Meet the Board: Bill Hanson

Bill Hanson (Center) at the 2016 20 Under 40 celebration with Executive Director Mark Eddy and IU Southeast Chancellor Ray Wallace.

Where are you from, and how long have you lived/worked in Southern Indiana?
I am from Nebraska. I have been in Southern Indiana since February 2010.

What is your current job position and where?
I am senior publisher for Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. with responsibilities at newspapers in Kentucky as well as my home newspaper, the News and Tribune, which serves readers in Clark and Floyd counties.

Please describe your professional journey—where you started to where you are now.
My newspaper career began in 1984. I took my first position as a sports/agriculture/crime reporter at a small weekly newspaper in West Point, Nebraska. Since I have made stops in Wyoming, South Dakota and Kentucky before moving to Indiana in 2010. I have been a reporter, editor, advertising sales associate, advertising director, general manager and a publisher during my 32-year career.

What was your LeadershipSI experience like? Why did you get involved?
As noted, I have traveled a great deal for my work. As such, I moved to Indiana not knowing a soul. LeadershipSI made all the difference for a guy who had no contacts but needed them. Through LeadershipSI, I cultivated some really great relationships – and friendships – that I hold dear. I can safely say the human resources I gained through my classmates have made my work as publisher at the News and Tribune far easier than it would have been otherwise.

What are some favorite moments with LeadershipSI?
The Team Challenges at Wooded Glen were fun and helped me get to know classmates more easily. Sitting on the board has been rewarding as well because I have been able to have a small hand in the future of LeadershipSI. Probably the best thing has been the relationships I’ve developed with classmates and board members. There are few public events I go to these days where I don’t see a friendly face in the crowd. That’s comforting.

Why is LeadershipSI important to the region and its professionals?
Leadership skills may come naturally to some but they need to be developed. Taking part in LeadershipSI sponsored events helps leaders hone their skills. Simply communicating with other leaders makes us better at what we do whether you’ve been in a leadership role for 3 years or 30.

Do you have any advice for current LeadershipSI participants?
Enjoy the ride. Get to know your classmates. Find common ground with others so you can take your “connection” beyond the nine-month class in which you’ve enrolled. Your classmates will provide resources far beyond graduation if you let them.

What are some of your community involvement activities?
I am currently a board member with LeadershipSI. I was Vice Chair in 2016. I am on the board of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. I am an Elder at Eastside Christian Church in Jeffersonville. I am on the committee for the Power of Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Gala which has raised more than $120,000 for cancer education and awareness in four years.