Communicator of Achievement - 2022

LuAnn Schindler named NFPWs national Communicator of Achievement 

June 25, 2022 – LuAnn Schindler of Clearwater, Neb., has received the 2022 Communicator of Achievement Award from the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW). This prestigious award has been given for 65 years.

Schindler received the award during a celebration at the organization’s annual conference, held June 23-25, 2022, in Fargo, N.D.

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, the affiliate organization and the community.

Schindler, a member of Nebraska Press Women, is co-publisher (along with her husband, Scott) and editor-in-chief of the weekly Summerland Advocate-Messenger, serving the communities of Clearwater, Orchard, Ewing, Page and Royal. 

Schindler grew up in Clay Center, Neb., and graduated from Hastings College, then taught journalism, English and speech in Wauneta/Palisade, Wausa, O’Neill and Norfolk. Her students regularly competed for state speech championships and placed in the top 10 in journalism contests. After 25 years of teaching, Schindler became managing editor at the Clearwater Record/Ewing News, also writing a column for the Creighton News.

In 2019, LuAnn and Scott Schindler founded the Summerland Advocate-Messenger, which prints a broadsheet edition and offers news online. Schindler’s reporting in the Advocate-Messenger is widely credited with helping the new Summerland school district’s bond issue to pass, as Schindler and her staff fulfilled a newspaper’s aim of providing details, accurate information to citizens.

Schindler is an active member of Nebraska Press Women (NPW), co-directing its high school communications contest, editing the organization’s newsletter, and winning numerous awards in NPW and NFPW communications contests. She is also a frequent presenter at NPW conferences and events.

Recently named Clearwater’s Volunteer of the Year. Schindler has been an officer of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, president of the Clearwater Public Library Trustees, and a founding member of the Clearwater Historical Society.

Runner-up in the Communicator of Achievement competition was Solomon Crenshaw Jr., an active member of Alabama Media Professionals and an independent journalist. A native of Birmingham, Ala.,  Crenshaw was a reporter for 38 years at the Birmingham News and Alabama Media Group. He now owns SCJr Content Providers, producing stories through writing, photography and videography.

Other nominees for the 2022 NFPW Communicator Achievement, each put forward by their NFPW affiliate organization, were: Gwendolynne Larson, Kansas Professional Communicators; Margaret Cheasebro, New Mexico Press Women; Jo Ann Mathews, North Carolina Press Club; and Sarah Mudder, North Dakota Professional Communicators.


This award, the highest honor bestowed by NFPW, is given to members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession. Nominees presented by state affiliates are recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to NFPW and impact in the community.

Each year, the COA and runner-up are announced at the Communicator of Achievement Award Banquet during NFPW’s annual conference (we held a virtual event in 2020 and 2021). Nominees are recognized and honored at the banquet, as well as in NFPW’s publications.


Karen Stensrud of Fargo, N.D., our 2022 COA director, was named NFPW’s COA in 2010. Stensrud is vice president of brand and executive communications at Bell Bank, one of the nation’s largest family- and employee-owned banks. She started her career as a newspaper reporter, then established her own marketing communications business before joining Bell in 2003. In 2021, she was named Woman of the Year in Communications by the YWCA of Cass-Clay. Karen is serving her sixth NFPW president as an appointed board member and was a three-term president of the North Dakota affiliate. She is a two-time NFPW contest Sweepstakes winner and has twice been honored as North Dakota’s Communicator of Achievement.