INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Bar Association has selected Joe Skeel as its next executive director. Skeel, who currently serves as executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists, will succeed Thomas Pyrz, who will retire in January.

A Johnson County native, Skeel joined the SPJ in 2004 as editor of its member magazine, Quill. He was named executive director in 2009 and also serves as executive director of the organization's supporting charity, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

"This is an exciting hire for all Indiana lawyers," Mitchell Heppenheimer, president of the ISBA, said in a news release. "After an exhaustive national search, with many outstanding candidates, Joe stood out for his understanding of the need to recruit and retain members and we are confident that he will be an asset to the legal community as it meets the changes and challenges of the practice of law in the future."

Pyrz will step down January 5 after serving in the executive director role for more than 25 years.