December 2, 2023


Think Differently

CIAA helps make adjustments to strategic communications group

Courtesy: CIAA

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is delighted to announce the hirings of Tonia Walker as Senior Affiliate Commissioner for Strategic Marketing and advertising and External Operations and Ja’Shawn Steward-Johnson as Assistant Director for Strategic Communications.

Also, latest personnel member Jana’ Boyd has been promoted to Assistant Director for Creative Services and Digital Content. “We’re thrilled to welcome Tonia Walker again to the CIAA household,” stated CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “Her vast know-how of the collegiate athletics landscape, familiarity with the convention footprint, and yrs of senior leadership and oversight will be invaluable. She’ll keep on the momentum we’ve set up in amplifying our brand name and the visibility of our membership as properly as determining prospects for strategic collaboration with external partners.”

No stranger to the CIAA, Walker formerly worked in the convention office environment for seven decades starting off in 1993 before relocating on to Winston-Salem State University, the place she expended 18 years as an athletic administrator that features nearly 15 as Director of Athletics. Walker was an integral figure in WSSU’s transition from NCAA Division II to Division I (soccer championship subdivision) status and afterwards reclassification again to Division II. She comes back again to the conference workplace from Bluefield College, the place she served as the school’s initially complete-time woman athletic director in 2019 in advance of getting elevated to Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics in 2020.

Walker will be part of the CIAA workers on July 1. Steward-Johnson, who arrives to the convention from the College of the Virgin Islands athletic section, commences his situation on June 1.“We’re similarly as thrilled to have Ja’Shawn signing up for our communications crew,” stated Commissioner McWilliams. “He’s also familiar with the convention, which will be invaluable in this changeover, and his expertise within sporting activities information, digital communications, streaming, and other places will be a fantastic asset and will keep on to move us ahead in this house.”

Given that June 2021, Steward-Johnson served as UVI’s to start with Athletics Details Director in college heritage, exactly where oversaw the introduction of a new athletics symbol and the start of a new athletics website and mobile app (Buccaneers Sporting activities Network). He was instrumental in the streaming deal for the inaugural UVI HBCU Basketball Vintage and was a vital cog in establishing the social media existence for UVI athletics. Prior to that, he invested three several years as the Assistant Sports Information and facts Director at Division III Methodist College. In his time there, Steward-Johnson was the secondary contact for 20 intercollegiate sports and was instrumental in revamping the athletic department’s social media.

Steward-Johnson will be the major media get in touch with for most of the conference’s 14 sponsored sporting activities and championships even though handling a lot of the day-to-working day duties in just the communications department.

Boyd, who joined the conference team whole-time a yr in the past, has been an integral portion in handling the CIAA’s electronic and social media method and making exposure via reside and on-demand from customers content. She’ll continue in this part although adding obligations that involves serving as main media call for pick Olympic sports activities.“

Jana’ has ongoing to be a valuable asset in just our communications and advertising group for the previous a number of several years, starting off as an intern and then as a graduate assistant,” stated Commissioner McWilliams. “In the 50th anniversary of Title IX, it is thrilling to deliver obtain and option for ladies and former college student-athletes in this conference, these as Jana’. We glance ahead to her ongoing development as she takes on further duties though continuing to press the conference’s social and digital presence to new heights.”

Walker will provide oversight of the promoting and communications department as effectively as external relations. She normally takes in excess of for Ben Baxter, who will action away from his posture as of June 3 to go after one more option inside of the sporting activities and entertainment subject.Among his numerous contributions, Baxter was integral in foremost the conference’s esports and gaming initiatives and partnerships, expanding the CIAA Sports activities Network digital platform, and foremost the league’s advertising and communications initiatives.

He also served as the liaison for the CIAA’s external companions, and along with Van Wagner Sports & Amusement, assisted with the conference’s multi-year deal with ESPN for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and a partnership with HBCUGo.Tv to give improved visibility for all sporting activities through streaming and other digital written content.

CIAA can make improvements to strategic communications and advertising and marketing workforce