Hillery Smith Shay, a proven leader in Visual Communications and New Media Marketing, She is a newly minted MBA, from Bethel University in Minnesota. In addition to her business acumen Shay is an award-winning photographer and photo editor with an eye for compelling and emotionally provocative photos. She currently runs her own business and teaches Visual Communications at the University of Wisconsin River-Falls for both the Journalism and Marketing departments.
Shay graduated in 1995 from Pennsylvania’s Haverford College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts photography. Recently, she served as the Senior Editor/Director of Photography for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, MN from March 2006 to June 2011. Prior to her promotion, she served as the paper’s Deputy Photo Director. During her tenure, the photo staff won photo editing awards for coverage of the I-35 Bridge collapse in 2007 and the floods in Southern Minnesota in 2008. Shay also edited the entries for Minnesota’s Photographer of the year for 2007 and SPJ’s 2010 Journalist of the Year.
Mrs. Shay moved to Minnesota from Florida where she worked as a staff photographer for The Associated Press in both Miami, FL and Washington, D.C. Before joining the AP early in 2000, Mrs. Shay was a staff photographer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and prior to that served a two-year internship with the Baltimore Sun.
Her work has been exhibited in several venues, including, A Retrospective of Gordon Parks and Five Young Eyes. There, her work entitled “Positive Representations of Black Men in America” was exhibited, at the African American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia. Several of these prints are now a part of the permanent collection at the museum. This same body of work was exhibited at The Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. The series H.M. Smith Photographs in Black and White are also on file at the Haverford College Special Collections.
Her speaking engagements include Southwestern Photojournalism Conference, Texas Christian University Media Seminar, University of North Texas, School of Journalism and the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar
Mrs. Shay has used her experience to serve as the chair of the content analysis committee for the Knight Ridder Diversity Committee at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She has also worked as an adviser on race relations at both the Star-Telegram and Haverford College.
Mrs. Shay is a member of several civic and professional organizations, including the National Press Photographers Association, National Association of Black Journalists, Christians in Photojournalism, the Citizens League and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Mrs. Shay resides in West Saint Paul, MN with her husband Jeff and their daughters Jenna and Hayden.