sit down with anchors Felicia Rolfe (KWCH) and Eddie Randle (KSN) for a conversation about her journey from her hometown to the big city! Do you have questions for Sheinelle? If so, be sure to submit your questions here by Wednesday, May 17, 2023:

  • Sheinelle Jones, Co-host of the 3rd hour of The TODAY Show


11:15 – 12:15 PM | The Ultimate Collaboration: DMOs + Content Creators = $$$ | Grand Eagle Ballroom B

Freelance journalists can be a huge resource to destination management organizations like Visit Wichita. This presentation delves into ways that content creators can create collaborative and profitable partnerships.

  • Brandy Evans, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Wichita (Speaker)

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM | Tackling Your Super Bowl | Grand Eagle Ballroom C

Sports journalists share their personal experiences covering major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA tournament and NFL Draft. They also candidly discuss the challenges they have faced in their professions.

  • Asia Cymone Smith, News/Sports Reporter, KSN-TV (Panelist)

  • Harold Kuntz, Sports Anchor, WDAF  (Panelist)

  • Aaron Ladd, Sports Anchor/MMJ, KSHB  (Panelist)

  • Shaquira Martin, Sports Freelancer (Panelist)

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM | From the Classroom to the Newsroom | Grand Eagle Ballroom A

Emerging journalists share their journeys of how they made the transition from students to professionals, and how they’ve adapted to the changes.

  • Leon Purvis, Anchor/Reporter, KAKE News (Moderator)

  • Taylor Clay, Morning Producer, KWCH 12 News (Panelist)

  • Jaiya Brown, Content Creator/Freelance (Panelist)

  • Alex Carter, Multimedia Journalist, WIBW (Panelist)


12:30 – 1:30 PM | Powerful Storytelling  | Grand Eagle Ballroom B

Aspiring journalists can benefit greatly from Jamie Jackson’s powerful storytelling techniques. His comprehensive approach covers all the essential elements of a compelling story — from the who, what, when, where, and why to more complex themes like race and politics. Jackson’s expertise isn’t limited to journalism, as he also shares valuable insights about entrepreneurship and publishing. Whether you’re in the heartland or the nation’s capital, Jackson’s advice is sure to help you become a truly well-rounded journalist.

  • Jamie Jackson, Host, “Morning Edition,” NPR/90.1 KERA News in Dallas & Former White House Correspondent, American Urban Radio Networks (Speaker)

12:30 – 1:30 PM | Longevity in Journalism | Grand Eagle Ballroom A

Seasoned journalists share their invaluable insights into the highs and lows of the industry, thanks to decades of experience. Their perseverance has allowed them to conquer countless obstacles throughout their careers. In addition, they’re highly attuned to the emergence of a new generation of news consumers and distributors. 

  • Felicia Rolfe, Anchor/Reporter, KWCH 12 News (Moderator)

  • Dorothy Tucker, NABJ President & Investigative Reporter, WBBM-TV (Panelist)

  • Bonita Gooch, Editor-in-Chief, The Community Voice (Panelist)

  • Glenn Rice, Investigative Reporter, The Kansas City Star (Panelist)

  • Carla Eckles, Director of Organizational Culture, KMUW (Panelist)

12:30 – 1:30 PM | Making the Leap | Grand Eagle Ballroom C

Panelists will provide valuable insights on successfully transitioning from the newsroom to other media-related fields while still utilizing their journalism skills. Their diverse paths and ability to adapt to new roles showcase the importance of remaining true to journalistic roots.

  • Akeam Ashford, Chief Communications Officer, Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System (Moderator)

  • Adia Ludwig, Communications Director, USD 261 (Panelist)

  • Braxton Jones, Multimedia Content Producer, Textron Aviation (Panelist)

  • Brandy Evans, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Wichita (Panelist)


1:30 – 2:30 PM | From Breaking News to Breaking Point | Grand Eagle Ballroom D

During our luncheon, we will address the significance of taking mental health breaks, particularly when handling sensitive journalism topics. We will also explore useful methods to ensure that we prioritize our well-being.

  • Eddie Randle, Morning Anchor, KSN-TV (Moderator)

  • Monica Randle, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Mental Wealth Works (Panelist)

  • J. Michelle Vann, Founder and CEO, Vantastic Solutions (Panelist)

  • Sia Nyorkor, NABJ Parliamentarian & Anchor/Reporter, Cleveland 19 News (Panelist)


2:45 – 3:45 PM | Financially Fit | Grand Eagle Ballroom C

Looking to level up your financial management skills to meet your current and future needs? JR Mortgage Group‘s Ramona Chapman, one of the youngest Black lenders in the nation, presents straightforward and effective steps to help you budget your finances and boost your credit score.                                                                                                                    

  • Ramona Chapman, Co-founder/Loan Officer, JR Mortgage Group (Speaker)

2:45 – 3:45 PM | Shoot Your Best Shot | Grand Eagle Ballroom A

Learn how to expertly capture depth and emotion through the lens with Lester Rowe, a skilled film producer and owner of aRowe Films.

  • Lester Rowe, Film Producer, aRowe Films (Speaker)

2:45  – 3:45 PM | Digital U | Grand Eagle Ballroom B

These award-winning journalists recognize the importance of meeting deadlines and utilizing digital media. They excel at engaging audiences, whether it’s through on-air or online platforms. Additionally, they have a talent for recognizing when it’s essential to keep the camera rolling and capture significant events.

  • Angela Smith, NABJ Region II Director & Digital Content Manager, KWCH 12 News (Panelist)

  • Tre’vell Anderson, NABJ Region IV Director & Journalist, Authoress, Podcaster (Panelist)

  • Ken Lemon, NABJ VP-Broadcast & Reporter, WSOC-TV (Panelist)

  • Sia Nyorkor, NABJ Parliamentarian & Anchor/Reporter, Cleveland 19 News (Panelist)

4:00 – 5:00 PM | Black in the Newsroom | Grand Eagle Ballroom D

A white homeowner shoots 16-year-old Ralph Yarl after the Black teen arrives at the wrong address to pick up his siblings. Days later, the public awaits potential charges.

Cedric Lofton, a Black teen suffering a mental health crisis, dies in custody at the hands of juvenile justice workers after he was taken to a detention center instead of the hospital.

When do we show mug shots and what is the value of using them?

Valuable Perspectives: Carla Eckels, Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW, sits down with Mará Rose Williams, assistant managing editor for race & equity.

  • Carla Eckels, Director of Organizational Culture, KMUW 

  • Mará Rose Williams, Assistant Managing Editor for Race & Equity Issues, The Kansas City Star 

5:30 PM | Closing Remarks


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