From left, Michigan Local Second Vice President Phil Elam, member and broadcaster Vickie Thomas and local president Eric Wydra

Vickie Thomas, a SAG-AFTRA broadcaster and longtime shop steward at WWJ Newsradio 950 in Detroit, was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame on April 14, but before the big night began, loved ones, union members and the Detroit journalism community threw her a surprise party.

The Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, along with SAG-AFTRA, held the party at Modele Dress in the city’s Eastern Market. Among the many colleagues, friends and family members in attendance were Michigan Local President Eric Wydra and Second Vice President Phil Elam. As the sun began to set downtown, all enjoyed cake and wine, a glass of which was raised in Thomas’ honor. She also viewed a special video of congratulations from SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.

Thomas’ induction ceremony was held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University later that evening.

“In thinking about my over-30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ News Radio 950, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me,” said Thomas during her acceptance speech. “I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. To them, I say thank you. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee and I thank each member who pored over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.”

Thomas’ career at WWJ began in 1991 as the station’s city reporter. In addition to her over 20 years of service as a shop steward for the station, she has also served as a member of SAG-AFTRA’s Broadcast Steering Committee.

Over the years, her work in the broadcasting community has included the mentorship of other young journalists and serving as Region II director of the NABJ. Thomas is credited as a driving force behind the selection of Detroit as the host city for the association’s national convention in 2018.

Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon will present a special honor to Thomas at the Michigan Local’s annual membership meeting on April 30. Click here to RSVP.

Photo: From left, Michigan Local Second Vice President Phil Elam, Thomas and local president Eric Wydra join together for a photo op.

Family, friends and colleagues surprise SAG-AFTRA broadcaster and Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame inductee Vickie Thomas at Modele Dress in downtown Detroit.

Thomas gratefully receives the crowd.

With friends, colleagues and loved ones surrounding her, Thomas happily raises her glass in a toast.

A special cake is served at Thomas’ surprise party.


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