Candidates for the Communicator of Achievement award are nominated by NPW members for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to NPW/NFPW, and service to their communities. The COA award is the highest honor bestowed by NPW.

Jill Claflin Named NPW Communicator of Achievement

Long-time journalist Jill Claflin of Cozad is the organization’s 2019 Communicator of Achievement (COA). This is the highest honor that can bestowed on members.

Claflin spent more than two decades in the newspaper business, plus 18 years in non-profit communications. She worked for the Cincinnati Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before coming to Nebraska where she managed the North Platte Telegraph daily newspaper, the Lexington Clipper-Herald semi-weekly paper, and the Callaway Courier weekly newspaper, of which she was a co-owner.

Claflin concluded her career at Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, Ga., where she was senior director of communications. Upon retirement, she again chose Nebraska, and her colleagues honored her by donating to NPW’s scholarship fund.

Through much of her career, Claflin was a member of NPW, first being named COA in 1990 when she was working in Lexington. There, Claflin was instrumental in founding Que´ Pasa, a weekly Spanish-language tabloid, to serve the town’s new immigrants. Also while in Lexington, Claflin became interested in housing issues, foreshadowing her work at Habitat for Humanity International.

Since returning to Nebraska in 2014, Claflin served as NPW’s professional development director, compiling a monthly electronic digest of relevant news for members and inviting comments. She also developed the “Who Can You Believe” PowerPoint on “How to avoid being deceived by ‘fake news’ and why it matters,” which was presented to service clubs, high school journalism instructors, the Nebraska Press Association, and the National Federation of Press Women.

Some Past NPW Communicators of Achievement

Below are some former NPW COA recipients: back from left, Judy Nelson, Glennis Nagel, Ruth Brown, Martha Stoddard, Cheryl Alberts Irwin, Mary Pat Finn-Hoag; front row from left, Lori Potter, Joan Burney, Stephanie Geery-Zink, Terri Hahn, and Barb Batie at the 2011 NFPW convention after Terri was named runner-up to the national COA.

Past State Achievement Award Recipients

2018 Eileen Wirth, Omaha
2017 Judy Nelson, Lincoln
2016 Bette Pore, Grand Island
2015 Lori Potter, Kearney
2014 Ruth Raymond Thone, Lincoln
2013 Mary Pierce, Ogallala
2012 Sherry Thompson, Omaha
2011 Stephanie Geery-Zink, Lincoln
2010 Terri Hahn, Grand island
2009 Martha Stoddard, Lincoln
2008 Barb Micek, Fullerton
2007 Dr. Ruth Brown, Lexington
2006 Cheryl Alberts Irwin, Lincoln
2005 Glennis Nagel, Kearney
2004 Dorothy Fryer, Norfolk
2003 Barb Batie, Lexington
2002 Marianne Beel, Valentine
2001 Mary Pat Finn-Hoag, Norfolk
2000 Mary Bargman Crawford, Alliance
1998 Andrea Cranford, Lincoln
1997 Sue Fitzgerald, Lexington
1996 Gwen Lindberg, West Point
1995 Lori Potter, Kearney
1994 Evelyn Aufdenkamp, Clay Center
1993 Karen Stansbery, Brule
1992 Joan Burney, Hartington
1991 Mary Ann (Koch) Blackledge, North Platte
1990 Jill Claflin, Lexington
1989 Vicki Miller, Lincoln
1988 Judy Johnson, West Point
1987 Marj Marlette, Lincoln
1986 Judy Nelson, Lincoln
1984 Lois Lambley, North Bend
1982 Dr. Wilma Crumley, Lincoln
1981 Joan Burney, Hartington
1980 Marianne Beel, Valentine
1979 Lilly Frels, Hershey
1978 Lilas Thomas, Ogallala
1967 Helen Green, Fairbury
1961 Velma Price, Newman Grove
1958 Norma Carpenter, Lincoln

National Communicators of Achievement from Nebraska
2019 Eileen Wirth, Omaha
1993 Joan Burney, Hartington
1985 Lois Lambley, North Bend