Merwin Led the Way for Women in INBA

  July 29 would have been the 90th birthday of INBA’s first female member of the Board of Directors.
   Madelyn R. Merwin was doing news at WJOL in Joliet when she was elected to the INBA Board in 1961.  She served one year, and then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where she worked for The National Horseman magazine, and then in the WHAS radio and TV newsrooms.  There she was again the first woman. And again, when she returned to Illinois, she was the first woman named an Associate Editor at the Star Newspapers in Chicago Heights.  She retired in 1990, but continued to write a travel column and travel features.  She died in 2011 at age 87.
   
The next woman on the INBA Board was Zona Davis, who was elected to the relatively new position of “Recorder” in 1970.  Zona was on the air at WCRA in Effingham, and was the mother of INBA Lifetime Member Paul Davis.  She served one year.
   
In 1973, Ann Anderson of WGIL in Galesburg was elected to the Board, which expanded from four to nine members (not including officers).  Kathy McFarland of WSIU in Carbondale joined Ann in 1974, and Marge Kumaki (WTAX) and Barbara Schleck (WILL) came on in 1975.  Anderson became INBA’s first female president in 1978. By then she was at WCIA-TV in Champaign.  Now Ann Anderson Mustard, she lives in New Delhi, but has been one of INBA’s strongest supporters in recent years, making generous donations and attending many conventions.
  Several women have served as President since then – including 4 during the past 10 years: Michelle Eccles, Melissa Hahn, Jennifer Fuller and now Sue Stephens.   The gender balance of the board shifted for the first time in 2008, with 4 female officers and 5 board members for a total of 9.  The current board has 8 females and 7 males.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Ryan Denham

“I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.”

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

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