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

LeAnn Larson, West Union
Ron Slechta, Kalona
Stuart Clark, Tipton   

Steve Delaney, Burlington
Charles "Scott" Campbell, Eldridge

Charles Nixon, Coon Rapids
James Gargano, Humboldt

Bill Haglund, Adel
Mark Rhoades, Missouri Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick Fromm, Decorah
Larry Bushman, Fort Dodge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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