Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr. has always been on a mission, “to help people find the greater good in humanity by celebrating what’s right in the world.” That mission has taken him from radio to the Olympics, the White House, and finally to The United Methodist Church.
Larry is the current Director of Communications for the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church. As the chief storyteller for the 370 congregations and the 73,000 United Methodists in Northern California and Northern Nevada, he oversees all of the communications and marketing efforts, both internally and externally, which includes the website, e-newsletter, social media, media and press relations, and crisis communications for the conference. In addition to his position in the conference, Larry is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Communications Studies department at Folsom Lake College in Folsom, California.
Larry’s interest in communications began during his high school years. “I developed an interest in communications in high school when I was a volunteer disc jockey for the radio station at Wiley College (one of our 11 UMC HBCUs),” Larry said in an email. “In college, I worked for an ABC affiliate in Lufkin, Texas, interned at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta for the sport of Badminton, interned at The White House in the Office of Public Liaison, and at the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressman Max Sandlin. During college, I participated in the Wesley Foundation and got to know the District Superintendent, Dr. Bill Jones, after taking a lay speaking course. He suggested I put these communications skills and experiences to work for the church. He encouraged me to apply for the REM Fellowship, and the rest is history. Here I am almost 20 years later.”
After high school, Larry continued his interest with radio and television at the Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where he received a B.A. in Radio/Television with an emphasis in television. Following his undergraduate studies, Hygh continued his education at Stephen F. Austin State University where he received his M.A. in Mass Communications. Following his Master’s degree, Hygh received his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
While Larry currently holds the position as Director of Communications for the California-Nevada conference, he has held a handful of other communication-related positions throughout the United Methodist Church, including some time on the east coast.
“In United Methodism, I began during my second year of grad school as the first Judith Weidman Racial Ethnic Minority (REM) Fellow for United Methodist Communications placed in the New England Conference,” Larry said. “After New England, I was the Director of Communications in the Mississippi Conference for one year, followed by two years as the Associate Director of Communications in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, followed by eight years as the Director of Communications for the California-Pacific Conference, followed by two years as the Director of Communications for Global Ministries.”
Larry has been in his current position in the California-Nevada Conference for about five years now, and he has been enjoying working with a variety of different people from all walks of life.