Congratulations to Sharon Dunten, our August volunteer of the month!

Sharon Dunten

Sharon Dunten

Sharon Dunten is our August volunteer of the month. Don’t know Sharon? Look her up at Excellence in Journalism 2014 – she will be there. Hope you will be, too!

Here’s more about what Sharon has done for SPJ and about her background in journalism.

Sharon Dunten is a former Indiana daily newspaper journalist and copy editor who is a new transplant to Atlanta, Georgia. After arriving in Atlanta two years ago, Dunten immediately tried to connect to a local SPJ chapter to network in her new home state. Unfortunately, she found no chapter in existence in Georgia. Remembering her great experience with SPJ membership and programs over the years at national conferences and workshops in Indiana, Dunten, along with seven other journalism professionals in Georgia, implemented a plan to launch a state-wide chapter, SPJ Georgia. You can find her chapter on Facebook here and on Twitter here. To date, SPJ Georgia has more than 50 members and will be holding their first official board election in January 2015. Dunten will be announcing her candidacy for board president this fall. Dunten is editor/content manager of and is a freelance writer and photojournalist.

Congratulations, Sharon! Your hard work and dedication to creating your chapter is truly impressive, and we are glad to have you as part of SPJ.

If you have someone you’d like to nominate for Volunteer of the Month, contact Robyn Davis Sekula, Membership Committee Chair, at I’d love to hear from you!

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Congrats to Tom McKee, our May Volunteer of the Month!

Tom McKeeCongratulations to Tom McKee of the Cincinnati Pro Chapter of SPJ for being named our May Volunteer of the Month! McKee was nominated for the honor by Hagit Limor and James Pilcher. Limor had this to say about McKee:

Tom McKee is one of Cincinnati’s longest-tenured and most decorated journalists, but he really hadn’t gotten involved with the SPJ board until the last 2-3 years.

And his has been an introduction by fire. Soon after agreeing to serve as vice-president, Tom was thrust into the top job of the local chapter in February with the abrupt departure of the previous president.

But through his tireless efforts, his enthusiasm, and his collaborative leadership style, Tom has not only stabilized our chapter but has grown it and taken it further than it has been in years.

Since taking over, we have held at least five events, grown and improved our “Lunch with the Pros” sessions at local colleges and universities, increased membership, and had fun in the process. And he has stabilized and grown our board, a big feat unto itself.

We often get emails from Tom time-stamped well after midnight. He is full of ideas, but he also welcomes others’ ideas as well and is just as enthusiastic about those.

McKee has worked in broadcast journalism for more than three decades, all of it with WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. He interned from Ohio University in 1973, was hired full-time in 1974 by legendary newsman Al Schottelkotte and has been a reporter, producer, assignment manager and now multi-media journalist.

One of the most challenging stories he covered was after being held hostage during the 1980 takeover of WCPO-TV by a gunman who’d just shot his girlfriend to death.  All nine employees were released unharmed.

McKee is the recipient of an Emmy Award, numerous awards in Ohio SPJ contests along with Greater Cincinnati SPJ contest recognition.

The highest honor was the 2012 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Coverage on Television.  It stemmed from a series of 30 candidate profiles where citizens asked questions of politicians.

After serving for several years as Vice-President of the Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter, McKee assumed the role as President in March of 2013.

Thanks, Tom, for your hard work and dedication! You set the bar high for other SPJ volunteers. We’re proud to have you as a member!

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer who deserves recognition? Email membership chair Dana Neuts with your nomination.


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Congrats to Steve York, our April Volunteer of the Month!

Steve York, SPJ's April Volunteer of the MonthCongratulations to Steve York of the Louisville Pro Chapter of SPJ who has been named our April SPJ Volunteer of the Month! York was nominated by chapter president Robyn Sekula for being the backbone of the board. In addition to operating the chapter’s annual contest, he moved the contest from paper to online last year. York also helps organize the chapter’s annual trivia night, shoots photos to promote the chapter’s events, and is always willing to lend a hand whenever needed.

“Our chapter would not be what it is without Steve,” Sekula said.

Now retired, York spent 33 years at WAVE TV (NBC) in Louisville, Kentucky. He started at WAVE in 1978 as a “one man band,” serving as both a reporter and a photographer, shooting, writing and editing his own stories. He covered everything from tobacco farming and coal mining to train derailments and marijuana busts. In 1975, he was named assignment editor, a job he calls the toughest in the newsroom. After 12 years on the desk, York was promoted to assistant news director until he retired in July 2011.

“It was an exciting and rewarding career, and I feel like I worked with the best people in the news industry,” he said.

York has served on the Louisville Pro chapter board for seven years, including a year as president. For the last five years, he has coordinated the annual Metro Louisville Journalism Awards contest.Congratulations to Steve York for his dedication to quality journalism and for supporting the Louisville Pro chapter! He’s a great role model for other SPJ leaders and volunteers.

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer who deserves recognition? Email membership chair Dana Neuts with your nomination.


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Congrats to Amy Cherry, our March Volunteer of the Month!

Amy CherryCongratulations to Amy Cherry of the SPJ Delaware chapter! Amy is the March SPJ Volunteer of the Month.

As chapter president and co-founder, Amy was nominated for helping start the Delaware chapter and for being the point person for chapter events, including a town hall-style meeting on Delaware FOI issues with Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden.

According to Chris Carl who nominated Amy, she has also been the driving force in the chapter’s efforts to develop a mentoring program matching local professionals with college journalists.

When not volunteering for SPJ, Amy is the assistant news director and a general assignment reporter and anchor for WDEL-AM in Wilmington, Delaware. She joined the award-winning news team in 2010 from WBZ Newsradio 1030 in Boston.

Amy has earned the esteemed honor of “Best of Show” in 2013 from the Associated Press beating reporters in major markets in the Mid-Atlantic for the title. She’s also been named “Best Reporter” by the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association three years in a row. Amy is a four-time regional Edward R. Murrow award winner for her investigative and feature reporting.

In addition, Amy received a Terry Harper scholarship last year and attended the Scripps Leadership Institute in Richmond in November.

Congratulations to Amy and a big “thank you” for her commitment to quality journalism and SPJ! #spjlove




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Congrats to Chris R. Vaccaro, our December Volunteer of the Month!

Congratulations to Chris R. Vaccaro of the Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) for being named our December SPJ Volunteer of the month! Chris was nominated by Bill Bleyer for his outstanding service to the PCLI pro chapter. Chris has been serving the chapter doing everything from web redesign and chapter promotion to volunteer recruitment and recognition. Among Chris’s accomplishments:

  • Overseeing the redesign of
  • Taking charge of editing the annual PCLI media guide
  • Proposing the creation of Long Island Journalists’ Hall of Fame
  • Co-chairing the annual PCLI awards content
  • Running the membership committee, managing board members making calls and emailing members whose memberships have lapsed

Chris R Vaccaro, PCLIChris R. Vaccaro is a board member and officer for the Press Club of Long Island. He serves as Senior Sports Editor for The Topps Company’s digital division, an adjunct journalism professor at Hofstra University and as Publisher of, a local news website in his community on Long Island. Vaccaro was the winner of the 2013 Phil Spahn Memorial Award presented by PCLI to a member for their dedication to the club and journalism. He is also the author of five books about Long Island sports history and writes for newspapers and websites around the world regularly.

Congratulations, Chris, and thanks for all you do for SPJ!



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Meet Eva Ruth Moravec, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Eva Ruth Moravec, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month!

Eva Ruth Moravec, San Antoio Pro SPJEva Ruth helped revive the San Antonio Pro chapter several years ago, along with the help of a great team of officers and new members. Serving as chapter president, Eva Ruth has kept the chapter together and moving forward. In just two short years, the chapter has revived its Gridiron show, raising thousands of dollars for scholarships, and it hosted the Region 8 conference in 2013. In addition, Eva Ruth has been successful recruiting broadcast members and freelancers to the local board, all while working full time as a county government reporter for the San Antonio Express-News.

“Eva Ruth brought the San Antonio chapter back from the brink,” said national SPJ board member Kym Fox. “Eva Ruth is tireless in her efforts to keep the San Antonio chapter vital!”

Please join us in congratulating Eva Ruth for her hard work and commitment to SPJ!

Eva Ruth Moravec

Eva Ruth Moravec is a county government reporter for the daily San Antonio Express-News, covering Bexar County government and other local and regional political news. She spent time during the last legislative session working for Hearst’s Austin bureau, and prior to joining the politics team, spent five years on the crime beat, covering breaking, investigative and enterprise news. She’s a regular contributor to several San Antonio Express-News blogs and is a prolific Twitter user with more than 4,000 followers. After her first year at the Express-News, Moravec’s peers selected her to win the annual Phillip True Award for online journalism.

Moravec received a bachelor’s of science in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the person to blame for resurrecting San Antonio’s SPJ chapter after several dormant years, and serves as the chapter president and one of three co-producers for the annual Gridiron show, which raises money for SPJ scholarships. View her portfolio on

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty? Nominate him or her for our December Volunteer of the Month by emailing your nomination to president-elect Dana Neuts at by Dec. 10.

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