Todd Rossnagel, the 2019 communicator of the year, poses for a photo with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, episcopal leader of the Louisiana Conference. Rossnagel received the award during the UMAC annual awards banquet, which took place online this year.

 

The United Methodist Association of Communicators named Todd Rossnagel, director of communications for the Louisiana Conference, as Communicator of the Year during their annual gathering. The traditional in-person gala had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and was streamed online for the first time.

UMAC chair Mark Doyal welcomed Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, area bishop for the Louisiana Conference and President of the Council of Bishops, into a Zoom recording for the announcement.

“Words cannot even begin to describe the commitment, dedication, and servant spirit of Todd Rossnagel,” Bishop Harvey said. “Todd is gifted as a communicator, can see things through the lens of a camera most cannot.  He has a way of telling a story that stands on the shoulders of greats like Charles Kuralt and Steve Hartman.  Todd can weave a narrative that teaches, preaches, and can tug at your heart and the depth of your soul.”

Rossnagel was caught completely by surprise as the announcement was kept a secret.

“I had no idea why I was being invited to a Zoom call but I joined and next thing I know, they’re announcing this wonderful news,” Rossnagel said. “I am beyond thankful for this and am still at a loss of words.”

Rossnagel, a licensed local pastor serving in extension ministry, became Director of Communications in 2016, and in that time, the Department has brought home numerous awards from the United Methodist Association of Communicators, including awards for social media, podcasting, videography, photography, and web site design.

“I have the greatest job in the world,” Rossnagel says. “And in some ways, it’s just downright easy – I just point the lens or microphone at the tremendous witness of the faithful United Methodists in Louisiana who are busy making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. I am also incredibly thankful for the United Methodist Association of Communicators. I have made connections that have truly strengthened my job as a communicator, and frankly, my ministry. There is no question – there is power in this thing we call ‘connection’ and I am forever thankful for it.”

Bishop Harvey continued in her remarks, “Todd is a servant by every description.  He was a key player in creating the narrative around the One Church Plan, has been instrumental in capturing the Council of Bishops in video, images, and the creative use of podcasts. He has done this work with a humble heart. At the conference level, Todd has been strategic in helping create video and social media content to direct the narrative in a way that educates the conference in new and creative ways. Todd is not just a conference communicator he is a true strategist that compels us to tell the story in a way that is memorable and truly transforms the lives of people as they are led to a life in Jesus.”

Rossnagel, a native of Mandeville, LA, graduated from the University of New Orleans and worked in broadcast television as a reporter and anchor. He also managed a video production house for the state of Louisiana before eventually going to work for the Louisiana Conference.

The criteria for nomination as Communicator of the Year include recent striking achievements in communication, broad impact of the communicator’s contribution, and vision-thinking beyond the demands of the job.

 

Story courtesy the Louisiana Conference.