Distinguished Service Award

The Iowa Newspaper Association annually honors deserving individuals with two prestigious awards: the Master Editor-Publisher Award and the Distinguished Service Award. Both awards are presented to recipients during the association's annual convention in February.

Recipients were announced Friday, February 8 at the 2019 INA Convention and Trade Show. 

Each year's honorees are selected by past recipients of the awards.

Distinguished Service Award recipients are long-time journalists honored for their contributions to the newspaper profession and to their communities. DSA recipients can be any member of the newspaper staff, including but not limited to advertising directors, circulation managers, back shop superintendents and press operators, as well as news and sports editors, publishers and business managers.

Criteria include:
1. The nominee must be an employee or former employee of an Iowa newspaper or associated with a university, college or newspaper association having close ties with Iowa newspapers;
2. The nominee shall have contributed greatly to his or her newspaper, and to his or her community and/or the newspaper industry in general;
3. Longevity should have little effect on the nominee's qualifications.
4. Individuals who have received the INA's Master Editor-Publisher award are not eligible to win the Distinguished Service Award. (Rule enacted in 2012)


Dorine Peterson - Creston News

Dorine Peterson has dedicated more than 30 years of her life to newspaper publishing. Described by colleagues as “chief problem solver” she has showed initiative time and time again in the office and out in the community. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Hired in 1987 as an ad designer, it quickly became evident she had a knack for Macintosh computers at a time when newspapers were becoming more and more dependent on technology. She could easily troubleshoot problems and began to devote more time to keeping the newspaper as up-to-date as possible.

As technology grew in the industry, she remained focused at becoming as knowledgeable as she could, often learning of new advancements via telephone support with corporate staff. She was not afraid to open computers and replace parts as necessary, become proficient with networking, switches, ethernet cables, phone systems, you name it. All in addition to her ad design responsibilities.

Eventually she expanded her role again when production became more automated and took on computerized page layout duties. She was a natural at heading the online production and through all the added responsibilities, never complained once no matter how busy she was.

Her helpful attitude and problem solving for decades is a prime example of what makes a community newspaper successful. And yet, she still makes is a priority to devote time in the community to a local Cancer Support Ministry and the community’s primary local event, Balloon Days.

Perry Bell - Knoxville Journal Express

Perry Bell is not only an outstanding professional, writer and colleague but one of likely only few who has amassed such intimate knowledge of dozens of teams, players and coaches encompassing six high schools, a Division III college and a world-famous race track. That’s a lot of information.

Regardless of what county he is in or event he is covering he makes it a point to greet others with a warm smile and handshake. One may say this is due to his over 30 years of service to the business, but it’s more likely a credit to his personality and genuine desire to lift student athletes up and overall love for his job.

Beyond his work with the newspapers, Bell has spent years running the Babe Ruth league umpiring numerous youth baseball games and coaching. He continues to coach middle school baseball and develop not only talent, but character, in student athletes.

The sacrifices he has made over the years in time and personal interests, in dedication to do his job to the best of his ability and support his communities have been immeasurable. He has clearly distinguished himself through his years of service and doesn’t show any signs of slowing any time soon.

Nick Workman - Ottumwa Courier

Nick Workman considers his four decades in the press room as a labor of love to his community and the newspaper. It’s the newspaper, he will tell you, that pulls the community together.

As a child, he would pedal his bike to the newspaper and peer into the large window to watch the paper roll off the press. As he grew older, he picked up a carrier job and when it came time to graduate high school, chose to pursue his career in the pressroom, a decision he hasn’t regretted.

Under his leadership, the newspapers printing business has grown to printing more than 18 newspapers in Iowa and Missouri. He has excellent relationships with printing partners and many consider him the dean of newspaper printing in south central Iowa.

While he has increased the printing business, he has also focused on mentoring young people whom the newspaper employs. He’s willing to take a chance on those who need help finding their way in life by hiring them and teaching the necessary skills to become successful press operator. He’s opened the doors to a behind the scenes skill that many readers are unaware of.

He is dedicated to his job, his co-workers, his family and to readers. To him, the greatest satisfaction is seeing someone read a product that was produced by those he has mentored in the pressroom.

DSA recipients

Dorine Peterson, Creston News
Perry Bell, Knoxville Journal Express
Nick Workman, Ottumwa Courier

Scott Spurgeon, Bloomfield Democrat
Don Dauterive, Iowa Falls Times Citizen

Michael Bugeja, Iowa State University
Deb Geisler, Jefferson 
Doug Melvold, Maquoketa 
Scott Sundstrom, Des Moines 

Bruce Binning, Denison
Vicky Decker, Seymour
Chris Mudge, Des Moines

Michael Giudicessi, Des Moines
Larry Peterson, Creston
Rox Laird, Des Moines

Bill Rediger, Dyersville Commercial
Connie Wagner, Sheldon N'West Iowa Review
Irene Wilcox, Madrid Register-News

Stuart Clark, Tipton Conservative
Max Heath, NNA Postal Chair
Keith Luchtel, INA Lobbyist
Barbara Mack, Iowa State University (posthumous)

Chuck Offenburger, Des Moines Register
Kathleen Richardson, Drake University
Norma Thurman, Stuart Herald

Bill Monroe, Iowa Newspaper Association

Jeff Grant, Sheldon
Alan Mores, Harlan
Jim Normandin, Dubuque

Jay Luther, Iowa Falls Times-Citizen
Jo Martin, Iowa Falls Times-Citizen
Mary Reuter, DeWitt Observer

Sharon Alban, Ogden Reporter
Bill Tubbs, Eldridge North Scott Press
Terry Wilson, Davenport Quad-City Times
Bill Wundram, Davenport Quad-City Times

Bob Andersen, Elkader Clayton Co. Register
Wayne Davis, Seymour Herald

Le Ann Larson, West Union Fayette Co. Union
Ron Schuety, Altoona Herald-Mitchellville Index
Randy Evans, Des Moines Register

Mark Wicks, Charles City Press
Connie White, Creston News-Advertiser
Drake Mabry, Des Moines Register & Ames Tribune
Gary Alban, Ogden Reporter

Amy Duncan, Indianola Record-Herald and Tribune
Don Magdefrau, Belle Plaine Union
Karen Young, Seymour Herald
Tom Yunt, Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Edward "Mike" Lyon, Mapleton Press
Michael Gartner, Des Moines
Walt Stevens, Ft. Dodge Messenger
Bill Casey, Iowa City Daily Iowan

Paul Gauthier, Corning Adams Co. Free-Press
Gil Cranberg, Des Moines Register
George Mills, Des Moines Register
Jay Wagner, Des Moines Business Record

Jim Magdefrau, Blairstown So. Benton Star-Press
Jack Crook, Knoxville Journal-Express
Barbara Lyon, Mapleton Press

Dave Storey, Cedar Rapids Gazette
LeAnn Pisarik, Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun
Dr. Kenneth Starck, University of Iowa School of Journalism

Gary Spurgeon, Bloomfield Democrat
James Flansburg, Des Moines Register
Tom Emmerson, Iowa State University
Jack Marlowe, Maquoketa Sentinel Press

Marni Mellen, Fairfield Daily Ledger
Tom Johnson, Waukon Standard
Merle Kent Shawd, Woodward-NE Dallas Co. Record
Jay Mohr, Sibley-Osceola Co. Gazette Tribune (posthumous)

Mark Bowden, Cedar Rapids Gazette
Harold Aardema, Doon Press
Margaret VanderWeerdt, Sully Diamond Trail News
Gene Bloom, Woodbine Twiner (posthumous)

Mary Lou Hinrichsen, DeWitt Observer
Shirley Omer, Primghar O’Brien Co. Bell
Dave Paxton, Albia Newspaper

Bill Mertens, Burlington Hawk Eye
Richard Goughnour, Mediapolis News
David Johnson, West Branch Times
Joe Roth, Hampton Newspapers

Beth Dalbey, Adel Dallas County News
Brian Cooper, Dubuque Telegraph Herald
Ken Robinson, Bayard News-Gazette
Jerry Moriarity, Mason City Globe-Gazette

Al Pinder, Grinnell Herald-Register
Larry Johnson, Ft. Dodge Messenger
Carolyn Cole Gage, Villisca Review

Robert Woodward, Drake University
Phyllis Fleming, Cedar Rapids Gazette
William Zima, University of Iowa

Dale Kueter, Cedar Rapids Gazette
Oline Stigers, Cedar Rapids Gazette
Ron Slechta, Tama News-Herald
Harrison "Skip” Weber, INA

Genevieve Mauck Stoufer, Council Bluffs
Rick Morain, Jefferson Herald
Helen Zogg, Eldridge North Scott Press
Rosalie Johnson, Eldridge North Scott Press

Herb Strentz, Drake University
Lois Jacobs, Marshalltown Times-Republican
Cal Olson, Sioux City Journal
David Kruidenier, Des Moines Register

Hollis Nordyke, Ames Daily Tribune
Jackson Baty, University of Northern Iowa
L. Jay Smith, Fort Dodge Messenger

Harold Bailey, Perry Chief
Bill Kunerth, Iowa State University
Frederick Simpson, Atlantic News-Telegraph

John McCormally, Burlington Hawk Eye
Max Maxon, Webster City Freeman Journal
Harold Roberts, Creston News Advertiser

Esther Williams, Vinton Cedar Valley Daily Times
J. Burl Tiedemann, Adel Dallas County News
Harry Mauck Jr., Council Bluffs Nonpareil

Les Moeller, Iowa City
Donald Lundgren, Clinton Herald
Al Efner, Ottumwa Courier

Frank Nye, Cedar Rapids Gazette
Matt Lawrence, Ottumwa Courier
Paul Norris, Marshalltown Times-Republican