Missouri Press Association announces Hall of Fame inductees

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For Release July 14, 2014

Missouri Press Association announces Hall of Fame inductees

Six newspaper people, including two husband-wife teams, will be inducted this fall into the Missouri Press Association Newspaper Hall of Fame.

The induction reception and banquet are scheduled 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, during the 148th annual Convention of the Missouri Press Association (MPA) at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. This will be the 24th group to be inducted into the Newspaper Hall of Fame, which was established by MPA in 1991.

This year’s inductees are David Bradley, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News-Press & Gazette Company, St. Joseph; Judy Dixon, Festus, a cartoonist/illustrator with more than 30 years in the newspaper industry; Don and Kathy Ginnings, longtime publishers of the Hermitage Index; and Gary and Helen Sosniecki, former Missouri publishers of three community weekly newspapers and one daily.

Hall of Fame inductees receive Pinnacle Awards in honor of their service to the Missouri newspaper industry and their communities. Inductees’ plaques will join the permanent display of inductees in the MPA office in Columbia and in the student lounge in Lee Hills Hall at the Missouri School of Journalism.

(In addition to the brief descriptions below, photos of the inductees are available for viewing or downloading, or by request at bejones@socket.net)

David Bradley, Jr.

David R. "Dave" Bradley, Jr. currently serves as the chairman and CEO of News-Press & Gazette Company and president of NPG Newspapers. He has been president and editor of the News-Press and Gazette Company in St. Joseph since April 1981. He also worked at a former NPG television station in Savannah, Ga.

Most of his career has been working in the newspaper industry, learning the ropes outside of NPG with The Raleigh (N.C.) Times, the Omaha World-Herald, the Associated Press in Jefferson City and suburban weeklies in Hawaii.

He served one year as the chairman of the University of Missouri Board of Curators until Dec. 31, 2012 and continues to serve on the board. Bradley has been a director of UMB Financial Corp. since 1983.

He served as 2007 president of the Missouri Press Association; 1983 president of the Northwest Missouri Press Association; the chairman of the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce; and the president of the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art.

He served on the Associated Press board of directors from 1984-95, the third generation of his family with AP board service. Bradley’s father also is a member of the MPA Hall of Fame.

Bradley is a recipient of the 2009 Merrill Chilcote Award from the Northwest Missouri Press Association.

He is a 1971 journalism graduate of Syracuse University.

Judy Dixon

Judy Dixon, 87, has served readers as an advertising illustrator and, for the last 25 years, as an editorial cartoonist for several Jefferson County newspapers. She has been a professional artist for 65 years.

Dixon’s work has been recognized consistently by her peers and has garnered Missouri Press Association awards, including first place for cartoons rendered in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Her first job after graduating with a fine arts degree from Washington University in 1949 was as an illustrator for Concordia Publishing in St. Louis. In 1977, she began working at the Daily News Democrat. One of her first assignments was to illustrate the courtroom proceedings of a murder trial in Hillsboro.

For the past three decades, through a single cartoon each week, she keeps a sharp eye on those people in public positions. She also has rendered portraits to illustrate long-form obituaries of prominent citizens.

Dixon and her late husband, Lee, raised five children.

Don and Kathy Ginnings

Don and Kathy Ginnings thought they would be in the newspaper business for only a few years when they agreed to help Kathy’s parents, the late Earl and Willa Mae Jenkins, run their weekly newspaper. They ended up spending more than 40 years serving the community of Hermitage, publishing The Index, a 4,000-circulation newspaper in a town of 400 people. Don was the managing editor and co-publisher and Kathy was the bookkeeper and co-publisher.

Don, who was known in the region to be fair and unbiased, was consistently involved politically in the community. He served as chairman of the Republican Party for Hickory County while, at the same time, organizing the Hickory County Democrats meetings.

Don was instrumental in establishing Pickering Park (named after its benefactor Larry Pickering) in the community; served as fire chief; and was a member of the local Lions Club, by which he was named Man of the Year in 1975.

His editorial column won first place in the National Newspaper Association’s contest, the only time he ever entered. He also was the subject of a feature story that appeared in Publishers’ Auxiliary.

It has been said, "If you want anything done in Hickory County, go talk to Don and Kathy Ginnings."

The Index was sold by Don and Kathy in June 2013 to Vernon Publishing, Inc.

Gary and Helen Sosniecki

Gary and Helen Sosniecki owned weekly newspapers in Humansville, Seymour and Vandalia and published The Lebanon Daily Record during a 34-year newspaper career that also included newspaper jobs in Tennessee, Illinois and Kansas.

They are 1973 graduates of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and will host the 2015 summer conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors at Mizzou.

Their many awards include ISWNE’s lifetime-achievement honor, the Eugene Cervi Award, in 2003. Gary’s editorials won Golden Quill awards from ISWNE in 1998 and 2006. The Sosnieckis received the National Newspaper Association’s Community Development Award in 1998 for their efforts to build a new library in Seymour and its President’s Award in 2007 for their work on postal issues.

Helen was the NNA’s Emma C. McKinney Memorial Award winner for 2011. Gary was 2004 president of the Missouri Press Association and is the current president of ISWNE. Helen was MPA’s state representative to NNA. Both served as presidents of the Ozark Press Association.

The Sosnieckis have served on numerous local boards in their communities. Since 2008, Gary has been a regional sales manager for TownNews.com and Helen has been senior sales and marketing manager for Interlink Inc. They live in Le Claire, Iowa.


Contact: Missouri Press Association, 573-449-4167

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