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 8 at the 2019 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.

Marlys Barker - Nevada Journal

Marlys Barker has dedicated her career to telling the stories of her community and earning the trust of residents.

First and foremost, she is passionate about the people in the community, which is evident each week in the newspapers she is with. Her feature stories make you feel like you personally know the subject. Interviews are conducted with a patient and compassionate ear. Content is researched, checked and verified again.

She puts her heart and soul into each week’s papers, often coming in on holidays, nights, weekends, during inclement weather, to put the finishing touches on stories. She is no stranger to late night city council and school board meetings and is always back in the office first thing the following morning to be sure the community has information from the meeting in the next paper.

Barker is eager to help young journalists kick start their careers. She’s been known to have high school- and college-aged students serve as correspondents for the paper, covering community events and local government meetings for stories. Her words of encouragement and wisdom gained from more than two decades in journalism have helped shaped many young journalists. Any community would be fortunate to have her dedication, passion and commitment to readers

Mark Spensley - Monticello Express

Mark Spensley is a pillar in the community. He has been a driving force behind many chamber events which have ignited community support and future evolvement. He is a key player in not only the creation of events, but in the execution and garnering community participation.

His long history with the newspaper started in the dark room more than two decades ago. He quickly joined the advertising department, was promoted to manager followed by associate publisher. His customer service has driven him through the years and it is not uncommon to find him making frequent calls on businesses and residents, just to see how things are going.

When a local grocery store closed, Spensley quickly filled the spot with a new business to help replace the lost revenue in the community. Often the first to arrive, last to leave, he doesn’t walk away if there is a job to be done.

An avid lover of sports and outdoors, he writes a weekly column in the sports section in between his responsibilities at the newspaper, chamber of commerce, school district foundation, booster club, youth baseball association, athletic complex building committee and as a volunteer for the fire department.

His commitment to the newspaper and community is evident in the daily operations of the business, involvement in local organizations and support of the Iowa Newspaper Association, most recently as an INA board member.

Mike Hodges - Wapello Republican

It has been said that the greatest compliment you can make about somebody’s career is that they have made a difference. Those words ring true when speaking about Mike Hodges.

Hodges and his family have owned and operated several Iowa newspapers for six decades. During his tenure at the helm he has published a weekly front-page column that offers his view and advice for the community, state and country. His calm, thought out presentation of facts provoke readers thoughts and provides background and logical direction on oftentimes controversial issues.

He has been involved in numerous leadership roles in the community as well, never afraid to pitch in and help make the community a better place to live and work. He does this without any expectation of thanks for return from friends and neighbors. He often leverages the newspaper as a tool to promote, inform and lead the residents within his county – and it has made a positive difference.

He recently used his front-page column to mourn the local United Fund being disbanded. He did more than just voice his concerns about the loss of the financial support for local institutions, instead, he encouraged residents to step forward to serve on the board of organizations and charities that make a difference.

Hodges is a former Iowa Newspaper Association board member and current co-chair of the Government Relations committee.

MEP recipients

2019
Marlys Barker, Nevada
Mark Spensley, Monticello
Mike Hodges, Wapello

2018
Paula Buenger, Spencer
Douglas Burns, Carroll
Dodie Hook, Akron

2017
LeAnn Larson, West Union
Ron Slechta, Kalona
Stuart Clark, Tipton   

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