Yvonne Coleman-Bach, publisher of the Louisville Defender (Courtesy of Freddie Allen)

By George E. Curry
NNPA News Service

ATLANTA (NNPA) – Yvonne Coleman-Bach of the Louisville Defender has been named the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2012 Publisher of the Year. It was announced at an awards ceremony Thursday night at the NNPA’s national convention.

NNPA publishers cast secret ballots each year to select Publisher of the Year. Coleman-Bach, who serves as treasurer of the NNPA, is editor and associate publisher of the Louisville Defender.

For years, Coleman-Bach shunned the limelight, preferring to work quietly and effectively in the background. She made an unsuccessful run for NNPA treasurer in 2009. After losing, she continued to play an active role in the organization.  Upon the death of treasurer Lenora “Doll” Carter in 2010, then-chairman Danny Bakewell nominated Coleman-Bach to fill Carter’s position.  The Executive Board unanimously approved Bakewell’s recommendation. She was re-elected without opposition.

In a letter nominating Coleman-Bach, Mobile Beacon Publisher Claretta Blackmon said:  “Yvonne worked well with the administration, moving the organization’s finances to a new level. Under her tenure, the organization, for the first time in its history, reached a treasury of over $1 million due to the successful tenure of (former) Chairman [Danny] Bakewell.  She has a strong sense of professionalism, integrity and transparency. She has shown her strong commitment to taking care of the NNPA finances.”

Blackmon, secretary of the NNPA Foundation Board of Directors, also observed, “She provides the board with a comprehensive financial report at board meetings and continues to perform all other duties of the treasurer… She makes sure tax returns are filed and the organization meets all the requirements of operation.”

Coleman-Bach, who sits on the boards of both the NNPA and the NNPA Foundation, supervises what is called “Back Office Operations,” the day-to-day tasks needed to make the NNPA function efficiently.

“She has managed the Back Office Operations since June, 2011,” the nominating letter states. “During that time, she relocated the NNPA offices from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.  She set up policies and procedures, successfully working with the NNPA publications, advertising agencies and clients, taking the operations to a new level.  Under her leadership, from June, 2011 to now, the back office placed over $15 million in advertising with NNPA publications. She follows the procedure from start to finish.  Her motto is, ‘The buy is not over until the publications have been paid.’  She has worked hard, many times beyond the call of duty, to make sure the publications received insertion orders, material and payments.”

While actively participating with NNPA on the national level, Coleman-Bach is equally engaged in community events.

“Yvonne is a very well respected member of the Louisville community,” the nomination letter continued. “She hosted the NNPA convention in June 2007.  She has worked with the mayor, the governor and many of the movers and shakers in the Louisville community.  She has supported the NAACP, the Louisville Urban League and other organizations.  She served 12 years on the famed Kentucky Derby Festival Board, fighting to make sure that African Americans were included in the event, both as participants and as suppliers.”

The nominating letter ended with this description of Coleman-Bach:  Yvonne has a unique style of getting things done. She is successful at bringing people from all walks of life together for one cause.  She is known to be fair to everyone.  But she can be tough and make the tough decisions when she needs to be. To know her is to love and respect her!”


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