It’s election time at AWSM, and for your consideration in the election for is Stef Loh.
The two-year term tenure for Amy Moritz passes at the Chicago convention, where she will become chair of the board. In anticipation of that transition, AWSM needs to elect a new president.
Stef has been a member of the AWSM board for two years handling digital media. As VP/Digital, she conceived and produced several webinars last year on various topics relating to women in sports media.
A sportswriter at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. — which won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for its coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal — she is energetic and ready to lead AWSM through the opportunities and challenges in the next few years. Please take a moment to look over Stef’s letter to members that is posted below.
I’d like to run for the presidency because I see it as a way to give back to an organization that has done more for me than I could ever quantify.
I’ve always believed that AWSM’s greatest strength is its membership. We’re more than just advocates for women in sports media, we’re a support network for one another in what can often, even in 2012, be a distinctly male world. But beyond that, we’ve always set out to help upcoming generations of women find their way into our field, and I believe it’s important that they cycle continues.
Through this organization, I’ve met women whose bylines I respected long before I had faces to put to the names. Over time, many of these women have become mentors and friends. At every juncture of my career, they’ve been there for me. For support, for counsel and for friendship.
Our membership numbers have dipped in recent years — a product of a number of factors, including the recession that put thousands of journalists out of work and probably gave college students cause to think twice about getting into a profession that currently offers little stability.
Yet, hundreds of us remain, determined to persevere in sports journalism because this is the only job we’ve ever wanted.
Over the next couple of years, I believe it’s extremely important for AWSM to reach out to all these women and get our membership numbers back to what they were before.
That will be my primary focus if you elect me as your next president.
In addition, I want to expand our presence on college campuses by building a network of AWSM chapters across the country. It we can help young women jump-start their careers by finding strong mentors early on, we’ll all be better off in the long run.
I think it’s also important for AWSM to establish ourselves more as an organization that drives the conversation about women in sports. As a newcomer to the AWSM board last spring, I initiated a series of webinars about issues ranging from female pioneers to homosexuality in sports. The goal was to help develop conversations and raise awareness about issues that aren’t often discussed in the regular sports landscape. Going forward, I’d like for us to continue these dialogues, and to use our website as a vehicle to keep the issues that women face in sports alive throughout the year.
Finally, I also believe in continuing education. Our membership includes some of the best and the brightest in our profession. We have people skilled in everything from covering the Olympics to web design and I think we could all stand to pick up new skills from our colleagues regardless of where we are in our careers.
So I’d like to also come up with ways for us to share our expertise with one another beyond the workshops at the annual convention. With the Internet, there are a ton of different ways that we could do that. The webinar model, for instance, is something we could explore, and, if we get enough interest, we could also revive the regional meetup groups we’ve had on and off over the years.
I’m not a member of the pioneer generation of women’s sportswriters. I have yet to crack into a major market, and in the grand scheme of things, I’m just starting out in my career.
But I believe that I have the energy, the drive, and the heart to lead AWSM into the future. And I say that knowing, as always, that I’ll be able to count on the advice, support and experience of all the amazing women within our membership.
I’d be honored to be your next president, if you’ll have me.