Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College recently welcomed two new leaders for its marketing and human resources operations, and has promoted one of their own to the newly-created strategic communications director position.
William “B.J.” Riley, a 32-year veteran of the newspaper industry, now serves as marketing director, and Lisa Pepperworth, formerly of Clabber Girl Corporation, the new human resources director. Dee Reed, former executive director of marketing and communications, has been named executive director of strategic communications.
Riley comes to The Woods from Horizon Publications where he worked as group publisher for four daily and seven weekly newspapers in Indiana and Ohio. He is well-known in the Terre Haute community after serving as publisher of the Tribune-Star, Terre Haute’s local newspaper, for eight years. He is a proud 2016 business administration graduate of SMWC’s online program, Woods Online, and a graduate of the first cohort of the Wabash Valley Leadership Institute.
“It’s a thrill to be here,” Riley said. “When I saw this opportunity, I really wanted to try to pursue it because this is one of the few things I wanted to do in lieu of the newspaper business.”
“I’m looking forward to watching people’s lives get affected like mine did when I got my online degree,” Riley added. “With a growing list of academic offerings, enhanced student experience through infrastructure updates and increasing enrollment, this is a great time to be a part of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.”
Riley began in his new role on Aug. 12. As marketing director, he leads a team of creative, communications, and marketing professionals to advance the strategic priorities of SMWC. Prior to working at the Tribune-Star, he was the chief operating officer for Horizon Publications, overseeing operations of 20 daily and 14 weekly newspapers. He has also previously worked as publisher of the Portsmouth, Ohio, Daily Times and publisher of the Richmond, Ky., Register, and as a corporate advertising consultant for Thomson Newspapers.
Before coming to The Woods, Pepperworth served as vice president for human resources at Clabber Girl Corporation for 13 years. She has formerly served as human resources director, assistant administrator and associate administrator at Terre Haute Regional Hospital/HCA, and as district manager for Manpower, Inc., with support responsibilities in 17 counties in Indiana and Illinois.
In her new role, which began on Aug. 1, Pepperworth directs the administration of human resource functions for the entire campus. She holds a master’s degree in human resource development and bachelor’s degree in business management, both from Indiana State University.
Pepperworth said she is excited about the new challenges and opportunities ahead of her in higher education. “Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a wonderful organization and a pillar of the community,” she said. “It truly is an employer of choice in the Wabash Valley. It is an institution of higher education that has an impeccable reputation. So, the decision to come to The Woods was hands-down easy.”
“I’m looking forward to working with the awesome staff, faculty and students here at The Woods implementing communication between departments and human resources, and improving employee relations.”
A 2008 digital media communications graduate of Woods Online, Reed led SMWC’s marketing and communications efforts for nine years. In this role, she guided communication efforts during significant moments in the life of the College including SMWC becoming a co-educational institution, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Historic District’s addition to the National Register of Historic Places, SMWC’s enrollment growth, the building of the Knoerle Center through the Pomeroy Pride Campaign, and ongoing campus updates as part of the Aspire Higher Campaign, publicly launched in February 2018.
Through her leadership of the Office of Marketing and Communications, SMWC successfully launched a mobile-friendly website, put more emphasis on digital marketing, and moved toward a more consistent brand identity around the Aspire Higher tagline.
In her new role in the president’s office, she continues to be media spokesperson for the College. She will also continue to represent the College in the community, lead the College’s diversity efforts and champion the special initiatives of SMWC President Dottie L. King, Ph.D. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in digital media communications from SMWC, she holds an associate’s degree from the American Academy of Art in Chicago and is a graduate of the Wabash Valley Leadership Institute.