Congratulations to Tom McKee of the Cincinnati Pro Chapter of SPJ for being named our May Volunteer of the Month! McKee was nominated for the honor by Hagit Limor and James Pilcher. Limor had this to say about McKee:
Tom McKee is one of Cincinnati’s longest-tenured and most decorated journalists, but he really hadn’t gotten involved with the SPJ board until the last 2-3 years.
And his has been an introduction by fire. Soon after agreeing to serve as vice-president, Tom was thrust into the top job of the local chapter in February with the abrupt departure of the previous president.
But through his tireless efforts, his enthusiasm, and his collaborative leadership style, Tom has not only stabilized our chapter but has grown it and taken it further than it has been in years.
Since taking over, we have held at least five events, grown and improved our “Lunch with the Pros” sessions at local colleges and universities, increased membership, and had fun in the process. And he has stabilized and grown our board, a big feat unto itself.
We often get emails from Tom time-stamped well after midnight. He is full of ideas, but he also welcomes others’ ideas as well and is just as enthusiastic about those.
McKee has worked in broadcast journalism for more than three decades, all of it with WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. He interned from Ohio University in 1973, was hired full-time in 1974 by legendary newsman Al Schottelkotte and has been a reporter, producer, assignment manager and now multi-media journalist.
One of the most challenging stories he covered was after being held hostage during the 1980 takeover of WCPO-TV by a gunman who’d just shot his girlfriend to death. All nine employees were released unharmed.
McKee is the recipient of an Emmy Award, numerous awards in Ohio SPJ contests along with Greater Cincinnati SPJ contest recognition.
The highest honor was the 2012 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Coverage on Television. It stemmed from a series of 30 candidate profiles where citizens asked questions of politicians.
After serving for several years as Vice-President of the Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter, McKee assumed the role as President in March of 2013.
Thanks, Tom, for your hard work and dedication! You set the bar high for other SPJ volunteers. We’re proud to have you as a member!
Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer who deserves recognition? Email membership chair Dana Neuts with your nomination.