Master Editor-Publisher 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 3 at the 2017 INA Convention and Trade Show. 

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

Master Editor-Publisher honorees are chosen based on the following criteria:
The nominee has worked hard, thought soundly, influenced unselfishly, and lived honorably.

This award may be given to any person who at the time of the selection is actively engaged in editing and/or publishing a newspaper which is a member in good standing of the Iowa Newspaper Association.

LeAnn Larson - Publisher, The Fayette County Union

Immediately after her interview with the local newspaper she was hired and went to the streets calling on accounts, assisting them with their advertising wants and needs. She always listened and put her clients first. Her creative side was a valuable tool as she would sketch out an ad for the composition department to produce. You often saw her in the back shop making sure the ad came out just the way she wanted it to. 

It didn’t take long for it to be evident she had an interest in not only advertising, but for local news and feature writing. She never hesitated to step in and cover a council meeting, write a feature story or photograph a football game or sporting event. If there was something to be done, she was going to give it her best shot. 

When the first computers came along, our recipient couldn’t wait to get her hands on the keyboard and start designing. Again she was off and running with ad design. 

She continued to grow the newspaper and was soon assisting most departments. She eventually was named Co-Publisher and took over general management of the company.

She is currently publisher of four community newspapers- and continues to manage, sell, design, write, paginate and photograph. Her passion and dedication have not gone unnoticed by her peers and colleagues. 

Ron Slechta - Publisher, The Kalona News

His first days in the business nearly 60 years ago were spent taking photos for the local newspaper as a high school student. He quickly found himself winning photography awards and receiving a scholarship to study journalism in college. 

He returned home after completing his degree to continue the career he started nearly 10 years prior. He spent many days and nights covering high school sports, theatre and community events. There was rarely a time our recipient missed attending and covering a local event- if ever. 

Several years later he and his wife set out on a new journey to purchase a newspaper in a community that will benefit from his contributions for years to come. First on his agenda for the newspaper was to create separate sports and education sections to provide more coverage for the three local high schools. Shortly after, he started a tourism guide to highlight the community as well as annual Beef & Dairy, Agriculture, Soybean, Pork and Corn special editions. 

He continues to fight for public records and open meetings on local and federal levels; having made several trips over the years to Washington D.C. to meet with our State’s Senators and Representatives. 

Stuart Clark - Publisher, Tipton Conservative

From cut and paste to digital layout, he has embraced each of the numerous changes the industry has faced. He has encouraged staff to try new ideas and think outside of the box to engage readers. He mentors employees then steps aside and allows those individuals to own their jobs. 

It isn’t uncommon to find our recipient covering sporting events, taking photos at middle-of-the-night accidents and covering city council meetings. He is a trusted voice in the community because he reports fairly, accurately and honestly- at times undoubtedly at the expense of popularity and profit. 

His generosity to the community with time and resources is well-known. He serves on numerous committees and boards and personally owns, remodels and rents out many of the old properties in downtown so the community can remain progressive and vibrant. 

Our recipient is a journalist at heart, a leader for his newspaper and is driven by a passion for community newspapers. He is a successful business owner who sticks to his values and challenges his community to always be looking to the future.

MEP recipients

2016
Steve Delaney, Burlington
Charles "Scott" Campbell, Eldridge

2015
Charles Nixon, Coon Rapids
James Gargano, Humboldt

2014
Bill Haglund, Adel
Mark Rhoades, Missouri Valley

2013
Luann Waldo, Bayard
Jerry Wiseman, Sac City
Dave Stanley, New Hampton

2012
John Goossen, Iowa Falls
Gene Hall, Charles City
Doug Lindner, Solon
Mary Ungs-Sogaard, Dyersville

2011
Mike Finnegan, Clear Lake
Jane Podgorniak, Northwood
Mike Schlesinger, Marshalltown

2010
Amy Duncan, Indianola
Ron Peterson, Sioux City
Peter W. Wagner, Sheldon

2009
Lowell Carlson, Bellevue
Ken Chaney, Sigourney
Brian Cooper, Dubuque
Dennis Wilcox, Madrid

2008
Martin Bunge, Marengo
Gary Milks, Fort Madison
Howard Query, Mason City

2007
Rick Fromm, Decorah
Larry Bushman, Fort Dodge

2006
Art & John Cullen, Storm Lake
Connie Wimer, Des Moines
Dan DeBettignies, Montezuma

2005
Brad Hicks, Hampton
Bill Casey, Iowa City
David Allen, Lamoni

2004
Larry Woellert, Anamosa/Manchester
Mark Bowden, Cedar Rapids
Gary Lindsey, Leon

2003
David Paxton, Albia
Mike Simmons, Marengo
Dana Larsen, Storm Lake

2002
Dirk and Lee van der Linden, Belmond
Mary Rueter, DeWitt
Tom Yunt, Dubuque

2001
Bill Mertens, Burlington
Scott Gonzales, Guthrie Center
Roger Rector, Ida Grove

2000
Alan Mores, Harlan
Doris Vezina, Hartley
Bob Goodyear, Monticello

1999
Dorothy Pinder, Grinnell
H. Alan Smith, Mt. Ayr
Joe McDermott, Newton
Merle Kent Shawd, Woodward

1998
Michael Gartner, Ames
Jo Martin, Iowa Falls
Edward “Mike” Lyon, Mapleton

1997
Arvid Huisman, Creston
Dan Feuling, New Hampton
Darwin Sherman, Washington

1996
Donna Haight, Afton
Dan Field, Corning
Joe Roth, Hampton

1995
Ed Littler, Adair
Gary Gerlach, Ames
Bill Tubbs, Eldridge
Ed Rood, Slater

1994
Jim Wilson, Carroll
Ann Wilson, Carroll
Mark Hamilton, Iowa Falls
Dean Krenz, Sioux City

1993
Virgil Oakman, Lake View
Don Magdefrau, Benton Co.
Carolyn Cole Gage, Villisca

1992
Drake Mabry, Ames
Jim Lindvall, Griswold
Jerry Blue, West Union

1991
John Robertson, Cedar Rapids
Lloyd & Alice Madson, Northwood
Ed & Billie Robinson, Hartley
Jim Hodges, Wapello

1990
Burl Tiedemann, Adel
Mary Louise Robinson, Bayard
James Patton, Gowrie
Paul Bunge, Osage

1989
Gary Spurgeon, Bloomfield
Steve Mores, Harlan
Harris Honsey, Lake Mills

1988
Joe Hladky III, Cedar Rapids
Dave Norris, Marshalltown
Gary & Sharon Alban, Ogden
Ben & Lucy Colby, Rock Rapids

1987
Rick Morain, Jefferson
Jerry Bloom, Logan
Len Strasburg, Manchester

1986
John (Andy) Anderson, Spencer
Shirley Omer, Primghar
Forrest Kilmer, Davenport
Herbert Clark, Tipton

1985
Al Schafer, Eldora
Richard Gross, Council Bluffs
Carl Cassidy, Lime Springs

1984
Verle Burgason, Ames
John Field, Hamburg
Maury Noonan, Dyersville
John Sullivan, Cascade

1983
Charles Gonzales, Guthrie Center
Stuart Awbrey, Burlington
W. R. Vezina, Hartley
M. E. Messersmith, Riceville

1982
C. W. Wilcox, Madrid
W. E. Beck, Spirit Lake
Walter Stevens, Fort Dodge

1981
Ed Sidey, Greenfield
Robert Lyon, Schleswig
Frank Morlan, Sheldon

1980
Hugh Doty, Corydon
Gerald G. Moriarity, Mason City
Robert Parrott, DeWitt
Bruce A. Turvold, Cresco

1979
Dave Elder, Washington
Dick Knowles, Denison
Russ Waller, Algona

1978
Thomas H. Miller, Cherokee
Robert L. Caswell, Red Oak
John L. Morrissey, Montezuma

1977
Robert & Evelyn Reiste, Ocheyedan
John Anderson, Storm Lake
Frank Nye, Cedar Rapids

1976
Everett A. Streit, Clinton
Kenneth A. Robinson, Bayard
William Ferguson, Glidden

1975
Albert Pinder, Grinnell
John van der Linden, Sibley
Carter Pitts, LeMars

1974
Robert J. McCoy, Waterloo
William L. Lindsey, Leon
Prof. James Schwartz, I.S.U.
H. M. “Johnny” Jones, Monticello

1973
Benjamin F. Carter, Jr., Forest City
G. Wiley Beveridge, Williamsburg
Charles Davis, Iowa Falls

1972
Fred Grawe, Waverly
Robert Larson, Albia
E. J. Van Nostrand, Creston

1971
W. J. Carmichael, Webster City
John Baldridge, Charition
Wayne & Jeanne Davis, Seymour

1970
Joe F. Hladky, Jr., Cedar Rapids
Keith Hawk, Knoxville
Robert Melvold, Maquoketa

1969
Dwight Purcell, Hampton
F. A. Wortman, Malvern
A. M. Patterson, Mount Pleasant

1968
Reeves Hall, Independence
Deemer Lee, Estherville
John Feuling, New Hampton

1967
Hollis Nordyke, Ames
Neil Maurer, Laurens
Lew Kimer, Indianola

1966
Mrs. Harold Garvey, Boone
Dale Merrill, Ida Grove
Dick Westerfield, West Union

1965
Ken MacDonald, Des Moines
Phil Jarnagin, Storm Lake
Tom B. Powell, Jr., Anamosa

1964
Phil Adler, Davenport
Fred Morain, Jefferson
Leo Mores, Harlan

1963
M. B. Crabbe, Eagle Grove
Robert K. Beck, Centerville
Elmer E. Taylor, Traer

1962
Lew Warren, Oelwein
Karl Le Compte, Corydon
Carl Hogendorn, North English

1961
A.K. Walling, Oskaloosa
Carl Hamilton, Iowa Falls
Gordon Aasgaard, Lake Mills

1960
F.D. Simpson, Atlantic
Robert Burrows, Sr., Belle Plaine
Lloyd McCutcheon, Sibley

1959
Walter Merryman, Fort Dodge
John Burrows, Belle Plaine
J.C. Moore, Winterset

1958
Walter Williams, Fairfield
Charles Hacke, Sac City
George Carman, Buffalo Center

1957
C.W. Moody, Burlington
A.W. Hamblin, Bedford
Carl E. Sexauer, Ogden

1956
Harold V. Ellis, Marengo
Paul Norris, Marshalltown
Harry E. Taylor, Traer

1955
L. B. Watt, Grinnell
Lloyd O. Brewer, Newton
K. H. Sidey, Greenfield

1954
W. D. Archie, Shenandoah
Carl Caswell, Clarinda
Wm. Allender, Chariton

1953
Lee P. Loomis, Mason City
A. L. Frisbie, Grinnell
John Vanderwicken, Grundy Center
Don Reid, West Des Moines

1952
G.E. Whitehead, Perry
Will F. Lindsey, Leon
B.H. Shearer, Columbus Junction

1951
James Wilson, Carroll
Duane E. Dewel, Algona
David Sutherland, Sr., Montezuma

1950
John Huston, Ottumwa
Willis Overholser, Sibley
S.E. Tennant, Colfax

1949
Claude Campbell, Jewell
Ralph Shannon, Washington
Paul C. Smith, Rock Rapids

1948
James C. Gillespie, LeMars
Phil Hoffman, Oskaloosa
C.S. Walling, Oskaloosa

1947
Chas. A. Doxsee, Monticello
Hoge Howard Sadler, Pella
Justin Barry, Cherokee

1946
Paul A. Olson, Story City
John W. Haggard, Algona
W. Earl Hall, Mason City

1945
Fred W. Hill, Hamburg
Jas. McCutcheon, Mt. Vernon
Wm. S. Rupe, Ames

1944
F.W. Beckman, Knoxville
Stephen Goldthwaite, Boone
Ralph Overholser, Red Oak

1943
Don L. Berry, Indianola
Sherman W. Needham, Ames
Geo. C. Tucker, Webster City

1942
J.L. Papes, Marion
Leon S. Barnes, Northwood

1941
Chas. N. Marvin, Shenandoah
Frank Jaqua, Humboldt
E.P. Harrison, Oakland

1940
W.C. Dewel, Algona
Chas. Rogers, Mt. Pleasant
Paul C. Woods, Sheldon

1939
Jesse M. Beck, Centerville
John M. Grimes, Osceola
Scott Snyder, Adel

1938
Ward Barnes, Eagle Grove
Orville Elder, Washington
J.G. Lucas, Madrid

1937
Thomas W. Purcell, Hampton
E.P. Chase, Atlantic
Victor Lovejoy, Jefferson

1936
James R. Rhodes, Newton
K.F. Baldridge, Bloomfield

1935
John c. Hartman, Waterloo
M.A. Aasgaard, Lake Mills

1934
W. C. Jarnagin, Storm Lake
Wm. P. Moscrip, Marshalltown
Grant Caswell, Des Moines
Wm. P. Wortman, Malvern

1933
Ed M. Smith, Winterset
E.P. Adler, Davenport
W.G. Ray, Grinnell

1932
Joseph F. Grawe, Waverly
Harvey Ingham, Des Moines
Elmer E. Taylor, Traer