Homemade soup and chili, in addition to homemade banana pudding, brownies and cookies, greeted current and potential Cleveland Media Association members at its annual Souper Bowl meeting Friday.
Traditionally, this is also the same meeting at which the CMA inductes the year’s new officers. This year, Allen Mincey, the vice president of communications at the United Way, remains CMA’s public relations officer. Ryan Faricelli, corporate and field relations coordinator at Life Care Centers of America and immediate past president for CMA, handed over the official gavel to Dr. Joel Kailing, professor of communications and the department chair for the communications arts department at Lee University, making him president for CMA. Heidi Tompkins, communications coordinator for Life Care, is the vice president; Roger Johnson, assistant chief engineer/systems design at Sky Angel, is the secretary; and Julie Jones, an administrator from The Caring Place, is the treasurer.
As last year’s president, Faricelli gave a brief overview of last year’s CMA events and meetings before the new officers were installed. He reminded the audience of the various programs presented last year. In addition to last January’s Souper Bowl, February’s program was on the sex trafficking problem in this area. March’s program was given by city of Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland spoke about the many products made in Cleveland. In April, the Bateman team from Lee University talked about their winning public relations campaign for the United Way; in May, CMA members heard about what is involved in putting together the big event of Riverbend every year. In June, longtime CMA member, Dr. Michael Laney, said his official good-byes to the group; Eddie West, public relations officer for the Cleveland Police Department, spoke at the August meeting. Social media and its uses in publishing was the topic for the September meeting, while October’s conference featured new media. In November, the Alderman Group gave a talk about what is involved in running a political campaign; and in December, at the CMA’s annual Christmas Party, Dan Howell was awarded the annual Excellence in Communications Award.
After the past year-in-review was given, the new officers were officially installed.
Mincey originally hails from Etowah, but has lived in Cleveland since 1998. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University and Cleveland State University, as well as having taken graduate classes at East Tennessee State University and education classes at Tennessee Wesleyan College. He has worked for the United Way of Bradley County for 15 years. Before that, he worked for the Cleveland Daily Banner for 10 years, as well as various other media-related jobs in newspaper and radio. He is also a part-time faculty member at Lee University, teaching a course in public relations for journalistic media, as well as hosting local cable shows.
Faricelli is originally from the Chicago area. He studied film at Columbia College with a focus in screenwriting before moving to Cleveland. He also is the creator of lightscameracleveland.com, a local film community where he is co-host of the weekly podcast Lights Camera Cleveland. He often has been asked to be a guest speaker on social media topics, such as public relations, film, crisis management, citizen journalism and Twitter for the small business. He has served on the CMA board for four years.
Kailing has been a member of Lee University’s communication faculty since 1994, at which time he helped modernize its curriculum and taught most of its courses. Before Lee University, Kailing spent nine years as a pastor in United Methodist churches, as well as serving as a small group leader, Sunday School teacher and a consultant in mission outreach and communication technology. He spent three years as a visiting lecturer at two different universities in Nigeria, West Africa. And, he has published several articles in missions journals and wrote his dissertation on communication factors in the diffusion of Pentecostal Christianity in Eastern Nigeria. Dr. Kailing and his wife Kim have four grown children and have been grandparents since 2003.
Tompkins is originally from Central Florida. She worked for The Orlando Sentinel for two years, after which she attended Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, graduating in 2005 with a bachelor’s in English and a minor in news editorial journalism with a 3.977 GPA. She has worked for Life Care since October 2005 disseminating press releases and Web stories. She served as secretary for the CMA last year. She is a published poet and, in 2011, she had four sonnets place in the top 100 in the Rhyming Poetry category in the 80th annual Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. She also earned an honorable mention Life Care’s PR Daily Awards for the WWII Special Edition of LEADER magazine. In addition, she has had poetry published in The Christian Century, Minas Tirith Evening-Star (the journal of the American Tolkien Society) and Spectrum. She is a member of the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church and produces weekly PowerPoint announcement slides, as well as teaching Sabbath school occasionally.
Johnson hails from Knoxville. He attended both the University of Tennessee and Lee University, with an emphasis in music performance and education. He has worked in the publishing industry for more than 30 years with such groups as Forward in Faith, the radio department of the Church of God, and Mount Paran Church in Atlanta. He also had his own business for more than 20 years installing sound, video and projection systems.
Jones is a graduate of Lee College with a bachelor’s in psychology. She worked in social services before going into business administration. She worked in the purchasing departments of Maytag customer service and Maytag Cleveland Cooking until 1997. In 2003, after being a stay-at-home mom, she started working for the Cleveland city school system. In 2006, Jones started working at The Caring Place. She and her husband, Kevin, have two daughters. The family belongs to the Candies Creek Baptist Church, at which she teaches inductive Bible study.
The CMA meets at 11:45 a.m. the first Friday of every month at the Cleveland-Bradley Public Library.