Paul Skrbina of the Chicago Tribune and Jeff Kuehn of The Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich., have become leaders of

Paul Skrbina

APSE’s Great Lakes region, elected last month at the convention in Pittsburgh.

Skrbina, who recently joined the Tribune as associate sports editor/high schools, had been sports editor at Sauk Valley Newspapers in Sterling, Ill., since January 2006. Before that he spent nine years at the Times of Northwest Indiana in various roles, including lead sports copy editor and sports writer.

Skrbina, 32, grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Florida International University in Miami, among other colleges.

Kuehn, 50, joined The Oakland Press in November of 2006. Before that he spent 20 years at the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak, Mich., where his duties ranged from sports reporter to sports editor for nine years and managing

Jeff Kuehn

editor for three years.

Kuehn, a graduate of Franklin College (Ind.), spent the first five years out of college in Mississippi, climbing the ranks in the sports departments at the Picayune Item, Biloxi Sun and Clarion-Ledger in Jackson before returning home to his native state of Michigan in 1986.

"I look forward to serving with Paul Skrbina as we try to increase the number of APSE active members in the Great Lakes region," Kuehn said.

"From a personal standpoint, I had no idea what the APSE had to offer until I came to The Oakland Press. In 20 years prior to that, no one picked up the phone and bothered to say, ‘Hey, there’s an organization of dedicated sports editors out there willing and able to help you do a better job. Check it out.’

"My goal is to change that, to alert editors at other newspapers in the region about what the APSE has to offer. I hope to work with Paul and tap into the enthusiasm of APSE president Garry Howard (a fellow Great Lakes member). The more editors we can get involved, the better off we’ll be.

"Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to work together."

Skrbina agreed.

"Our region is so spread out that it’s imperative we get everyone involved who wants to be involved," he said. "Jeff and I already are working on making that happen. But we can’t do it alone.

"Times like now, more than ever, call for us to help one another in a lot of ways. APSE can do that. It’s our job to make people aware of that."

The two editors are beginning two-year terms, with Kuehn scheduled to become chair in 2011.