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ISBA names new executive director

Wednesday, August 9, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carissa Long
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News Release


Aug. 9, 2017


Indiana State Bar Association names new executive director


INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 9, 2017) – The Indiana State Bar Association today announced Joe Skeel as its next executive director. He will succeed Thomas A. Pyrz, who is retiring Jan. 5, 2018, after serving for more than 25 years as the State Bar’s E.D.


Since 2009, Skeel has served as executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the nation’s largest and most broad-based member association for journalists. During that time, he also served as executive director of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the Society’s supporting charity.


Skeel joined SPJ in 2004 as editor of the Society’s member magazine, Quill. Previously, he spent almost 10 years working at community newspapers in central Indiana. Stops included Topics Newspapers, the Noblesville Daily Ledger, the Daily Journal (Franklin) and the Columbus Republic.


“This is an exciting hire for all Indiana lawyers,” ISBA President Mitchell R. Heppenheimer said in announcing the appointment. “After an exhaustive national search, with many outstanding candidates, Joe stood out for his understanding of the need to recruit and retain members and we are confident that he will be an asset to the legal community as it meets the changes and challenges of the practice of law in the future.”


Skeel is a graduate of Ball State University, with degrees in journalism and public relations. Earlier this year, he earned his Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.


Skeel grew up in Johnson County and graduated from Whiteland Community High School. He currently lives in Franklin with his wife, Becky, and two sons, Noah and Isaac.


“I am extremely excited and honored by the opportunity to serve the Indiana State Bar Association,” Skeel said. “I recognize that I have giant shoes to fill, as nobody can replace Tom and his contributions over the past 25 years. He and past volunteers have created a great foundation on which to build. We should all be thankful.”




Founded in 1896, the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) is the single largest legal organization in the state. With more than 12,000 members, the ISBA serves and advocates on behalf of its members, their clients and the public interest as the independent voice of the legal profession. The ISBA’s office is located in downtown Indianapolis. For more information about the State Bar, visit


Media Contact: Carissa Long, ISBA Director of Public Relations & Social Media, 800.266.2581,