Communicator of Achievement - 2022

Communicator of Achievement Award Nominations Now Open

Nominations for the NFPW’s national Communicator of Achievement Award are now open. Judges will choose our recipient from nominees selected by state affiliates from around the country.

National COA nominations are due on or before Monday, March 21, 2022. To enter your nomination, complete and send the entry form and nomination packet.

Recognize an accomplished affiliate member, and make sure your state is represented by your nominee for the NFPW COA! 

If you have questions, contact Karen Stensrud, 2022 national COA director.

2022 COA Entry Form 
2022 COA Nominee Checklist 
2022 COA Rules 


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.

Sherri Burr, NFPW’s 2021 COA, was honored during a virtual event with guests across the country. A writer and retired law professor and a member of New Mexico Press Women, Burr is also a columnist and has penned many journal articles and law books. Her book  Complicated Lives: Free Blacks in Virginia, 1691-1865 was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in history. COA runner-up Mary Jane Skala, a member of Nebraska Press Women, has been an award-winning newspaper editor and reporter in Cleveland, Ohio, and at the Kearney Hub in Nebraska. 


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.