Sports Journalism Institute

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As his term comes to an end, Rosen reflects on his time as APSE President

By DeAundra Allen
SJI Class of 2018

To successfully lead an organization, its leader must be fearless and capable of fighting for its causes. For the Associated Press Sports Editors organization, members were in luck with president Jeff Rosen.

Rosen, who is also the assistant managing and sports editor at The Kansas City Star, came into APSE during the late 1990’s with a passion to get involved and make a difference. After some convincing, Rosen’s then-boss let him venture out to Las Vegas to see his first convention.

“I made the eight-hour drive down this two-lane highway through no-man’s land and went to the workshops,” Rosen said. “I was hooked, and it kind of continued from there. My family grew, my career grew and my involvement with APSE grew, too.”

Rosen became president of APSE in 2017.

As he finishes his tenure, Rosen reflects on his early goals and aspirations. He looked back recently on some of his biggest challenges.

“Taking the website to a better place was difficult; just knowing where to even start was foreign to me,” Rosen said. “Raising tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of months isn’t something I’d done before, either. In both cases, understanding the value of delegation was critical. … Identifying challenges and matching skills to meet those challenges is a huge part of leadership, even if letting go of control and trusting others doesn’t always come easily.”

During Rosen’s year as APSE’s president, he has been able to bring things to a new level. Among his many accomplishments, Rosen was able to bring financial stability to APSE. Last summer, Rosen created the new Revenue Committee and appointed former president Tommy Deas as the chairman. Within one year, they were able to raise $100,000 toward future events by marshaling sponsorships.

As far as how much he’s grown, Rosen gives credit to more than just himself throughout.

“I’m good at identifying needs and enlisting and motivating people best-suited to address them. I might not be a fund-raising dynamo by myself, but I know someone who excels at that,” Rosen said. “I don’t know the first thing about building out the back end of a website, but I know someone who does. What I accomplished during my presidency means a lot to me, and I could not have done it alone.”

As Rosen’s term inches closer to an end, the individual next in line has been named. John Bednarowski, the sports editor at the Marietta Daily Journal, will be stepping into Rosen’s spot in June.

Bednarowski, who has been able to work closely with Rosen over the years, looked upon Rosen’s positive traits when it came to being president of APSE.

“Jeff has been a lot of fun to work with; he’s made some good decisions,” Bednarowski said. “He brought in a whole new way of thinking when it comes to the organization becoming financially stable…he knows how to delegate and listens. He’s not afraid to make a decision.”

According to Rosen, even though Bednarowski isn’t in office yet, he has already been putting in work to get things rolling.

“John is a coalition builder and hard worker who is already strategizing ways to increase our membership and diversity and modernize our annual contest,” Rosen said. “He comes from a small-paper background, so our members know that they’re getting an incoming president who cares deeply about the interests of all circulation groups. John gets along well with everyone yet has a no-nonsense DNA that should keep him on pace throughout his year as president.”

A lot can change in one year. Going into this position, Rosen had an idea of what he was getting himself into from past presidents, but had a great support system at The Kansas City Star.

“I like to think that I’ve always been a hard worker, but I’ve become more organized than I thought possible, and I’m a better multi-tasker,” Rosen said. “You have to be to lead this organization and not shirk your responsibilities at work. Having a superhuman deputy like my guy Chris Fickett doesn’t hurt, either. Shout-out as well to my boss, Mike Fannin. He’s another past APSE president, so he knew what I was getting myself into from day one.”

With days left in his presidency, Rosen offered advice to any future APSE president, as well as ordinary people.

“Immerse yourself in the experience,” Rosen said. “Be confident, but not cocky. Prioritize what you want to get done during your presidency. Be realistic in this, and trust me when I say that the year will go by in a blink. Stand your ground for what you believe in. When in doubt, do what you believe is best for APSE. Surround yourself with good people.

“Finally,’ he added, “ remember that smiles and hugs still go a long way in this life.”