Stan Heist

Journalist | Coach | Storyteller

From Photojournalist to Leader

Being a leader means putting others first. A Dale Carnegie trained and inspired manager, Stan believes in authenticity and transparency, while putting people in places where they will succeed–even if they don’t know it yet. A cross-discipline innovator, Stan’s vision has created new jobs, developed new workflows, and delivered positive outcomes for his team, his company, and their consumers.

Stan’s started his career in local television newsrooms as a photojournalist, more than half of that time leading teams as a chief photographer. His work was recognized with 10 regional Emmy awards, twice named a regional NPPA Photographer of the year, and in 2006 named the Ernie Crisp National Television News Photographer of the Year.

Today, Stan travels the country helping newsrooms use video, sound, script and performance to better connect with audiences. He coaches journalists to improve their storytelling from concept to edit, and develops leaders who innovate and more effectively engage their teams. As Chief of Drone Operations, Stan is an advocate for the development and expansion of UAS news gathering.

Experienced Speaker and Workshop Leader

We all have the capacity to be generous with our knowledge. Stan believes that ideas and inspiration should be shared liberally. He’s travelled the world speaking to journalists about the power of storytelling and leadership. He’s designed journalism workshops for professionals and coached dozens of presenters how to connect with audiences. No matter if it’s a one-on-one conversation, an audience of a hundred or a webinar of 500 or more, Stan speaks confidently, authentically, and honestly. His quest is to bring understanding and meaning to his message, to help others achieve their potential.

Story Matters

We live in a cluttered, busy and distracted world. Your ability to connect is directly tied to your ability to engage audiences where they are, when they want to hear from you. Our audiences aren’t monolithic, and we shouldn’t treat our multi-platform content that way either. Understanding the power of emotion, of story, can be your vehicle to get your message across and better inform and empower your audience. Stan’s experience as a photojournalist and television content producer has been recognized with multiple national and regional awards. He knows how to connect with people, and can help your audience find meaning in your message.


Stan is a news executive committed to developing current and next-generation journalists through performance-based instruction and modern mentoring. He’s an experienced, confident  public speaker who has delivered presentations at more than 40 industry workshops across the US and international engagements in Japan, Canada and Denmark. A collaborative leader who values teamwork and building relationships across disciplines. He also serves the photojournalism community as Co-director for the NPPA News Video Workshop held annually in Norman, OK. He has a B.A in Communication from the University of Dayton, and an M.A in Journalism from the University of Maryland. 

Currently, Stan is the Director of Training and Development at Sinclair, where he leads a team of talent development professionals providing recruiting, training, and style and image support for more than 4,000 local television journalists at 70 newsrooms. He’s designed and leads the company’s Emerging Leader program, resulting in six internal leadership promotions to date. Stan is also Chief of Drone Operations for a program with 90 pilots and more than 100 visual observers across 45 locations. In times of crisis, he manages the company-wide disaster relief efforts that have raised more than $3M for charity since 2017. 


What can Stan do for your team? Shoot him a line.
He’d love to brainstorm ideas with you.

photos: (1) Nicolai Brix; (2) Univ. of Okla. (3) Mette Mork (Denmark) (4) Stan Heist (Copenhagen) (4) Nicolai Brix; (5) Stan Heist (Phoenix)

(C) Stan Heist 2020