AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program Class of 2012


At this year’s Executive Leadership Program Introductory Session, 18 participants learned to identify and sharpen their career dreams and goals, overcome obstacles, perform under pressure, negotiate and establish a personal brand.   The attendees took part in interactive discussions and role-playing scenarios to analyze and better adapt in challenging workplace situations. Workplace issues were addressed directly and problem-solved by the group. Additionally, they were able to engage in candid discussions with industry leaders about the ever-evolving media landscape.

Speakers at this year’s program included Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, NBCUniversal; Marcy McGinnis, Associate Dean, School of Journalism, Stony Brook University; Wes Hom, Vice President, National Board Member, ASCEND; and Wade Loo, Co-President of ASCEND-Northern California Chapter.

“It will be hard to forget my ELP training. I learned so much! The intense experience allowed me to take ownership of my strengths and weaknesses as a journalist, to deftly control challenges that stand in the way of our passions and to visualize what it  means to become a leader,” said Raymund Flandez, a 2012 ELP graduate. “Most of all, I loved the stimulating conversations that took place during and after with my fellow colleagues. I never knew four days could create such a tight-knit group.”

The ELP Class of 2012, (above) from left : Helin Jung, Anny Hong, Linille Joy Abella, Tomoko Hosaka, Raymund Flandez, Thailan Pham, Philip Yam, Shirley Wang, Sona Patel, Charles Chris Chiang, Maria Sandoval, Jack Chang, Ryan Yamamoto, Connie Yu, Dean Chang, Hana Karar, Daniel Yang and Philip Kim

About the Executive Leadership Program Co-Directors

Bob Der (AAJA-New York) is Managing Editor and Publisher of Sports Illustrated Kids and Time for Kids, overseeing the strategic direction and editorial execution of the two leading brands in children’s media. His responsibilities include working with editors, writers and designers, as well as overseeing all sales and marketing efforts for products that include print magazines, websites, books and licensed goods.  He previously worked for The Wall Street Journal in college and then went on to work for CBS Sports. During his time at Time Inc., Sports Illustrated’s parent company, he has won two Time Inc. President’s Awards as a part of efforts to promote diversity within the company.  Der has been an AAJA member since 2004 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New York University.

Justin Tejada (AAJA-New York) is the Assistant Managing Editor of Sports Illustrated Kids, overseeing the day-to-day operations across its editorial properties of the magazine, tablet editions, books and website. He organizes the lineup for each issue of the magazine, assigns stories to editors and top edits content.  In addition, Tejada is responsible for much of SI Kids’ lifestyle coverage, including the popular “Gotta Get It Guide.”  He has been at SI Kids for 13 years, starting as an intern, and has served in a number of different editorial roles during that time. Prior to joining SI Kids, he was an editorial assistant at BoatU.S. Magazine.  Tejada has been an AAJA member since 2009 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

About the Executive Leadership Program

AAJA established ELP to help Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders navigate the challenges of newsroom leadership, thus expanding the diversity of media management. In AAJA’s keystone program, participants identify their cultural values — which can be assets, as well as liabilities to effective leadership performance. The ELP Introductory Session is a four-day program that defines success, sets individual career goals and helps participants understand cultural values and their relationship to professional success in the corporate environment.

The ELP Advanced Session is a one-day follow-up training to continue management development and networking with other ELP graduates.

More than 400 journalists have graduated from ELP since its founding in 1995 by Dinah Eng, a former AAJA National President. Learn more about Dinah Eng and the Dinah Eng Leadership Fellowship.

In a survey for the program’s 10th anniversary in 2005, 55 percent of ELP graduates reported they received at least one promotion at their company or at a new company after completing the program. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed attributed their success to the program’s training.