Distinguished Service

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 7 at the 2020 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)

2022 RECIPIENTS

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STEVE PLAIN

Marshalltown Times-Republican

Plain’s initial taste of the newspaper was at a young age running the halls while, both parents worked. So, when someone mentions that he has been there forever, they really mean nearly forever. 

Once grown, he began working in typesetting himself, transitioned to composing and management, and now works in pre-press as a fundamental part of the commercial print operation. With a degree in computer science, he’s also the longtime IT guru, handling everyday tech issues and maintaining CTP machines, servers, and software programs.  

When disaster recently struck the town, he immediately led efforts to relocate servers and computers and set up newspaper staff to work remotely. He knew what it meant to get the newspaper operational as quickly as possible. He worked tirelessly to test all damaged equipment, repair or replace as needed, and make sure staff had what they needed to continue operating. 

Plain is also an asset and problem-solver for the commercial print customers across the state. Lending his knowledge on software, press capabilities, deadlines and delivery – he’s a key player to the many who depend on him. His ability to balance a full schedule of commercial work along with the many everyday needs around the office is remarkable. Newspapers, and countless others, have benefited from his expertise. 

quinn

JOE QUINN

Nymaster Goode

For over three decades, Quinn has assisted hundreds of newspaper editors, publishers, and owners.  He has been a champion for the industry, for public notices, and for open records.

One nominator stated, “while he is not a working journalist, Iowa newspapers have no better friend in the legal profession— whether they are facing a First Amendment issue, an employment concern or some business problem that needs wise and effective counsel.” 

Another said, “he is one of the greatest ‘friends’ any newspaper could have…. he has undoubtedly saved many in the profession from becoming mired down in litigation related to libel, employment issues, and other charges. Without his assistance, it’s possible some of Iowa’s newspapers would no longer be in business.” 

And if that wasn’t enough— he is also deeply involved in public service as a member of the Des Moines Civil Service Commission, as a member of the Polk County Compensation Commission and a as volunteer facilitator for the Powell Chemical Dependency Center.

Quinn has a great sense of humor. He connects with people quickly and develops a genuine rapport with seemingly little effort. He has played a vital role in the INA’s legal hotline for decades. A valuable service for INA members.

DSA RECIPIENTS

2020

Nancy Steburg, Kossuth County Advance
Mark Witherspoon, Iowa State Daily

2019

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

2018

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

2017

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

2016

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

2015

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

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2011

Bill Monroe, Iowa Newspaper Association

2010

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

2009

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

2008

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

2007

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

2006

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

2005

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

2004

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

2003

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

2002

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

2001

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

2000

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

1999

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

1998

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)

1997

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

1996

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

1995

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

1994

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

1993

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

1992

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

1991

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

1990

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

1989

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

1988

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

1987

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

1986

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

1985

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

1984

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

1982

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