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Lineups ready for 2005 elections.

Candidates for secretary

David Holwerk

David Holwerk has been editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee since September 2001. In that position, he has charge of the Bee's editorial and commentary pages and the paper's Sunday Forum section.

Before coming to the Bee, Holwerk spent three years as editor of the Duluth News Tribune in Minnesota. Prior to that, he spent 20 years at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky in a variety of positions, including political writer, state capitol bureau chief, editorial page editor, and managing editor. Editorial writers under his supervision have won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1992 and 2005.

Holwerk is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He has been a member of NCEW since 1983 (with a brief interruption during his years as a managing editor). He has served twice on the NCEW board, as chair of the Development Committee, and as 1992 convention chair.

Holwerk and his wife, Colleen Hattemer Holwerk, live in Sacramento. They have two adult sons and share their house with a ten-pound dog.

"I'm an optimist about our business. I believe that newspapers and local broadcast stations do have a future. I also believe that the newspapers and broadcast outlets not only can survive but can thrive in the changing marketplace. And I think that the ones that thrive will be ones that give increasing prominence to original, locally produced opinion as part of their regular content," he says.

"To that end, I want to see NCEW take the lead in promoting the notion that expanded space and resources for original opinion is a key content strategy for newspapers and local broadcast outlets seeking to keep and attract audiences.

"I also want to see NCEW take a leading role among professional organizations to include and support the new practitioners who have joined the fray thanks to the Internet. Our expanded membership criteria were an excellent step in that direction, but they were only a beginning.

"I also would like to see NCEW take an active part in answering the host of questions posed by the rise of the blogosphere. Two of those questions seem especially important: Who qualifies as a journalist? And what do we do if people no longer want to read a range of opinion but only opinions with which they already agree?

"How well we answer those questions, how successfully we embrace our new colleagues, and how effectively we promote the role of opinion will do a lot to determine the future of both NCEW and of those who employ its members."

Kate Riley

Kate Riley is an editorial writer and columnist at The Seattle Times where she follows energy issues, higher education, and urban/rural tensions.

Before joining the Times in 2002, she was editorial page editor at the Tri-City Herald in eastern Washington state. Riley started her career as a farm writer at a small daily but also covered business and education.

Currently, she is in the second year of a two-year term on the NCEW board. Kate is a graduate of the University of Washington; she is married to a sportswriter and has an eight-year-old son.

"I can't believe my luck. First, I happen onto the best job in newspapering because I wanted to start a family and needed regular hours. (Ha!) Then as the editorial page editor at a small newspaper, I reached out to faraway colleagues for advice and lucked into the National Conference of Editorial Writers.

"And now I'm honored to be running for secretary of NCEW.

"From the start, NCEW members were quick to help whenever I asked for suggestions about changing my letters to the editor policy or floated ideas. Now as editorial writer and columnist at a metropolitan daily, I find NCEW continues to be an invaluable resource. I can read up on the latest thinking about our craft in The Masthead, brainstorm ideas with those farflung colleagues who since have become friends, or reap a chuckle from the latest groupserv dustup on a busy afternoon.

"So I give back to the organization whenever I can. I am finishing my two-year term on the board of directors, am chair of the Innovations Committee, and served as Ethics Committee chair for two years. This is my fourth year shaking down members for contributions of items to the NCEW Foundation Celebration, which raises money at the convention. And I am always awed at the generosity of our members.

"Which leads me to my opponent. I might gather the goods, but David Holwerk makes me and the Foundation president look good with his deft and charming fundraising--or arm-twisting, as the case may be. David is just as committed to this organization as I am, and I'm sure NCEW will be well served no matter the outcome."

Candidates for treasurer

Vanessa J. Gallman

Vanessa J. Gallman, a past NCEW board member and the current director of the Minority Writers Seminar, has been editorial page editor at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky since April 1997. A former national correspondent for the Knight Ridder Washington bureau, Gallman also worked as an assistant city editor at The Washington Post, metro editor at The Washington Times, and assistant city editor at the Tallahassee Democrat in Florida.

She began her journalism career as a reporter at The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina after her 1976 graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is founder of the University of Maryland at College Park's Capital News Service, which runs two student-staffed bureaus that form the core curriculum for a master's degree in public affairs reporting. She also founded the Knight Ridder internship program at the Tallahassee Democrat, which is mandatory to receive a journalism degree at Florida A&M University. A Charlotte, North Carolina, native, Gallman is the mother of one and grandmother of two.

"Our industry is in transition to some unclear future, and editorial pages should be part of the transformation--livelier designs, more reader interaction, and greater diversity of voices. I am concerned, however, about the editorial page's loss of standing among those worried about the future of newspapers," she says.

"We operate in an era where editorial and opinion pages are attacked for just existing. Corporate task forces propose having no editorials in a misguided effort to increase circulation. An editorial page editor is required to appeal to readers, angry over an endorsement, to subscribe again. Even large papers choose not to have staff cartoonists, because they are controversial. Editorial staffs are cut back and then criticized for having little diversity.

"NCEW's focus has largely been on improving our craft and understanding the issues facing our communities and the world. It is time to focus on a strategy for survival, to make the case inside the industry about the value of editorial pages. I am eager to work with others in NCEW to determine the best ways to do just that."

Dan Radmacher

In 1992, a lucky thirteen years ago, I attended my first NCEW convention in Lexington, Kentucky, which is now home to my respected friend Vanessa Gallman, who has also been asked to run for treasurer.

In those thirteen extremely fortunate years, NCEW has been a professional lifeline for me, as it has for so many others.

But NCEW is about far more than the professional. My new boss, Roanoke Times editorial page editor Tommy Denton, is fond of discussing the unique fellowship that NCEW offers its members. That fellowship, as much as any professional benefit, is what has kept me so involved in this organization.

"Which is why I'm pained when I see the vicious ideological rancor that has pervaded American politics reflected in the sporadic political discussions on our e-mail list. NCEW is dedicated to improving the craft of opinion writing. These exchanges detract from that mission and strain this valuable fellowship.

"But they also reflect a larger and more dangerous tendency in public discourse today that vastly increases the challenge of NCEW's primary mission: to advocate reasoned debate of principles and ideas amid the storm of ideological and political conflict.

"If this tone is to change, if this nation's democratic dialogue is to rise above 'Crossfire' shoutfests, I believe professionals, and professional organizations like NCEW, will have to lead the way.

"If thirteen does turn out to be a lucky number for me, and I am given the privilege to serve, that will be among my highest priorities."

Candidates for the board

Joann Crupi

Joann Crupi has been editor of the opinion pages at the Times Union in Albany, New York, since 1996. She is responsible for the editorial pages, daily op-ed pages, and Sunday Perspective section.

She previously was the newspaper's managing editor for features and sports, and before that was executive city editor. Before taking that job, Crupi was executive city editor of the former Knickerbocker News in Albany. She also was a reporter for several years for The Knickerbocker News and earlier for the former Herald-Journal in Syracuse.

Crupi is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose and has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

"In April, New York editorial writers discovered just how valuable the National Conference of Editorial Writers is. They gathered in Albany for a two-day NCEW session on state government reform," she says.

"New York's legislature has been labeled the most dysfunctional in the nation. The November elections brought the rare ouster of incumbents. Back in session, legislators passed the first on-time budget in twenty-one years.

"As editorial writers were assessing how much progress was being made, I joined with several other NCEW members who were inspired by the NCEW regional meetings in Texas and wanted to try the same thing. The contact with state leaders and colleagues left us eager to do it again.

"NCEW helped build my confidence as I made the transition from twenty-five years in news to the opinion pages. I'd like to do the same for others. As a start, I've participated in a workshop for college editorial writers and written for The Masthead.

"NCEW's focus has largely been on improving our craft and understanding the issues facing our communities and the world. It is time to focus on a strategy for survival."

Gale Hammons

Gale Hammons is editorial page editor of The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California, a post she has held for two years. Before that, she was associate editor of The Modesto Bee's opinion pages for five years. She also worked as a copy editor and reporter for The Modesto Bee. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California at San Diego and a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. She has been a member of NCEW for seven years.

"I'd like to serve on the board to help advance NCEW and the craft of editorial writing, promote inclusiveness and innovation on editorial pages, and help NCEW better connect with young journalists," she says.

Dick Hughes

Dick Hughes is editorial page editor of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon, having joined the opinion world fifteen years ago. He also has worked in reporter, city editor and news editor positions for USA Today, the McMinnville News-Register in Oregon, and The Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho.

A newsroom trainer and writing coach, Dick has led seminars for NCEW, Wilmington and national writers workshops, Maynard Institute, Society of Professional Journalists, and other organizations. He teaches journalistic writing at Willamette University and previously taught at Oregon State University.

As someone with vast experience in hot air, he was a certified hot-air ballooning safety instructor. He has been accused of having a sense of humor, an allegation he vigorously denies.

"Editorial writing is the greatest job in the world--most days," he says. "But as someone who loathes meetings and bureaucracy (even friendly ones), why would I want to join the NCEW board?" he says.

"Journalism and training are my passions. Service on the board would be one small way to repay all those who have guided and helped me in the journalistic craft. Yes, I'm one of those guys who gets goose-bumpy talking about the First Amendment (drives my kids batty).

"Besides expanding the reach of NCEW, I'm particularly interested in First Amendment/ethics issues, diversifying our editorial staffs, training, and innovation."

Deborah Locke

Deborah Locke, Ojibwe, has been an editorial writer for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minnesota, since 1996. She has written on a variety of urban issues over the years, specializing in K-12 education, social services, housing, and race and ethnicity. Before returning home to Minnesota, Locke worked as a suburban government reporter for the Milwaukee Journal.

She is an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Reservation near Duluth, and was raised in Cloquet, Minnesota. Locke worked for nine years as a legal secretary before returning to college. She graduated in 1990 with a degree in history from Macalester College in St. Paul, and then in 1992 with a degree in communications/journalism from the University of Michigan. She has been an NCEW member since 1996.

Locke has received several awards for excellence in column writing from the Native American Journalists Association, and won the statewide Premack Award for civic journalism/opinion writing in 2002 and 2003.

She has traveled extensively in China, Mexico, and Nigeria, and spent two weeks in Vietnam early in 2005.

Charles Rowe

Charles Rowe, assistant editor of The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, has worked in newspapers since 1974 as a photographer, city hall reporter, news desk editor, and Washington reporter. While in Washington, he was awarded a Paul Miller reporting fellowship.

He has been an editorial writer since 1989. He wrote a history of The Post and Courier, the South's oldest daily, published in 2003 for its bicentennial, and edited a collection of columns by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr., long-time columnist for the newspaper and co-author of Cheaper by the Dozen. Rowe is a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He is married and has two sons.

"As a member of NCEW for seven years, I recognize its value as a forum for the exchange of ideas and editorial methods, and for the enriching experience provided at seminars and the convention," he says.

"I'll support the organization's essential task of professional development and work to increase membership and to maintain the financial stability of the organization. The involvement of new members should be strongly encouraged, and NCEW's efforts on behalf of minority writers should remain a priority."

Bonnie Williams

Bonnie Calhoun Williams has been an NCEW member since 2000. She is the editorial page editor for the Anderson Independent-Mail in South Carolina, also since 2000, and previously worked at daily newspapers in Alabama and Georgia as lifestyle editor, business editor, city editor, managing editor, and special projects/technology trainer for a group of weekly newspapers.

She has been recognized for writing by The Associated Press; the Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina press associations; and the National Federation of Press Women, the most recent being the E.A. Ramsaur Award for Editorial Writing from the South Carolina Press Association for 2004. She also won the award for 2001. Before entering the journalism profession she was a banker in Atlanta and Alabama.

In 2004, she organized an NCEW regional conference in Anderson and, with Dick Mial, is co-chair of the Regional Conference Committee.

"I believe in NCEW and what it can do for writers at newspapers of all circulation sizes. I would like to work to increase participation on the part of smaller-newspaper writers and editors and expose them to the benefits of membership in the organization. As a member of the board, I would also like to help our organization find ways to encourage newspapers' top management to offer their editorial writers the opportunity to take part in NCEW--and to willingly pay the expenses for membership, convention attendance, and other participation. I would also like to help show young journalists the importance of opinion in our nation's newspapers.

"And of course, I would like to see regional conferences throughout the country for those not fortunate enough to be able to attend annual conventions.

"What I've received from NCEW--the friendship, the discussions, both casual and organized, during conventions, the workshops, the sharing of information and tips on the groupserv and otherwise--all these have helped me professionally and personally. I look forward to the opportunity to serve on the NCEW board and help the organization continue to grow in its effectiveness in the industry."

The candidates

For secretary: David Holwerk and Kate Riley

For treasurer: Vanessa J. Gallman and Dan Radmacher

For the board:

Joann Crupi, Gale Hammons, Dick Hughes, Deborah Locke, Charles Rowe, and Bonnie Williams

If you can't attend the convention in Portland or have to leave before the membership meeting, you can still vote for secretary, treasurer, and board members. To vote on the 2006 convention site, you must be at the convention membership meeting.

Absentee ballots can be obtained by a request in writing to the National Conference of Editorial Writers, 3899 North Front Street, Harrisburg PA 17110. A ballot will be mailed to you. The deadline to submit completed ballots to NCEW headquarters is September 2.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As it is every year, the election of new leadership is a key function of each convention, which this year will be in Portland, Oregon. At the business meeting scheduled for the morning of Saturday, September 17, members will select for treasurer either Vanessa Gallman or Dan Radmacher.

Also, you will vote for one of two candidates for secretary, including Kate Riley or Dave Holwerk, a decision that will start the winning candidate on his or her climb toward the NCEW presidency in 2009.

In addition, members also will select three new board members from the slate of six candidates profiled on the following pages. Those three new board members will replace John Penney of Poughkeepsie, New York; Sandra Roberts of Nashville, Tennessee; and Kate Riley of Seattle, Washington.
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Title Annotation:CONVENTION 2005
Publication:The Masthead
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Previous Article:All work and no fun in Portland ... really.
Next Article:Editorials and the Web.

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