SPJ has countless members who work hard, month after month and year after year, to help the organization at the local and national levels. This month, we honor just one of them – Ginny Frizzi – who has served long and well since 1973. Congratulations, Ginny!
Ginny has been an active member of SPJ since college. She was a charter member of the Point Park College (now University) chapter in 1973.
In addition to being treasurer of the Pittsburgh Professional Chapter, she served as Region 4 representative to the national SPJ board for six years. She was a member of and chaired the SPJ Awards and Honors Committee and also served on SPJ’s strategic planning and Freedom of Information committees.
She has been a judge for SPJ’s New America Award and for various press club and SPJ chapter contests. She regularly serves as a judge and judging coordinator for SPJ’s professional Distinguished Service Awards and its college Mark of Excellence Awards.
She was among the founders and is a current board member of the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, serving as its first secretary. She is a member the Press Club’s scholarship committee that selects the recipient of the annual Bob Fryer Memorial Scholarship and Press Club Scholarship.
Ginny has served as president of the former Pittsburgh chapter of Women In Communications, Inc. and as president of the Women’s Press Club of Pittsburgh. She is also a judge for the Women’s Press Club’s annual Gertrude Gordon Writing Contest for college students.
At the 2015 Golden Quill Awards, she received the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania‘s Service to Journalism Award.
She has worked on four regional conferences hosted by the Pittsburgh Pro chapter, twice heading up fundraising. She was the first recipient of SPJ’s Regional Director of the Year Award, and was given the award twice.
She arranged contest judging swaps between her SPJ chapter and press club and other SPJ chapters and press clubs.
She has only missed two SPJ national conferences since 1974 (1980 and 2015) due to unexpected medical issues, and is a regular at SPJ Region 4 conferences.
She has been a freelance writer since college, in addition to her public relations career.
Ginny holds bachelor and master of arts degrees in journalism and communications from Point Park University. Her first journalism job was with the Coraopolis Record before moving into public relations career at Point Park and then the University of Pittsburgh.
Advice for members? “I guess the most important would be to be willing to go beyond your comfort zone. Try something for SPJ you have never done before–volunteer to help judge a contest, work the registration table at a program, greet new members, work with a college chapter … there are countless possibilities. This can lead to new skills, friends and ways to get much more out of your SPJ membership.
“Don’t use the excuse of being too busy. Everyone is busy. Even if you can only do a one-time assignment, it’s a good place to start. You could be laying the groundwork for a future leadership role … and SPJ always needs leaders.”
Ginny was nominated by two other long-time volunteers who work hard for SPJ: Nerissa Young and Rebecca Talent.
Here’s what Nerissa has to say:
Ginny joined the Point Park University chapter in 1974. She’s been a faithful member and often officer for the Pittsburgh Pro chapter since she left college. Ginny has served on the SPJ finance committee, Honors and Awards Committee (chairwoman, also) and set the bar for Region 4 directors during her terms as RD. She is a contest wonk who helps coordinate a lot of judging for MOE, SDX and Pittsburgh Press Club contests. She has planned many regional conferences on behalf of Pittsburgh Pro and has rarely missed a regional or national conference. Ginny is devoted to service of SPJ and offers her expertise, insight and help to any and all who ask. Ginny stays busy as a freelance writer and SPJ volunteer. Because of her, I joined the SPJ Ethics Committee in 1995, which put me on a path of SPJ committee service for two decades. I would not have been an SPJ leader without her mentorship and friendship.
adviser to Ohio University SPJ chapter
current David L. Eshelman Adviser of the Year
I have known Ginny since 1982 and she has been a firebrand for SPJ. Some of the things she has done include:
- Running the annual Green eyeshade competition
- Judging a variety of contests
- Was Regional Director
- Has served on numerous local and national committees
- Consistently volunteers for any project SPJ offers.
One interesting thing: last conference was the first one she missed since 1981, and it was only the fact she was hospitalized with open heart surgery that kept her at home.
Rebecca J. Tallent, Ed.D.
School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho