INMA Elevate Scholar: Cherisse Johnson of Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry. 

Cherisse Johnson has worked in the customer service industry since 2008, but when she joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal more than six years ago, she seized the opportunity for growth and career development. Beginning as a retention manager, she moved into a customer service manager position nearly three years ago and has taken the lead in introducing initiatives to improve customer service and update technology.

She also was key in helping during the transition from a print to digital focus.

Cherisse Johnson develops engagement and retention programmes with a digital focus at the Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cherisse Johnson develops engagement and retention programmes with a digital focus at the Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Cherisse is incredibly bright and has ascended rapidly in our organisation,” said Chris Blaser, vice president of audience and circulation for the Review-Journal. “As she has assumed greater responsibilities, she has proven to be an exceptional leader who is respected by her staff and peers. She has developed numerous engagement and retention programs with a focus on our digital future.” 

As an African American woman, Blaser added, Johnson also brings insight into diversity and culture issues, helping foster greater sensitivity and understanding in the workplace. Because of her visionary approach and willingness to learn more about the industry, Blaser said she is being groomed for a larger role within the company. 

“[She] is the type of leader our industry needs,” Blaser said. 

Although she has already made significant improvements to operations she is involved in, Johnson has clear goals that she would like to accomplish — both personally and within the company. 

“My goal is to finish school and become a project manager,” she said. “I enjoy working with teams to make processes easier for business matters. As technology changes and the industry slowly becomes more modern, I want to do my part to help the industry continue to service local communities.”

As an Elevate Scholarship recipient, she hopes to learn more about forecasting for the future, including detecting trends and learning to measure and benchmark performance using the latest tools. That will allow her to continue creating the kinds of programmes she has already developed — programmes critical to achieving her department’s goals through innovation. 

Johnson’s innate curiosity, combined with her ability to learn quickly, have served her well in her career and will continue to guide her in the future. And, while such efforts have been appreciated within the company, they haven’t gone unnoticed outside of the company; she was named one of E&P’s 25 Under 35 for 2020.    

About Paula Felps

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