Four AP news service executives named regional director

May 2, 2012
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Dale Leach
Eva Parziale
Kevin Walsh
Michelle Williams
NEW YORK -- Four veteran news service executives have been named regional director at The Associated Press, responsible for leading business development and responding quickly to member and customer needs in changing markets.

The regional directors -- Dale Leach, Eva Parziale, Kevin Walsh and Michelle Williams -- will be AP’s primary liaison with major member groups and commercial entities, lead AP bureau chiefs in each region and address regional issues with colleagues across the AP. They will serve as regional thought-leaders in the industry, staying on top of the cutting edge of media developments and advising members and customers.

The new regional directors will continue to manage their individual state territories.

“These individuals have demonstrated success in leading business as well as news initiatives, working effectively with members and developing new business ideas and approaches to our work,” said Kate Lee Butler, vice president of membership and local markets for the AP. “They have deep involvement in the journalism community.”

The new regional directors and their areas of responsibility are as follows:

Dale Leach, chief of bureau for Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, becomes regional director – Central.

Leach is currently working on a team evaluating expanded business opportunities with governmental and quasi-governmental agencies.  He is also president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Leach went to Dallas as chief of bureau in 2003. In that role, he works closely with A.H. Belo, American Consolidated Media , WEHCO Media and the Southern Newspapers groups. He has been chief of bureau for New Mexico and for Washington state, where he helped organize a series of collaborative projects with newspaper members – including an open records audit across all 39 Washington state counties. He was assistant chief of bureau in Ohio, having served as news editor, when he led coverage of a state savings-and-loan scandal that was a precursor to the national S&L crisis a few years later. An Ohio native, he joined the AP in Columbus in 1981. 

Eva Parziale, chief of bureau for Ohio and Michigan, becomes Regional Director- East.

Before becoming bureau chief for Ohio in 1999, Parziale was director of the AP’s online photo archive and commercial sales, where she oversaw the global launch of what is now known as APImages.com.  Her assignments have included correspondent in Portland, Maine; news editor in Columbia, S.C.; assistant chief of bureau in Kansas City, and bureau chief in Portland, Ore.  She joined the AP in San Francisco in 1984. Parziale is a member of The Ohio Coalition for Open Government and the Journalism Alumni Advisory Board at Bowling Green State University. A native of Euclid, Ohio, she graduated from Bowling Green State University and has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. 

Kevin Walsh, regional vice president, becomes regional director – West. 

Walsh oversees AP’s election sales and marketing to newspapers and worked on the team that developed our regional editing desk structure. He was among four recipients of a special President's Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors for the election night decision not to call Florida and the 2000 presidential race for George W. Bush. He was appointed vice president for AP’s West region in 2005, later adding oversight of the Central region to his responsibilities. In that role, he has been AP’s liaison with Digital First Media, McClatchy, Freedom Communications and Stephens Media.  Walsh was AP’s bureau chief for Florida from 1997 to 2005. Before that, he was chief of bureau for Arizona, and news editor for Maryland and Delaware.  He began his AP career as a reporter in Kansas City. A native of Dallas, Walsh grew up in Arizona and is a graduate of Northern Arizona University.

Michelle Williams, chief of bureau for Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, becomes regional director - South.   

Williams was named South Atlantic bureau chief in 2010. She was part of a team examining the changing roles of bureau chiefs and devised a training program for U.S. administrative assistants supporting chiefs with marketing and sales efforts. She was named bureau chief for Arizona and New Mexico in 2007, and before that was assistant bureau chief for Texas, correspondent in Chattanooga, Tenn., and supervisory correspondent in San Diego. She was Tennessee news editor in 2000 during Al Gore’s presidential run and news editor for Texas during President Bush’s second term and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As a reporter in Milwaukee, she covered serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Williams began her AP career in 1989 as an editorial assistant in Nashville, Tenn. She grew up in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville.

About the AP

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org.

For further information:

Erin Madigan White
Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press
212-621-7005
emadigan@ap.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AP_CorpComm


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