Association for Communication Excellence
in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences
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"ACE offers everything I seek in a professional development organization: relevant and engaging professional development activities; access to a network of expert colleagues; an open, collaborative and supportive atmosphere; and opportunities for peer review and recognition of my work.”
Jennifer Alexander — Oregon State University
Kay Ledbetter lives in Amarillo, Texas, where she is the communications specialist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Amarillo and Vernon, as well as two departments on the Texas A&M University campus – Ecosystem Science and Management and Soil and Crop Sciences.
Being more than 500 miles away from the Texas A&M University campus, Kay is responsible for not only for writing news releases and working with print and electronic media, but taking photos, shooting video, providing editing assistance for the AgriLife Communications statewide news team, overseeing websites in Amarillo and Vernon, and producing displays, newsletters, brochures, and presentations.
Additionally, she helps coordinate and cover field days and meetings, develops specialized marketing efforts as a part of the technical transfer team for various federal initiatives, and conducts media relations training programs to help agents, specialists and researchers understand their role in media relations.
Many of these skills have been learned or developed as a member of ACE, which she joined in 2005. She is currently serving as her state representative and on the 2014 ACE Conference planning committee. She is a past chair of the Writing and Media Relations SIGs, and was the recipient of the Award of Excellence for the Media Relations SIG in 2011.
Steve Miller began as senior editor at University of Wyoming Extension in 2005 and joined ACE that year. Miller had worked as a reporter, photographer, designer, editor, and managing editor at newspapers in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
He returned to college in 2003 to obtain a teaching certificate. Miller then accepted an editor position at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He received his master’s degree in communication in 2010.
Miller has served as ACE state representative for Wyoming from 2008 to present and as Writing SIG vice chair in 2012 and chair in 2013. He was a member of the 2008-2009 ACE Leadership Institute and has attended ACE national conferences in Quebec City, Albuquerque, Traverse City, Des Moines, St. Louis, Denver, Annapolis, and Indianapolis.
Miller is a member of the planning committee for the 2014 conference in Portland.
ChaNae Bradley has served as a public information specialist in the Agricultural Communications Department at Fort Valley State University since December 2008. Prior to her career in communication, she served as editor-in-chief of Albany State University’s award winning student newspaper, The Student Voice, while simultaneously serving as publication assistant for Albany State University’s Office of University Communications.
As a college newspaper editor and writer, she received awards and recognition from the Georgia College Press Association and the Black College Communication Association. In addition to her communication background, Bradley has held positions with non-profits such as the American Red Cross and United Way. She also served as a writer for the Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office.
In 2011, she joined ACE and currently serves as vice chair elect of the Media Relations SIG and as a member of the Writing SIG. Bradley holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a concentration in print journalism from Albany State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia College and State University.
The Hinesville, Georgia native is a member of Beulah Land Bible Church, where she is active in the media ministry. In her spare time she enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with family and friends.
Elizabeth Gregory North
Elizabeth Gregory North currently serves as head of Agricultural Communications for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. She provides strategic communications leadership for Extension and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine and manages a unit of more than 30 professionals working in media relations, educational publishing, graphic design and photography, television and radio production, and printing, distribution, and inventory management.
Previously, she held various positions related to communications leadership, marketing and branding, social media, and educational publishing with Texas A&M AgriLife, including serving as Extension communications leader and brand manager for the creation of the Texas A&M AgriLife brand. She led organizational marketing and identity programs for Extension and the Experiment Station, planned and led marketing campaigns for Extension educational programs, and provided marketing and communications training to personnel, volunteers, and 4-H’ers.
At the national level, she served as communications consultant to the National 4-H Strategic Planning Process, as co-leader for the National 4-H Discovery Team for Communications and Marketing, and as a member of the National 4-H Brand Review Team. Most recently, she served on the ECOP Communications and Marketing Task Force and led the implementation phase of the National Extension Branding Initiative. Currently, she serves on the eXtension Communications and Marketing Advisory Committee, as communications leader for the Cooperatives Community of Practice, and as co-leader for the Extension Brand Value Community of Practice.
Her work has been recognized with national awards from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, as well as agency awards. She is also a member of the American Marketing Association and the Public Relations Society of America.
In ACE, Elizabeth has received the ACE Pioneer Award, the Outstanding Professional Skill Award in Marketing and Media Relations, in Diversity, and in Publishing, the Award of Excellence in Marketing, various ACE C&A awards and the ACE Professional Award. She has served on various committees and task forces.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR-ELECT
Tobie Blanchard is an associate communications specialist with the LSU AgCenter. Blanchard has been with the AgCenter for 12 years and serves as the unit’s broadcast reporter. Before joining the AgCenter, she worked in commercial television news as an anchor and reporter.
Blanchard is a graduate of the ACE Leadership Institute and the AgCenter’s Internal Leadership Program. She has served on the ACE Professional Development Committee, Web Development and Management Committee and the ACE Leadership Institute and Management Evaluation Team.
She is member of the Electronic Media and Photography SIG, Leadership and Management SIG and the Media Relations SIG. She has won numerous ACE awards for her work in video and audio news and features and media relations campaigns.
Blanchard holds a bachelor and master’s degree from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications.
Beth Raney serves eXtension as professional development leader, and is part of the IT Unit at Penn State's College of Ag Sciences. She provides professional development for Cooperative Extension faculty and staff on the use of eXtension developed and supported information technologies such as collaboration spaces within eXtension, Ask an Expert (AaE), working with AaE Question Wranglers, and Learn for aggregating web-based learning opportunities.
A member of ACE since 1991, Beth's involvement has included participation on national conference program committees, chair of the professional development committee and membership committee, and member of the Technology Advisory Committee.
She has served as liaison to the NETC Steering Committee, as Pennsylvania's state representative, and SIG chair for Information Technology and for Teaching & Training. She received the Pioneer award, and ACE Award of Excellence from both Information Technology and for Distance Education & Instructional Design SIGs.
Beth is currently vice president of the Alpha Omicron chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi in Pennsylvania. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Beth likes to jazzercise, is clerk of session for her church, and part of the Centre County 4-H Program Council
Members may login and vote by March 7.