Virginia Business publisher named to Virginia Communications Hall of Fame

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Bernie Niemeier

Bernie Niemeier, the publisher and owner of Virginia Business magazine, has been named to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at VCU will induct seven communications professionals into the hall of fame at an awards ceremony on March 29 at the Altria Theater.

The award recognizes communications professionals with exceptional careers in advertising, journalism, public relations, new media and other media fields, and who have made outstanding long-term contributions in the field of communications and who were either born in Virginia or became distinctively identified with Virginia.

“The seven new laureates being inducted this year have all made tremendous contributions to the field of communications, and it will be a privilege to honor them at our Hall of Fame event, Montse Fuentes, dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences, said in a statement.

Niemeier has more than 40 years of experience in the publishing business, including 17 on the corporate staff of now-defunct Richmond-based Media General Inc. In September 2009, Niemeier led a private-equity-funded purchase of Virginia Business magazine from Media General. In 2017, he acquired full ownership of the magazine and is now its sole owner.

Virginia Business is the only statewide publication dedicated to covering economic activity and business news in every region of the state. Since it began publishing in 1986, the magazine has won many state and national awards. Since 2010, the magazine has won more than 20 national awards including several for Niemeier for editorial writing.

The other inductees are:

Joseph Cortina, founding partner and creative director of Cortina Productions in McLean.  A media design and production company, it creates interactive multimedia for museums such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Newseum and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Pamela K. El, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the National Basketball Association. El is responsible for the NBA’s global marketing operation, directing brand development, overall marketing and advertising for the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League.

Jane Gardner, a retired award-winning health reporter and local news anchor who worked in Roanoke, her hometown of Richmond and in Norfolk. During her television career, Gardner won seven national and eight state broadcast journalism awards and numerous other honors for community service.

Gene Herrick, a retired photographer for The Associated Press, who documented major news stories of the 20th century, including the civil rights movement and the Korean War, as well as photographing such luminaries as Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis Presley.

Jesse Vaughan, an Emmy Award-winning director and producer, Richmond native and VCU alumnus. Currently, the creative director of the Advance Creative Service Group at Virginia State University, he has won 29 Emmy awards.

Dwayne Yancey, editorial page editor of The Roanoke Times, has more than 30 years of experience in the news industry as a reporter, editor, Virginia political analyst and, more recently, a journalism entrepreneur, helping to launch local news sites and publications for The Roanoke Times. He also is the author of the 1988 book, “When Hell Froze Over:  The Untold Story of Doug Wilder: A Black Politician’s Rise to Power in the South.”

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