NDNA selects new executive director

Nov 23, 2020


Sarah Elmquist Squires, editor of a twice-weekly newspaper in Winona, Minnesota, will take the helm of the North Dakota Newspaper Association beginning Dec. 1.

NDNA President Matt Von Pinnon announced the selection of Squires, who will succeed Steve Andrist as executive director of the 134-year-old newspaper association.

“We look forward to seeing what Sarah can accomplish with her collaborative ideas and enthusiasm for journalism,” said Von Pinnon, editor of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. “She has great ideas for how the state's newspapers can build upon their strong connections within their communities."

Squires is editor of the Winona Post, a 24,000-circulation biweekly newspaper. She has 16 years of experience working for Minnesota newspapers, the last 14 at the Post. Previous to that, she worked at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood, Minnesota, and the Granite Falls Advocate-Tribune in Granite Falls, Minnesota. She has earned accolades in Minnesota and nationally for her investigative and enterprise reporting and editorial work, and her work was honored with the Minnesota State Fair Community Spirit Award in 2010.

“I’m excited to take on the role of executive director with NDNA, and eager to collaborate with member newspapers across North Dakota,” Squires said. “I have a passion for local journalism, and I’m eager to share my energy in support of our members and their mission in serving their communities.”

In her letter of application, Squires said, “Government transparency has been a central part of my career, and I am proud of the work I have done in both lobbying for local and state governments to have open meetings and provide records when requested.”

While much has been made of changes in the news industry during the digital era, Squires will begin her position at NDNA armed with new data that shows North Dakotans are reading newspapers today more than ever. Recent research by Coda Ventures of Nashville suggests that eight out of 10 North Dakota adults regularly read a local newspaper, and seven out of 10 rely on newspaper advertising to make purchasing decisions.

Squires, who will become the ninth executive director in the association’s history, enjoys boating and exploring the outdoors with her Saint Bernard puppy, Axl, along with reading, gardening, cooking and camping. She is a graduate of Brooklyn Center, Minn., High School and St. Cloud State University.

Andrist is retiring after eight years as the organization’s executive director.