Tonja spent more than two decades as a local news journalist before joining Piper Communications in 2021. She serves as the Strategic Communications Director. Her primary mission is to help clients effectively communicate their message by setting goals and devising a strategy to get results. She works with a dedicated team to create content, develop social media strategies, and identify media and industry partners to achieve success.

Prior to joining Piper, Tonja was the Digital Director at WBIR-TV in Knoxville. She managed daily content and strategy for the station’s website, apps, and social media, guiding her team through the ever evolving and growing digital landscape. As a newsroom manager, she helped guide the news team through everything from breaking news coverage to in depth investigations to feel-good stories about the people and places of East Tennessee. In 2021, she was awarded a national Edward R. Murrow Award for leading WBIR’s digital coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In her time at WBIR, she was also awarded multiple regional Murrow Awards and two regional Emmy Awards.

Tonja is an East Tennessee native and proud graduate of The University Tennessee in Knoxville. When she’s not at work and the weather is right, you may find her enjoying time with family on Norris Lake, watching too much television, cheering on the Vols or spoiling her nieces and nephew.