The Dolan Co., which publishes law and business newspapers around the country, recruited Richard Gard to Missouri in 2005. Dolan wanted him to integrate three separately acquired newspapers into one operation.
That operation, Missouri Lawyers Media, now consists of its flagship Missouri Lawyers Weekly, five county newspapers in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas and the Legal Ad Network, a public notice placement service.
Gard, publisher of the group, was elected president of the Missouri Press Association (MPA) on Sept. 6 in Kansas City. MPA is the newspaper trade organization in the state. It held its 147th annual Convention Sept. 5-7 at the Marriott Downtown Kansas City.
Gard went to St. Louis from Atlanta, where he practiced law before turning to journalism. He went to work as a reporter for the Fulton County Daily Report, a small legal newspaper in Atlanta that Gard helped turn into an award-winning statewide daily business newspaper for Georgia lawyers.
Gard became managing editor, then editor and publisher, a post he held for 10 years.
Gard grew up in Michigan, outside Detroit. He earned a degree at the University of Virginia, where he was executive editor of the student newsweekly. Then he attended the University of Georgia School of Law.
He and his wife, Palmer, a native of Atlanta, have two children, ages 23 and 21.
Gard on Jan. 1 will succeed Mark Maassen of The Kansas City Star as president of MPA. He’ll serve for one year.
Maassen will continue on the MPA board of directors for one year as past president.
Other 2014 MPA officers and directors elected are: First Vice President, Jim Robertson, Columbia Daily Tribune; Second Vice President, Dennis Warden, Owensville Gasconade County Republican; Secretary, Dennis Ellsworth, St. Joseph News-Press; Treasurer, Donna Bischoff, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Directors for three-year terms: Taylor Smith, Perryville Perry County Republic-Monitor; Trevor Vernon, Eldon Advertiser; and James Mahlon White, Warsaw Benton County Enterprise.
Brad Gentry, Houston Herald, is the MPA’s National Newspaper Association state chairman.
Director for one-year term: Darryl Wilkinson, Gallatin North Missourian (to fill Brad Gentry’s term).
Continuing on the MPA Board in 2014 will be directors Bill Miller, Jr., Washington Missourian; Carol Stark, The Joplin Globe; Joe Spaar, Odessa Odessan; and Jeff Schrag, Springfield Daily Events.
Jon Rust of the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian is retiring from the MPA Board at the end of December.