AAN Executive Director Tiffany Shackelford Departs; Jason Zaragoza Named Interim Executive Director

The AAN Board of Directors voted unanimously to name Jason Zaragoza as Interim Executive Director following the departure of Tiffany Shackelford, who has accepted a position with the National Governors Association.

“I am so proud to have been affiliated with such an important group of news organizations that consistently punches above class, and tells the stories that must be told,” said Shackelford in a letter to members. “I have seen what it really means to speak truth to power  you all do it everyday.”

Zaragoza joined AAN in 2008 as coordinator of the AAN Awards and an assistant for AAN CAN, the association’s national classified ad network. Since then, he has served as Editor, Advertising Director, and most recently as Deputy Director of the organization.

“We have the utmost confidence in Jason to lead our organization through this transition,” said AAN President Blair Barna (Charleston City Paper). “In his eight years with AAN, Jason has taken on a number of different responsibilities and has proven himself a valuable asset to our organization.”

AAN also announced that Molly Snead will take over the administration of AAN CAN and assist with the AAN website, its social media accounts, and the AAN Awards. Snead is a Nashville-based staffer of Events Hatched, which has produced the past three AAN conferences in Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Austin. She provided administrative support for the Austin convention and led the effort to introduce electronic voting to the association’s annual meeting.

AAN Vice President Chuck Strouse (Miami New Times) will lead a committee to evaluate the association’s long-term staffing needs. During this period, Zaragoza will manage the organization’s transition to a new accounting firm, work with the AAN Executive Committee to make final revisions to the association’s 2017 budget, and organize AAN’s two upcoming conferences: The Leadership Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and the Digital Conference in Portland, Ore.

“I’m honored that the AAN Board has placed its trust in me to lead the association during this transition and humbled by the number of AAN members who have reached out to offer support,” said Zaragoza. “It’s a reminder that one of AAN’s greatest strengths is its sense of community  the enthusiastic way its members work together, support one another, and inspire each other. Over the next several months, I’ll be talking individually with members and working with the Board to ensure that AAN continues to serve the needs of its members now and in the years to come.”

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