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October 20, 2013

Newsmakers: Oct. 20, 2013

Terre Haute native Vicki Weger has been inducted into the Indiana Association Broadcasters Pioneers Hall of Fame in Indianapolis. The award recognizes broadcasters born in the Hoosier state and whose body of work sets them apart in the field of broadcast journalism.

Weger has worked as a field producer for television network news for the past 30 years. She was nominated for the award and introduced at the ceremony by Joseph Angotti, executive producer of NBC Nightly News.

Weger told the IAB audience she learned television from her father, Harry Weger, whose show, “The Big Ten Western Feature,” was the first show televised on WTHI-TV in Terre Haute. As a small child, she accompanied her dad to his show and became fascinated with the workings of the world of television.

Her father also was a performer with Grand Ole Opry shows in Nashville, Tenn., and she sang with him as they traveled across the country, performing with artists like Roger Miller, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.

In 1978 she began freelancing as a newspaper, radio and TV journalist and in 1982, she was hired as assignments editor at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute. As she continued to grind out local stories across 20 counties in western Indiana and eastern Illinois, WTHI’s ratings continued to climb.

Weger became managing editor and continued on the assignments desk. She also did freelance work for the networks and was elected president of the Associated Press Indiana Broadcasters.

Her stories took her to most European countries covering the NATO meeting with President Ronald Reagan. She sailed with the Belgian Navy to salvage a capsized ship of uranium hexafluoride in the North Sea and generated stories from Poland, Sweden, South Africa and the Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Weger also reported on U.S. stories including the O.J. Simpson trial, Hurricane Andrew and the arrest of the Unabomber. In 1999 she moved to Chicago as a full-time freelance producer for The PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Religion & Ethics on PBS, both NBC Nightly News and The Today Show, and ABC’s Good Morning America.

Others inducted into the Hall of Fame were Robert Carter (posthumously) (television’s “Sammy Terry” on WTTV’s “Shock Theatre” — later “Nightmare Theatre”; Donald Davidson, Indianapolis Motor Speedway statistician and historian and broadcaster beginning his 50th year at the Speedway; Jim Wilson (posthumously), sportscaster and Indy pit announcer for Indy Car racing ABC TV, CBS TV, AND TVS; and Lloyd Wright, president and CEO of WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis, and oversees Indiana’s flagship PBS and NPR member stations.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett was elected as the first vice president of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. He will take office Jan. 1.

The IACT is a coalition of municipal officials who seek to improve the quality of life in Indiana through effective government, and is a member of the National League of Cities. Founded in 1891, IACT is one of the oldest state municipal organizations in the country, with 470 cities and towns as members. IACT advocates for municipalities as the official voice of municipal government in Indiana and promotes good government through education, training and leadership.

Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has appointed Ken Brengle, president and CEO of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, to vice chair the West Board of Regents. As vice chair of the board, Brengle will help implement the policies created by the institute’s national board of trustees.

“A strong Board of Regents is essential to Institute’s success,” said Raymond P. Towle, the U.S. Chamber’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These volunteers drive site attendance, provide recommendations for program improvement, and serve as an on-site resource for Institute participants.”

Since its commencement in 1921, the institute program has educated tens of thousands of association, chamber and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members, and become strong business advocates. The institute’s five boards of regents serve on behalf of the national board of trustees. Each board of regents is responsible for recruitment, retention and marketing of the program nationwide. Each regent is an Institute graduate nominated by their peers, and will serve for a designated term of up to two years.

Starting in 1977, Brengle has held numerous leadership positions within the institute program. Brengle graduated from Colorado Institute at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., in 1982 and has served on the West Institute Board of Regents since 2010.

Colleen O’Brien has been named director of finance and chief financial officer of the Indiana State University Foundation.

O’Brien brings a wealth of accounting and finance experience to the organization with more than 12 years of non-profit financial and accounting leadership, foundation President Ron Carpenter said.

In her new role with the foundation, O’Brien will oversee the finance operations of the organization as well as work with the investment, audit and finance committees of the foundation board of directors.

Previously, O’Brien served as a senior accountant and consultant for Financial Technologies and Management, an Indianapolis-based accounting and consulting firm. She has also served as chief financial officer for the Children’s Bureau of Indianapolis.

The Medical Group Management Association has awarded Michael J. Sacopulos, JD, founder and president of Medical Risk Institute and partner at Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos in Terre Haute, the 2013 Edward B. Stevens Article of the Year Award.

The award recognizes a medical practice professional who has made a “substantial contribution” to the body of published literature to foster more effective and efficient health care delivery in the field of medical practice management.

Sacopulos’ article, “5 Unexpected Ways to Get Sued” was published in the MGMA Connexion magazine in September 2012. In the article, Sacopulos focuses on unexpected ways health care professionals can be sued and where the risks originate.

The Medical Risk Institute provides proactive counsel to the health care community to identify where liability risks originate, and to reduce or remove these risks. For more than 20 years, as a defense attorney, Sacopulos has helped health care professionals develop strategies and techniques to avoid medical liability claims. Sacopulos has written dozens of articles and speaks nationally on malpractice and privacy issues.

He attended Harvard College, London School of Economics and Indiana University/Purdue University School of Law. For more information, visit www.medriskinstitute.com/leadership.

Medical Group Management Association is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices.

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