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Past Winners

2017

Randy Richardson


2016

Loretta Hall head shot
Loretta Hall


2015

Bobbi Gigone head shot
Barbara "Bobbi" Gigone


2014

Becky Funke head shot
Becky Funke


2013

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas
Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas


2012

Cynthia Price
Cynthia Price


2011

Beth Miller
Beth Miller


2010

Karen Stensrud
Karen Stensrud


2018 Rules and Nominating Criteria

The Communicator of Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by NFPW upon members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession. The recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to NFPW and to the community.

To assist affiliate COA directors, the rules and nominating criteria for 2018 are now available. Affiliates must submit entries by May 1, 2018.


Randy Richardson named National Communicator of Achievement 2017

Sept. 8, 2017 — Randy Richardson of Evanston, Ill., has received the 2017 Communicator of Achievement Award from the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW). He is the first male winner in the 60 years the award has been given.

He received the award during the organization's annual conference, held this year in Birmingham, Alabama. NFPW, celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2017, is a nationwide organization of professional women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum.

The Communicator of Achievement award is the highest honor bestowed by NFPW upon those members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their field. The recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates from around the country, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, as well as service to NFPW and to the community.

Richardson, a member of the Illinois Woman's Press Association, is a senior attorney advisor with the Social Security Administration Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Evanston, as well as a freelance writer, author and literary community builder.

He started his career as a newspaper journalist in California and Illinois. After switching to law, he continued writing numerous articles and essays for print and online publications on a freelance basis. He authored two highly regarded novels published by Eckhartz Press: "Lost in the Ivy," which the online publication Gapers Block named one of the notable books of 2005, and "Cheeseland," named by Conversation's Book Club as one of its top 100 books of 2012.

Essays from Richardson's blog about his experiences in publishing a book and being a new dad in his early 40s were published in Chicago Parent magazine and several anthologies, including "Chicken Soup for the Father and Son Soul." He also has written many essays about baseball and, particularly the Chicago Cubs. He was a contributor to the Lovable Losers Literary Revue and to the anthology, "Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year." Currently, he writes regularly for the Wrigley Nation blog.

In addition to his own writing, Richardson is a founding member and president of a nonprofit writers group called The Chicago Writers Association. This group has grown to more than 500 dues-paying members and established itself as one of Chicago's leading writing communities. The group has its own annual book awards, speakers' bureau, online literary magazine, writing contest and book review service and also launched the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

Through this work, he has helped build a bridge to unite the city's diverse literary groups. This has included organizing numerous literary events, including the Summer Social, a popular annual networking event with the Illinois Woman's Press Association. Richardson has received many honors for both his legal and writing efforts, including state and national awards in the NFPW Communications Contest.

Runner up in the Communicator of Achievement competition was Elaine Hobson Miller of Ashville, Ala., past president of Alabama Media Professionals. A former journalist and current freelance writer, she has written for 60 publications and authored two books.


Loretta Hall of New Mexico Named National Communicator of Achievement 2016

Loretta Hall head shot
Loretta Hall

Sept. 9, 2016 — Loretta Hall of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has received the 2016 Communicator of Achievement Award from the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW). She received the award during the organization's annual conference, held this year in Wichita, Kansas.

NFPW is a nationwide organization of professional women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum.

The Communicator of Achievement award is the highest honor bestowed by NFPW upon those members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their field. The recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, as well as service to NFPW and to the community.

Hall, president of New Mexico Press Women, is a prolific freelance writer and author of seven nonfiction books. She writes for many technical publications in the engineering and construction fields. A former high school mathematics teacher, she enjoys explaining technical subjects to nontechnical people. . . . Read more.


About the COA Award

The Communicator of Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by National Federation of Press Women upon those members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession.

The recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to NFPW and to the community.

The COA Award winner and the runner-up are announced at the Communicator of Achievement Award Banquet at NFPW's annual conference. Each nominee is featured in NFPW's AGENDA newsletter prior to the conference and spotlighted at the awards banquet.

head shot of Peggyann Hutchinson2007 COA Peggyann Hutchinson of Oregon

Read about NFPW's Communicators of Achievement:

Past COA winners



head and shoulder photo of Becky Funke
2014 COA Becky Funke

"I have always worked at small publications where I was often the only communications professional on the staff. I joined what was then Kansas Press Women and NFPW for the educational opportunities. The state organization conferences always offer top-notch speakers and even after 30 years of attending I always come away with new ideas, new perspective." — Becky Funke, Kansas, 2014 NFPW Communicator of Achievement