SPJ Chapter of the Year

Whittell, DeVries, Tarquinio and Szekely with the Large Professional Chapter Award at the 2013 Society of Professional Journalists annual convention in Anaheim, Calif.

The Deadline Club, which is the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, received the society’s Chapter of the Year award at its annual Excellence in Journalism convention in Anaheim, Calif. in August.

Annually, only two professional chapters receive this award, a large chapter like The Deadline Club—which with nearly 350 members is the society’s biggest—and a small chapter with fewer than 75 members. This year, Virginia Pro received the Small Chapter of the Year Award in recognition of the chapter’s ten programs and two scholarships awarded last year. The Deadline Club also won the Circle of Excellence Award for Professional Development and Education. (Read the official SPJ announcement.)

Closeup of the Large Professional Chapter Award, presented to The Deadline Club at the 2013 SPJ convention.

The awards recognized programming and other activities from the middle of 2012 through the middle of 2013, when The Club hosted 15 programs on topics ranging from the First Amendment to publishing in the digital age. In the spring of 2012, the chapter awarded three $2,500 scholarships to local journalism students. (The Club’s scholarship program was expanded to four $2,500 awards in the spring of 2013.) In December, The Club donated the proceeds from the silent auction at its holiday party to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, raising $500 for the American Red Cross. And each year, its annual awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria continues to be a huge draw for members and other journalists.

The Circle of Excellence Award for a Large Chapter for Professional Development and Education.

The Club sent four delegates to the SPJ convention this year: J. Alex Tarquinio, the President, Peter Szekely, the First Vice President, Polly Whittell, the Vice President for Membership and Colin DeVries, the Treasurer. Tarquinio was taken completely by surprise when the Chapter of the Year Award was announced on Aug. 24. “This award recognizes all of the extraordinary hard work by our board members, who have dedicated long hours to making The Club a success,” she said.

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