Membership Milestones 2024

NFPW recognizes its members who’ve reached 25 years of membership and every five-year increment thereafter with short biographies. 


Colorado Press Women
Glennys McPhilimy graduated from Kansas State University, accepted a job at the Boulder Daily Camera in Colorado and joined CPW — all within a year. She was a writer and columnist for the lifestyle and editorial sections and was editor of the Camera's editorial pages for six years before retiring in 1996. A past president of CPW, Glennys cherishes the CPW friends she has made over the years. After her husband died in 2021, she moved to an apartment in a retirement community in Boulder and remains involved in CPW activities. 


Nebraska Press Women
Mary Jane Skala covers health, religion and lifestyles and writes a personal column for the Kearney Hub, a daily newspaper in Kearney, Nebraska. In her native Cleveland, Ohio, she spent 20 years as senior editor at Sun News, the suburban arm of The Plain Dealer. She was the editor for the Chessie Systems Railroad’s employee magazine, The Chessie News, and did public relations for a Cleveland hospital and a community college. She has held offices in NFPW and its affiliates in Nebraska and Ohio. 

Oregon Press Women
A single high school journalism class in Thermopolis, Wyoming propelled Glennis McNeal’s career. Skills gained through OPW and NFPW primed her for medical writing, freelance journalism and 10 years as public information director of the National Psoriasis Foundation. After retirement, she was a special projects writer for The Valley Times newspaper and graduated from Oregon’s Linfield College with a bachelor’s degree in arts and humanities. She’s currently helping other members revitalize Oregon Press Women.

Press Women of Texas
A 16-year-old high-school sophomore wanted to be in a play. She thought she’d improve her chances with the drama teacher, who also taught journalism, by signing up for the school newspaper. Carol Hargrave Dobbs got the part — and a career in journalism. While serving as editor of two neighborhood newspapers, Dobbs was recruited by the Houston Chronicle in 1990 for its community news section. She retired in 2007.

Judith Zaffrini, the first Mexican American woman elected to the Texas Senate in 1986, became the first woman to hold the role of the chamber’s longest-serving member (known as the dean) in December 2023. She was named the Outstanding Alumna of The University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communications in 2016, when she was also inducted into the UT Daily Texan Hall of Fame. She is the namesake of several entities in Texas, including the Webb County courthouse, a library at Laredo College and an elementary school. She has received more than 1,200 awards and honors for her public service and more than 600 state and national awards in communications. She owns Zaffirini Communications.

Virginia Professional Communicators
Mary Jane King was hired as a reporter by her hometown daily newspaper in 1970. Although she left newspapers a decade later, she worked in educational and corporate public relations before retiring in 2013. She joined NFPW and the Virginia affiliate early in her career and held positions in both, including president of VPW and secretary of NFPW. She also taught university-level journalism classes and was adviser for a college newspaper. Her community service has focused on literacy and music. 

At-large (New Jersey)
Recognized by NJBIZ as one of New Jersey's inaugural senior business ICONS, Daryl Rand has also been named one of the Top 50 Women in Business in the state and is a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame of New Jersey, sponsored by the NJ Ad Club. President and CEO of HarrisonRand, New Jersey’s longest advertising and marketing agency, Rand was the first woman in the 136-year history of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce to serve as its board chair. Earlier this year, Daryl was recognized by ROI-NJ as being a Power List 2024 Influencer in Marketing & Communications member and a few months later as being a Power List Woman in Business.

At-large (Wyoming)
After retiring from a 40-year career teaching journalism and advising student media at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Rosalind Routt Schliske was named faculty emeritus in 2015. A retired major from the Wyoming Army National Guard, she is currently editing the guard’s first comprehensive history. She had commanded the guard’s 197th Public Affairs Detachment. Schliske, the runner-up in the 2000 NFPW Communicator of Achievement competition, serves on the boards of Wyoming Public Radio and her local library foundation. In 2013, the College Media Association named her its outstanding two-year newspaper adviser. 


Colorado Press Women
Lori Rapp graduated from Colorado State University and spent more than two decades working in journalism and public information. Employers included the Chadron Record in Nebraska, Loveland Reporter-Herald and Greeley Tribune in Colorado and the University of Northern Colorado. She held offices in CPW, including president, and was honored as the affiliate’s Communicator of Achievement in 1999. Now retired, she lives in Greeley with her longtime partner, Roger Schump.

Media Network Idaho
Peggy Parks was the owner, publisher and editor of the Challis Messenger newspaper in Challis, Idaho, for 32 years. After selling the paper, she continued her NFPW membership and has served as treasurer of her affiliate for more than 30 years. She helped plan NFPW conferences in Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls in Idaho and in Salt Lake City in Utah. Since her retirement, she volunteers for Medicare, the local senior center and historical society.

Nebraska Press Women
Small-town gals of the 1940s seldom dreamed of careers; it didn’t take Sue Fitzgerald long to realize she had one. From her first journalism job at Kansas’ Concordia Blade-Empire to retirement from the Lexington Clipper Herald in Nebraska at age 66, she couldn’t imagine anything more rewarding than reporting, photography, advertising management and sales for community newspapers. Mentors, co-workers, contests, awards, Nebraska Press Women and NFPW enrichment added fun plus incomparable friendships. Sue now enjoys warm winters in Americus, Georgia, although she now limits her travels due to age and medical issues.

Lori Potter has been a freelance writer-photographer for several online and print publications since retiring from full-time journalism in March 2021. She had worked at Nebraska daily newspapers for 43-plus years, including the last 35 at the Kearney Hub. Lori was NFPW president from 2011 to 2013, currently serves on the NFPW Education Fund Board, and is a longtime NPW officer, currently serving as treasurer.

New Mexico Press Women
Susan Walton’s communications experience includes work as a daily newspaper reporter, Albuquerque’s public information officer, a freelance reporter/photographer and a middle school newspaper adviser and being part of the production team for internal/external communication for Sandia Prep School, where she works part time as archives and activity coordinator. A community volunteer, she has served on boards, including the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and Albuquerque and NMPW. She's also the volunteer treasurer for her church's thrift shop.

Virginia Professional Communicators
Former VPC president Martha Steger’s career has come full circle, from freelance magazine writer/editor in the mid-1970s to the Virginia Tourism Corp.’s public relations director in 1982 to freelance writing since 2008, where she's covered travel and tourism, the arts and business and written profiles of famous and unknown personalities. Steger is a 45-year Society of Professional Journalists member and president of the SPJ VA Foundation, a Marco Polo member of the Society of American Travel Writers and secretary of the SATW Foundation. She was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 2001. 

At-large (Georgia)
Award-winning columnist/feature journalist Jamie Denty has written for The Press-Sentinel in Jesup, Georgia, for 53 years. Her weekly column appears in several newspapers throughout Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. Last year, she won Georgia Press Association’s best religious writing award for three features. A National Writing Project consultant, Denty, who also taught English and journalism for 20 years, was adviser when The Jacket was inducted into the National Scholastic Press Association’s Yearbook Hall of Fame.

At-large (Ohio)
Jane Ann Turzillo is a double Agatha nominee and several-time NFPW award winner who has written 10 books on Ohio history and true-crime books. Her true-crime interest — she has degrees in criminal justice technology and mass media communications — has led to several other interesting experiences: helping produce a documentary of a late 19th-century robber and murderer, a request from a Netflix viewer to research 1970s and 1980s Bath Township police and fire uniforms for a Jeffrey Dahmer documentary, and following up and confirming a reader tip about a 52-year old bank embezzlement cold case she’s written about that she handed over to the U.S. Marshals. Once a part-owner of a large weekly newspaper, her favorite former job was working in a museum public information office.


Illinois Woman’s Press Association
Lolita Ditzler is a freelance communicator who has received numerous NFPW contest awards. Her articles have appeared in area newspapers, plus various police, farm and women's national magazines. She posts on Wednesdays to her blog, “,” which is aimed at older women. She also published a memoir, “The View from a Midwest Ferris Wheel,” that follows her seven-year courtship in the 1950s. Her marriage has lasted 65 years, and she is the matriarch of a police family.

Nebraska Press Women
Joni Ransom was a general assignment reporter and photographer at the Warrensburg Daily Journal in Missouri and weekday editor at the Hastings Tribune in Nebraska before joining Nebraska’s Central Community College staff. For most of her time at CCC, she served as news bureau director and retains “newsy” public relations duties in her position as chief of staff to the college president.

North Dakota Professional Communicators
A 44-year veteran of the newspaper industry, Jill Schramm has been employed with The Minot Daily News for more than 37 years. She currently is associate editor and also covers government affairs. Schramm is northwest district director for NDPC and president for Minot Area Professional Communicators. Since joining NFPW in 1984, Schramm has served as NDPC's college contest director and First Amendment Network coordinator and was affiliate president in 1992 and 1993.

Press Women of Texas
While her husband, Ray, was in medical school and pediatric training, Carole Fry Owen wrote advertising for Macy’s and worked on a university medical journal. She raised two children while freelancing very part time, writing about dogs, travel and agriculture. Now 79, she has walked the ancient pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago in Spain, most autumns since age 65. She calls it her payoff for exercising to stay fit so she can remain a member of NFPW at 100.


Alaska Professional Communicators
In retirement, Elise Patkotak still writes the occasional column for the Anchorage Daily News and continues her work healing and helping Alaska’s wild birds, including bald eagles, owls, robins, redpolls and ravens — even after dealing with open heart surgery and arthritis. She also rescues dogs and parrots. “And no matter what anyone says, I will never move out of Alaska,” she said.

Woman’s Press Club of Indiana
Author Ann Weldy is past president of WPCI and former editor and journalist for newspapers and magazines. She received the 1994 Kate Milner Rabb Award for Continuing Excellence and Professional Service in Journalism. She has been devoted to volunteerism in organizations such as the Red Cross and Noble Cause Food Pantry, and for literacy at the Stony Creek Mobile Library (teaching English as a second language). Her new book is expected to be out for Christmas.

Kansas Professional Communicators
Shannon Littlejohn is a seasoned journalist and word pro whose work has ranged from newspapers to university relations. She has operated her own communications business for more than a decade. Littlejohn practices her philosophy that "a good editor is an advocate, not an adversary, of your writing voice and style." She is a founding member of the Wichita Ukulele Society. She also has been on the Wichita Public Library board, is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has served on the KPC and Wichita Professional Communications boards for several years. She was the KPC 2017 Communicator of Achievement.

Missouri Professional Communicators
Suzanne Corbett is a national award-winning writer and Telly award-winning media producer whose work appears in local and regional print and online newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books. She has been honored for contributions to her community, historic preservation, and her profession, receiving awards and recognition from the North American Travel Journalists, St. Louis Press Club, National Parks and Midwest Travel Journalists. She was MPC’s 2000 Communicator of Achievement and received its prestigious Quest Award in 2009. 

North Dakota Professional Communicators
Merrie Sue Holtan, assistant professor emerita of communication and journalism at Minnesota State University-Moorhead, has also taught at Concordia College, Moorhead State and North Dakota State University. A freelance writer, she loves finding “the little stores gone missing.” Currently, she is researching a biography and leading personal writing workshops. She also taught baton twirling in several YMCA programs. She and her husband, the Rev. Phil Holtan, have three grown children and three grandgirls.

Media Women of South Carolina
Being a longtime journalist, nonprofit managing director for an international ministry, and media relations coordinator for a history museum are the highlights of Meg Hunt’s career. Her 21 years at the Spartanburg Herald Journal optimized her skillset as a writer/copy editor and special section coordinator for news, sports, lifestyles and advertising departments. The skills helped her successfully transition into her roles at Teleios Ministry and the Smithsonian Affiliate Upcountry History Museum. She is a past NFPW president (2005-2007) and also served as NFPW Education Fund Director (2007-2009). “Inasmuch as I can’t imagine my life not having been a journalist, likewise, I can’t imagine my life not being a member of NFPW and MWSC,” she said.

Virginia Professional Communicators
Catherine M. Petrini, NFPW’s director of fun (hospitality and protocol), has held various NFPW board positions, including second vice president, third vice president, secretary, at-large contest director, COA director, grammar goddess and minister of silly hats. She is also the membership director for VPC. A former magazine and newspaper editor, her biggest claim to (pseudonymous) fame is as the author of young-adult novels, including 18 Sweet Valley High books. Petrini has written many other books, fiction and nonfiction, mostly for children and young adults. She is currently working on the second novel in an upcoming science-fiction series for teens.

Cynthia Price, associate vice president of communications and media relations at the University of Richmond, excels in strategic storytelling, media relations and reputation management. Her career spans newspapers, nonprofits and law enforcement. She currently serves as chair of Radford University’s College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board and vice president of the College Communicators Association of Virginia and Washington, D.C. She served as NFPW’s president from 2009 to 2011, was named NFPW’s Communicator of Achievement in 2012, and currently serves as a presidential adviser.


Arizona Professional Writers
Dianne Ebertt Beeaff has written professionally for many years, with publication in magazines from Arizona Highways to Vegetarian Times. She has authored six published books, most recently the short story collection “On Tràigh Lar Beach.” Her natural history book, “Infinite Paradise, Witnessing the Wild,” is scheduled for release July 22, 2025. As an artist, Beeaff works primarily in graphite and watercolor. Her work has been featured in local, national and international galleries. She lives in Tucson with her husband, Dan, and is the mother of two children, Danielle and Dustin. 

Cheryl Kohout was APW’s 2005 Communicator of Achievement and its 1998 Sweepstakes Award winner. She credits Cheri Cross-Bushnell for introducing her to the organization. Over the years, Kohout has served as APW president, treasurer, communications contest director, and Southern District president. For 25 years, Kohout has worked on the communications team at TMC Health, parent organization of Tucson Medical Center, most recently in web development and digital media. Previously, she reported for Inside Tucson Business, covering government, water, tourism, technology and more. 

Nebraska Press Women
Bette Pore is a retired newspaper editor, having worked for newspapers in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Missouri during her 44-year career. She has been a member of NPW since 2003 and was previously a member of the now-defunct South Dakota Press Women. In NPW, she has served as high school and professional contest director, vice president and president. She was NPW’s Communicator of Achievement in 2016 and coordinated the initial inductions into the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame.

North Dakota Professional Communicators
Hope Hanson has retired as an independent communications consultant. She joined NPFW as a journalism student during college and became a professional member upon entering the workforce. Her first job was to design and create North Dakota Water magazine for the North Dakota Water Education Foundation in Bismarck in 1993. In 1997, she joined the Concordia College Office of Communications in Moorhead, Minnesota, to proofread its more than 1,700 yearly printed pieces. She moved with her husband to Gillette, Wyoming, in 2005, and worked from home as a contract writer for Agency MABU, based in Bismarck. The couple returned home in 2008 to Fargo, where she continued her freelance work. 

Media Women of South Carolina
Peggy Grillot has coauthored two secretarial books and “Angels & Archangels: Finding Your Spiritual Center(nonfiction) and has written “The Ghost of Mont Crest” (a children’s book) and “SpaceTime 2047” (a futuristic novel). She was president of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association for two terms and is currently president of the Lake Murray-Irmo Woman’s Club in South Carolina.


Alabama Media Professionals
In her now 45-year career, Lisa Harris has been a community newspaper editor, communications director, freelance reporter, business and nonprofit consultant, and technical writer. Her journalism training (Auburn University, 1977) served her well in all her jobs. In Alabama Media Professionals, Harris has served as treasurer (including handling the finances of the 2017 NFPW conference held in Birmingham) and the COA chair and assisted the bylaws committee. AMP awarded her the Ann Halpern Member Appreciation Award in 2023.

Woman’s Press Club of Indiana
Elizabeth Granger was a journalism teacher at an Indianapolis high school when she joined WPCI. She also freelanced as a travel writer. She has since retired from teaching and has moved to Michigan. She continues to freelance, mostly for her local paper, as well as a regional travel magazine. She continues her WCPI membership, serving as the director of its high school journalism content and coordinating its scholarship committee.

Kansas Professional Communicators
Gloria Freeland was a professor in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at her alma mater Kansas State University for 37 years, retiring in May 2020. She was inducted into the 2023 Kansas Press Association’s Hall of Fame. She helped organize several KPC conferences and was named KPC’s 2015 Communicator of Achievement. She received numerous awards for her weekly online column, “Kansas Snapshots.” She worked for various Kansas newspapers, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador from 1976 to 1978, and worked for The San José News in Costa Rica from 1978 to 1980. 

Virginia Professional Communicators
Bonnie Atwood considers being named VPC’s Communicator of Achievement and the NFPW runner-up COA in 2016 as the highlight of her career. She served as affiliate president at a very challenging time — as she battled leukemia. Atwood offers her profound thanks to the magnificent women who got her through.She took some time out to move to New York and then returned to Virginia. 

Julie Campbell retired in 2018 after 15 years at Washington and Lee University as associate director of communications and public affairs and editor of W&L: The Washington and Lee Magazine. Previously, she was the editor of Virginia Cavalcade magazine and associate editor of The Journal of Arizona History. Campbell is the author of “The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History” and “Studies in Arizona History.” She has served in several capacities on the board of VPC and is the current NFPW president. 


Arkansas Press Women: Kristin Netterstrom Higgins
Media Network of Idaho: Kitty Fleischman
Illinois Woman’s Press Association: Elizabeth Dickey
Kansas Professional Communicators: Gwen Larson
New Mexico Press Women: Carol Kreis
Pennsylvania Press Club: R. Thomas Berner
At-large (South Dakota): Becky Berreth


Alaska Professional Communicators: Alissa Oder
Woman’s Press Club of Indiana: Kendal Miller
Kansas Professional Communicators:
Amy Geiszler-Jones
At-large (Massachusetts): Rachel Gorman


Arizona Professional Writers: Connie Cockrell
Colorado Press Women:
Leticia Steffen
Illinois Woman’s Press Association:
Janis Johnston
Woman’s Press Club of Indiana: Bridget Carson, Natalie Hoefer
Nebraska Press Women: Eileen Wirth
North Dakota Professional Communicators: Danielle Teigen 


Arizona Professional Writers: Mary Rechkemmer Meyer
Arkansas Press Women: Angelita Faller,Amy Forbus, Philip Martin, Jamie Smith
Connecticut Press Club: Linda Avellar
Delaware Press Association: CrisBarrish, Nancy Karibjanian, Bill Newcott, Frederick Schranck
Illinois Woman’s Press Association: Janice Renee Newman
Woman’s Press Club of Indiana: Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
Louisiana Press Woman: Elizabeth Clarke
Kansas Professional Communicators: Madeline McCullough
Missouri Professional Communicators: Deborah Marshall
New Mexico Press Women: Debra Denker, Leonie Rosenstiel, Christina Allen
Pennsylvania Press Club: Carin Smilk
Virginia Professional Communicators: Terry Haycock
At-large (Connecticut): Anastasia Healy
At-large (New Mexico): Janet Ruth
At-large (Ohio): Mary Bilyeu
At-large (Washington, D.C.): Noel-Marie Fletcher