As University of Illinois Extension Communications Advisor and Digital Content Strategist, Judy Mae Bingman uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She creates content that demonstrates the impact of Extension in real time through social, digital, and traditional media efforts. Prior to joining the state Extension communication team in March 2020, Bingman was communication manager for the Illinois 4-H where her engagement with 4-H members, volunteers, stakeholders, legislators, and donors resulted in increased 4-H member and volunteer recruitment, alumni support, and donor contributions to the Illinois Extension program.
Extension bookmarks Bingman's professional career. She served as Extension 4-H youth advisor in White County from 1983 to 1990 after completing a bachelor of science degree in agricultural communications from University of Illinois. From 1990 to 2002, she published two cattle magazines; wrote for a local daily newspaper; and authored an inspirational blog, website, and newsletter. She returned to Extension in 2002 serving at the county, regional, and state level of the Illinois 4-H program.
She completed a master of education degree in 2009 in human resource development, also from Illinois. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019) and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories. Her instructional trainings include newswriting, storytelling, impact reporting, social media, photography, digital content development, direct mail marketing, organizational leadership, and crisis communication.
- University of Illinois Award for Communications & Marketing Excellence, ACME Branding Leadership Award, 2014.
- National Association of Extension 4-H Agents: Communicator Awards: Personal Column (1988, 2019), Feature Story (2018), Promotional Piece (2015, 2018), Promotional Package (2014), and Periodical Publication (2013).
- National Association of Extension 4-H Agents: Service Awards: Achievement, Distinguished, and Meritorious Service Awards.
- Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education: Communicator Awards: Personal Column, News Story, Feature Story, Published Photo, Newsletter, Marketing Campaign, Periodical Publication, Promotional Package, Promotional Piece, all multiple years.
- Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education: Programming Awards: Innovative Programming.
- Southern Illinois Press: Newswriting Awards: Original Column and Community Service Reporting.
- Livestock Publication Council: Writing Awards: Personal Column and Feature Story Awards.