LPA's executive director retires
Pam Mitchell, CAE, the long-term executive director of the Louisiana Press Association, has retired.
LPA President Garland Forman said: "While we wish Pam well as she begins this next chapter in her life, I know that I speak for all of our members who will miss her tenacity, her dry wit, and her exemplary leadership which has brought the LPA to where it is today – a strong, fiscally sound association with 120 members from around the state."
Mitchell was named executive director in October 1992, having served as advertising director for the LPA from 1988-1989. During her 26 years of service, Mitchell coordinated the association's legislative/lobbying efforts and was a relentless and extremely effective proponent for keeping the public informed through public records and open meetings laws. She also quadrupled advertising placement sales for the LPA members.
Mitchell's tenure spanned the dramatic evolution of the newspaper industry due to the introduction of the internet in the 1990s and significant consolidation of newspaper ownership across the country. She helped newspapers understand and adapt to the internet and even created an innovative system to load all legal notices into a searchable, online database. Mitchell was awarded the President's Award in 1997 and again in 2006 at those respective LPA annual conventions.
Mitchell's dedication was never more apparent than in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The LPA staff, under her leadership, worked diligently to help their newspaper members who were impacted by the storms.
The LPA Foundation, conceived and ushered in by Mitchell, continues to support journalism education and member newspaper needs in times of disaster.
Miles Forrest, a former president of LPA, and Mitch Droge, the assistant executive director, will direct and oversee the day-to-day management of the organization and Mitchell will serve in a consulting capacity to the organization.
Forrest noted, "Pam has been the heart and soul of LPA for many years. She will be sorely missed. We are fortunate that she has agreed to help us through the transition and wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement."