David Gordon (chair) is an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he chaired the Communication & Journalism Department from 1997-2002. Earlier, he was a faculty member and administrator at Emerson College in Boston, the University of Miami (FL) and Northwestern University. Dave is the senior author of Controversies in Media Ethics, a textbook now in its third edition. Before entering academia, he spent five years as a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison and three years as an administrative assistant to the city’s mayor. He is the 2016-2017 president of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and co-adviser of the UW-Eau Claire chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Mike Huggins retired as Eau Claire City Manager in 2011 with more than 30 years of senior executive experience in local government management and community planning. He is on the board of Clear Vision Eau Claire, a 501(c)(3) citizen leadership and public engagement organization he helped found in 2007, and serves on the national board of E-Democracy.org. Mike teaches an honors course, “Community Leadership: Moving From Talk to Action,” at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and holds M.A. degrees in public administration and in urban planning from the University of Kansas.
Robbie Joern (shown with her grandson) brings to the Board an extensive list of nonprofit organization experience, with particular interests in homelessness, human trafficking, immigration and poverty. She recently retired as Coordinator of Mission & Outreach at Spirit Lutheran Church, and before the merger that created the church held a similar position at the former First Lutheran Church. Her duties included producing bi-annual “Community Conversations” that covered such topics as Understanding Islam, Bullying Awareness and Racism in the Chippewa Valley.
Sandra McKinney (treasurer) recently retired after serving 13 years as minister at Eau Claire’s Unity Christ Center. In January, 2017, she was elected president of JONAH (Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope), a faith-based organization focused on Chippewa Valley social justice issues. An Eau Claire resident since 1993, she is a past president of Junior League Eau Claire, a member of the Northern Spirit Radio board and the Great Lakes Unity Region board of trustees and was elected to the Eau Claire County Board in April, 2016. Sandra has an associate’s degree in hospitality management from Chippewa Valley Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in business management from Cardinal Stritch University, and a master of divinity degree from the Unity School of Christianity.
Jamie Paige was the founding editor/publisher of the Chippewa Valley Post and spent 18 months setting up and producing the initial website. She left to become press secretary for the 2012 “Vinehout for Governor” campaign in Wisconsin. Earlier, Jamie was a senior reporter and news anchor at WQOW-TV in Eau Claire. She now lives in Los Angeles, CA, where she is one of the co-founders of the CEED Project.
James Peters (vice chair) is director of marketing for United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley, where he manages public relations, communications, marketing and event coordination. He has 20 years of marketing and communications experience in broadcast media and with manufacturing and technology companies. For seven of those years, he provided creative services to a wide range of clients and industries as Factor 4 Creative Services (formerly Six by 9 Creative Productions).
Dick Purves has been production and operations manager for Chippewa Valley Community Television for 19 years and was appointed executive director in 2013. Before joining CVCTV, Dick was a senior computer specialist and manager for Tandy Corporation for 15 years.
Dean Simpson (secretary) has been the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire since 2014. Although he is relatively new to Eau Claire, his parents have lived here for 40 years. His driving concern is the promotion of an ecological spirituality – that is, a deeper identity of people with the earth itself and its life systems, toward a less exploitive and more harmonious human presence. He has three grown children and one grandchild.
Sheng Xiong, a Wausau native, earned her undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication from UW-Eau Claire in 2013 and works as a customer service representative at Hawthorne Aviation. She is a member of Clear Vision Eau Claire’s board and co-chairs its Poverty Summit, which addresses various facets of poverty and income insecurity here. Her passion for community engagement is also evident in her membership in such groups as the Empty Bowls Committee for Feed My People Food Bank. She and her husband live in Eau Claire with Lucky, their Yorkie puppy.