Executive Board



Leisa Richardson, President

The Indianapolis Star Senior Assistant Editor/Metro

Leisa is a news industry veteran with more than 30 years of newsroom experience. She has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Virginia–including USA Today. At The Indianapolis Star, Richardson leads the Metro team, responsible for setting strategy for local news coverage and is among a team of leaders who plan and determine overall coverage for online and the newspaper. She previously was an assistant metro editor, bureau chief and news recruiter/trainer at the newspaper. Leisa serves on the board of directors for UNITY Journalists of Color which is made up of the four professional journalism groups representing Native-American, Hispanic, Asian and African-American journalists and is a former board member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press, Gannett and she was named Journalist of the Year for the former NABJ Region VI. The Anderson, Ind., native studied journalism at Ball State University and the business of the industry at Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. [Contact Leisa]

Hyacinth Williams-Rucker, Vice President – Broadcast

WISH-TV Internet Content Producer

Hyacinth Williams was born and raised in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.
She graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001.
Hyacinth’s 9 years in the TV industry has taken her all over the country.
She landed her first job as a morning producer at KEYE, the CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas.
Less than 2 years later she accepted a morning producer position at a start up 24-hour news station called News 9 San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas.

After just one and a half years on the air the owners of the TV station decided to shut down the station.
A short time later, Hyacinth moved to Baltimore, Maryland to work at News Central. She produced a national newscast that aired in all Sinclair’s local markets across the country.

She decided to

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move a little closer to home in 2005 by moving to Omaha, Nebraska to produce the 9 p.m. newscast at Fox affiliate, KPTM.

In Omaha, she made the transition from on-air to online. Not only was she promoted to Executive Producer, but she was also promoted to Executive Producer of KPTM.com. She later worked exclusively as the Executive Producer of KPTM.com where she anchored her own newscast that was posted to the Web site twice daily. She was also responsible for updating all the local and national content.

In 2007, Hyacinth landed a job as the Internet Content Producer of WISHTV.com in Indianapolis. She’s responsible for keeping the Web site

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updated with local content, adding video to stories, live streaming local and national events, updating social networking sites daily, and working with reporters and anchors to post their stories to the Web site, she also works with sister stations to share content in the Indiana area.

Hyacinth is married to Michael Rucker and they have two sons, Jayden and Chase. In her time away from the job she truly enjoys hanging out with her family, shopping, watching movies, and exercising. [Contact Hyacinth]

Kim L. Hooper, Treasurer

Indianapolis Public Schools Assistant Director of School and Community Relations

Kim L. Hooper is a professional communicator having 20 years experience working in media as an award-winning reporter and editor for The Indianapolis Recorder and Indianapolis Star newspapers. She currently is the assistant director of School and Community Relations for Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana’s largest school district. Kim is an Indianapolis native and a proud product of IPS (Broad Ripple High School ’82). She holds degrees from Tennessee State University in Nashville and strives to meet the mandates of her two alma maters: “Broader Richer Human Service” and to “Think, Work and Serve.” [Contact Kim]

Michael Dabney, Parliamentarian

Freelance Journalist/Author

Michael is an award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in numerous local and national publications, such as The Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Indianapolis Business Journal, EBONY magazine, BlackEnterprise.com, AP and UPI. A former president of the IABJ, Michael is a member of several writer groups including the National Association of Black Journalists, Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. His short story, “The Missing CD,” is one of 15 stories in the anthology BEDLAM AT THE BRICKYARD, published in the

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Kimberly Wells, Historian

News Anchor /Air Personality, Radio One-Indianapolis
Producer /Correspondent, “Operation Breadbasket presents Harambee”, ECF Media

Kimberly is an award-winning broadcaster who has worked in various aspects of media for over 20 years including print, radio and television on the local, statewide and national network levels. A former radio news director, she has covered news, sports and dee-jayed in her professional career. This Chicago native got her start in professional journalism in a

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program at The Chicago Tribune. Her reports have been heard on NPR station, WAJC; WTBU; WTPI; WNJY; CBS Radio Network; WIBC; Network Indiana; American Urban Radio Network and The Associated Press Radio Network. Her work has also appeared in The Indianapolis Recorder, The Indiana Herald and The Word. A journalism alumnus of Butler University, she is also an HIV/AIDS advocate and has worked diligently to spread messages of HIV prevention, education, stigma reduction and health through her writings and on the front line of counseling, testing and philanthropic efforts focusing on communities of color, faith communities, women and girls. She is a member

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DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Immediate Past President
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