Board Members Earn National SPJ Honors

Deadline Club Board Members (from left) George Bodarky, Polly Whittell, Colin DeVries, SPJ Region 1 Coordinator Jane Primerano, SPJ Immediate Past President Alex Tarquinio, and Deadline Club Board Member Ivette Davila-Richards.

Congratulations to two Deadline Club board members who were honored at the annual Excellence in Journalism Conference with a President’s Award from  Society of Professional Journalists President Alex Tarquinio.

Ivette Davila-Richards was honored for her contributions as vice chair of the SPJ Diversity Committee, which was reconstituted in 2019 and led a successful Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program. The program, funded by the SPJ Foundation, selected six SPJ Diversity Fellows out of 21 applicants nationwide. Each fellow will visit with news managers and veteran journalists to learn about the important of bringing diverse voices and stories to all news products.

Colin DeVries was recognized for reviving the SPJ MembershipCommittee after his appointment as committee chair. With members representing the 12 region of SPJ across the country, the committee conceptualized and implemented a successful summertime membership drive that resulted in 220 new SPJ members and 607 member renewals. DeVries has also sought to update and reorganize member recruitment and retention resources available via spj.org, develop engaging social media campaigns, and build bridges with a variety of SPJ communities to enhance the value of membership.

Tarquinio, a freelance journalist and past Deadline Club president, passed the baton of the SPJ presidency to Patti Gallagher Newberry, the journalism program director at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, during the conference in San Antonio, September 5 to 7. The year’s premier journalism event brought together three leading journalism organizations: SPJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association. Next year’s conference will be held in Washington, D.C., September 10-12, at the Washington Hilton.

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