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

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

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

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