Noreen Welle, RTNDA’s vice president for communications, marketing and membership, died early Friday, Dec. 29, at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, where she had been treated for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. She was 57. Noreen fought the disease courageously for the past year. Her husband, Tom, and her daughters, Lauren and Kate, were with her when she passed away.
RTNDA President Barbara Cochran wrote these reflections on Noreen’s many contributions to the Association and its members:
Noreen was a cherished member of the RTNDA staff for nearly a decade. She joined RTNDA in September 1997 as director of communications and immediately launched a new design for Communicator, RTNDA’s monthly magazine. Under her leadership, Communicator has become one of the most valued benefits of membership and has won many national and regional awards. Noreen introduced such popular features as Tough Calls, in which three journalists share their views about an ethical dilemma, and Trade Secrets, an annual feature with dozens of tips from professionals.
In 2003, Noreen assumed responsibility for membership and marketing. Hundreds of RTNDA members became familiar with her cheery e-mails to congratulate them on a new promotion or offer a helping hand with a job change. Noreen’s influence was felt in every RTNDA member service. When RTNDA began holding its annual convention with the National Association of Broadcasters, Noreen invented the catchy new title, RTNDA@NAB. She edited Power Producer, RTNDA’s best-selling handbook for new producers, and created the design for Keeping It Legal, the RTNDA guide to legal issues for newsrooms. She also oversaw the Edward R. Murrow and RTNDA/UNITY Awards programs and increased the visibility and prestige of those awards.
As the contact on all RTNDA news releases, Noreen was well known to reporters who cover television, radio and online journalism. Her deft writing style and journalistic integrity served her well in handling RTNDA’s public relations and communications efforts. In 2005, Noreen was promoted to the position of vice president.
Noreen Welle was born January 5, 1949, in Kansas City, MO. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with a bachelor's degree. She and her husband, Tom, married in March of 1972 and moved to Washington, DC. Noreen worked as a magazine editor for a series of trade associations including the Door and Hardware Institute and the National Automobile Dealers Association. Before joining RTNDA Noreen worked for trade magazine publishers Hanley Wood as executive editor of Builder magazine.
Noreen’s colleagues on the RTNDA and RTNDF staffs and her many friends among RTNDA board and members are remembering her feisty spirit, her warmth, her humor, her talent and her dedication. She was a remarkable person who contributed so much to our association and we will miss her enormously.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Avenue, 5th floor, Norwalk, CT 06851; The Little Sisters of the Poor, Jeanne Jugan Center, 8745 James A. Reed Road, Kansas City, MO 64138; and Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, 1600 K Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20006.
All of our sympathies and prayers are with Noreen’s family. If you would like to send a note to the family you may send it to:
Tom, Lauren and Kate Welle
1600 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006