Location: Parker, Colorado, United States
Drawing from a natural curiosity for journalism that began with his editorial leadership with a fourth-grade grammar-school newspaper that lasted even after he moved on to junior high school, and a fascination with nonprofit administration to leave the world a little better, Alan J. Kania has succeeded in quietly providing positive contributions throughout the world in journalism and nonprofit organizational development.
Alan’s professional track in journalism began in 1961 with photojournalism of seventh-grade sports that enabled him to write stories instead of taking gym classes. He freelanced for the Beverly Evening Times in Massachusetts; the same newspaper where Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee got his start 34-years earlier. Alan continued his photojournalism to the next level as a student in Mass Communication at Emerson College in Boston where he graduated in 1971.
Those years of the late 60s and early 70s were influenced Alan by combining photojournalism with nonprofit administration through the unlikely mentorship of Velma B. “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston. Their friendship during the final seven years of her life influenced Alan to expand to magazine photojournalism and participation in nonprofit administration. He memorialized her 27-year campaign to protect, preserve and manage America’s wild horses and burros on the public lands with his seventh published book. Wild Horse Annie: Velma Johnston and Her Fight to Save the Mustang was published in 2012 by the University of Nevada Press. The Denver Public Library award the book the 2013 Caroline Bancroft History Prize Honor Book.
The decade from the mid-70s and mid-80s provided Alan with the opportunity to successfully blend his two career paths by leaving Massachusetts for the rarified air of Colorado. He formalized his support of nonprofit organizations with a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1985 by providing strategic planning consultation and service on various nonprofit boards of directors. Professionally, he worked for six years in mass communications for St. Anthony Hospital Systems, two more as assistant director of marketing for Bethesda Psych Health System, and two additional years as executive editor of Health Care Strategic Management.
Fascinated by the eccentric founder of the Colorado National Monument, Alan wrote a series of books on the biography of John Otto, concluding with John Otto: Trials and Trails published by the University Press of Colorado and reprinted by Xlibris Publishing. Alan talks about the book on C-Span’s American History TV (https://www.c-span.org/video/?311466-1/john-otto-trials-trails) which was recorded at History Colorado Center in Denver.
Leading up to the turn of the century, Alan’s long background in photojournalism caught the attention of the London-based International Communications Forum. Founder Bill Porter and organizational president Bernard Margueritte invited Alan to be their guest at their 2003 “Changing Media in Changing Societies” forum in Cape Town, South Africa. Networking with ICF board members and forum presenters provided the opportunity to become a founding member of the American chapter of ICF, and to become co-director of the Southern Africa Media Alliance with Crosbey Mwanza in Maseru, Lesotho; an alliance to bring quality news and information to the rural villages of the mountainous country for the next ten years until Mr. Mwanza’s passing in 2016.
Alan J. Kania culminated his 50 years of photojournalism with his eighth book, The Denver Press Club: 150 Years of Printer’s Devils, Bohemians, and Ghosts. He was elected to four of the boards of directors of the oldest press club in the United States and serves as the club historian. He also brought his respect for a free press as an adjunct professor in journalism at Metropolitan State College (now Metropolitan State University of Denver) and Denver University.
For more information, please visit:
Denver Press Club: 150 Years of Printer’s Devils, Bohemians, and Ghosts
Wild Horse Annie: Velma Johnston and Her Fight to Save the Mustang
John Otto: Trials and Trails
Colorado National Monument