DeShong is an Emmy award-winning television newscast producer with nearly 15 years in the business. Her experience as a Multimedia journalist has taken her to work in Chicago, St. Louis, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Nairobi, Kenya. She began her career as a researcher for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and then continued to climb up the journalism ladder at NBC affiliates and the Arizona Republic newspaper. DeShong has also spent time as a communications instructor at Phoenix College and a radio news anchor for “Network Indiana.” DeShong currently produces central Indiana’s number one-rated 5:30 p.m. newscast at WTHR-TV. Outside the newsroom, DeShong dedicates her time to helping to educate and expose Indianapolis area girls as the Co-Executive Director of A Girl’s Gift Inc. The Indy-based nonprofit immerses girls in grades 5-9 in hands-on workshops that target topics ranging from science, technology and self esteem, to financial literacy, the arts, and community service. DeShong holds a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University (Chicago), and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana)–both in journalism. She resides in Indianapolis with her husband, Keith, and two daughters. [Contact DeShong]
Leisa is a news industry veteran with more than 30 years of newsroom experience. She has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Virginia–including USA Today. At The Indianapolis Star, Richardson leads the Metro team, responsible for setting strategy for local news coverage and is among a team of leaders who plan and determine overall coverage for online and the newspaper. She previously was an assistant metro editor, bureau chief and news recruiter/trainer at the newspaper. Leisa serves on the board of directors for UNITY Journalists of Color which is made up of the four professional journalism groups representing Native-American, Hispanic, Asian and African-American journalists and is a former board member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press, Gannett and she was named Journalist of the Year for the former NABJ Region VI. The Anderson, Ind., native studied journalism at Ball State University and the business of the industry at Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. [Contact Leisa]
Hyacinth Williams was born and raised in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.
She graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001.
Hyacinth’s 9 years in the TV industry has taken her all over the country.
She landed her first job as a morning producer at KEYE, the CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas.
Less than 2 years later she accepted a morning producer position at a start up 24-hour news station called News 9 San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas.
After just one and a half years on the air the owners of the TV station decided to shut down the station.
A short time later, Hyacinth moved to Baltimore, Maryland to work at News Central. She produced a national newscast that aired in all Sinclair’s local markets across the country.
She decided to move a little closer to home in 2005 by moving to Omaha, Nebraska to produce the 9 p.m. newscast at Fox affiliate, KPTM.
In Omaha, she made the transition from on-air to online. Not only was she promoted to Executive Producer, but she was also promoted to Executive Producer of KPTM.com. She later worked exclusively as the Executive Producer of KPTM.com where she anchored her own newscast that was posted to the Web site twice daily. She was also responsible for updating all the local and national content.
In 2007, Hyacinth landed a job as the Internet Content Producer of WISHTV.com in Indianapolis. She’s responsible for keeping the Web site updated with local content, adding video to stories, live streaming local and national events, updating social networking sites daily, and working with reporters and anchors to post their stories to the Web site, she also works with sister stations to share content in the Indiana area.
Hyacinth is married to Michael Rucker and they have two sons, Jayden and Chase. In her time away from the job she truly enjoys hanging out with her family, shopping, watching movies, and exercising. [Contact Hyacinth]
At a very young age, Tisha cultivated television screens across America on Black Entertainment Television’s “Teen Summit” as a “Posse” member and later Co-Host. It was there, Tisha developed the passion for serving as a voice and face for the hopeless, under-served and disenfranchised communities. After graduating from Virginia Tech, the Brooklyn-native moved back to New York; this time, living in Harlem and producing segments on Fox News Channel’s “At Large with Geraldo Rivera” and “The Big Story Weekend Edition with Rita Cosby.” The news bug bit and Tisha drove cross-country to report and anchor at the NBC station in Bakersfield, CA. Tisha moved from the Golden State to the Sunshine state, to join the NBC station in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she reported and anchored for the station’s evening newscasts. She also anchored the news on the CW’s “The Morning Show” before joining FOX in Indianapolis, where she anchors the weekend evening editions of Fox 59 News. Tisha is passionate about mentorship, community service and believes social media is a unique opportunity to serve and connect with viewers who allow her the opportunity to do what she loves. She’s been an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists since college and looks forward to serving as Secretary of the Indianapolis Association of Black Journalists. [Contact Tisha]
Kim L. Hooper is a professional communicator having 20 years experience working in media as an award-winning reporter and editor for The Indianapolis Recorder and Indianapolis Star newspapers. She currently is the assistant director of School and Community Relations for Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana’s largest school district. Kim is an Indianapolis native and a proud product of IPS (Broad Ripple High School ’82). She holds degrees from Tennessee State University in Nashville and strives to meet the mandates of her two alma maters: “Broader Richer Human Service” and to “Think, Work and Serve.” [Contact Kim]
Kyna has 10 years of experience in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Public Relations from Ball State University. Prior to joining Goodwill, Kyna’s experiences included providing media relations, branding and event marketing for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Department of Tourism, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Indiana Black Expo. In addition, her creativity and attention to detail led her to launch her own bridal and event planning boutique, which has allowed her to produce events for business leaders and professional athletes. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, National Association of Black Journalists and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. [Contact Kyna]
Michael is an award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in numerous local and national publications, such as The Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Indianapolis Business Journal, EBONY magazine, BlackEnterprise.com, AP and UPI. A former president of the IABJ, Michael is a member of several writer groups including the National Association of Black Journalists, Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. His short story, “The Missing CD,” is one of 15 stories in the anthology BEDLAM AT THE BRICKYARD, published in the summer of 2010. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two daughters and their dog, Pluto. [Contact Michael]
Kimberly is an award-winning broadcaster who has worked in various aspects of media for over 20 years including print, radio and television on the local, statewide and national network levels. A former radio news director, she has covered news, sports and dee-jayed in her professional career. This Chicago native got her start in professional journalism in a program at The Chicago Tribune. Her reports have been heard on NPR station, WAJC; WTBU; WTPI; WNJY; CBS Radio Network; WIBC; Network Indiana; American Urban Radio Network and The Associated Press Radio Network. Her work has also appeared in The Indianapolis Recorder, The Indiana Herald and The Word. A journalism alumnus of Butler University, she is also an HIV/AIDS advocate and has worked diligently to spread messages of HIV prevention, education, stigma reduction and health through her writings and on the front line of counseling, testing and philanthropic efforts focusing on communities of color, faith communities, women and girls. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She serves as a News Anchor and Air Personality on the Indianapolis stations of Radio One. She also produces the longest-running radio program on-air in the state that serves central Indiana’s black and minority community, “Operation Breadbasket presents Harambee” on AM-1310. The show is a production of ECF Media and has aired on the stations of WTLC since 1968. [Contact Kimberly]
Crime beat reporter Steve Jefferson joined the Eyewitness News team in June 2002. Steve’s news experience includes reporting and anchoring at TV and radio stations in Dayton, Ohio; Macon, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi and Portland, Oregon. Steve has received numerous awards, including “Best Newscast” from the Associated Press, a regional Edward R. Murrow award for reporting, and various community service awards. He’s reported on major events including the Atlanta bombings, the Georgia floods and Hurricanes George and Katrina. Steve is from Dayton, Ohio, where he graduated from Wright State University in journalism. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Steve and his wife reside in Indianapolis.