An Indiana native with a background in journalism has been tapped to lead the Indiana State Bar Association.
The ISBA announced today that Joe Skeel, executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists and a former executive director of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, has been named as its new executive director.
Skeel will take over for Thomas Pyrz, who is retiring Jan. 5, 2018, after leading the association for more than 25 years. Unlike Pyrz, Skeel is not an attorney and does not have a law degree, but ISBA president Mitchell Heppenheimer said the new executive director has the skills to grow the association.
“This is an exciting hire for all Indiana lawyers,” Heppenheimer said in a statement. “After an exhaustive national search with many outstanding candidates, Joe stood out for his understanding of the need to recruit and retain members and we are confident that he will be an asset in the legal community as it meets the changes and challenges of the practice of law in the future.”
A native of Johnson County, Skeel completed his studies in journalism and public relations at Ball State University. He worked at community newspapers in Indiana then in 2004, joined SPJ and in 2009 was named executive director. The Society is the nation’s largest and most broad-based members association for journalists.
“I am extremely excited and honored by the opportunity to serve the Indiana State Bar Association,” Skeel said. “I recognize that I have giant shoes to fill, as nobody can replace Tom and his contributions over the past 25 years. He and past volunteers have created a great foundation on which to build.”