Women's Press Club Awards

Every year, the Women's Press Club of New York State presents prestigious awards to communicators in four categories:

  • Media Person of the Year: This award recognizes the accomplishments of a person who is active in print or broadcast journalism in New York State.
  • Excellence in Career Achievement: This award recognizes a person whose body of work has been consistent and has inspired others.
  • Woman in the Media: This award recognizes contributions of women in public life who have presented a positive image in the media.
  • Hall of Honor: The Women's Press Club of New York State recognizes pioneering women journalists who have paved the way for the careers of others through their contributions to both print and broadcast media. The Hall of Honor was established in 1997 to honor newswomen of distinction.

Congratulations to our 2016 Award Recipients!

Woman in the Media - Marcia J. White
President and Executive Director, Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Marcia J. White joined the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in March 2005 at a critical moment for the Capital Region’s premier summer entertainment venue. SPAC, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, had experienced years of financial deficits and was in need of significant capital improvements.

Under White’s leadership, SPAC has enjoyed 11 consecutive operating budget surpluses. More than $20 million has been raised in major gifts, including $5.22 million in the 50th anniversary capital campaign, and title sponsorships with major companies. Physical improvements, totaling more than $5.7 million, have been made to SPAC’s amphitheater and other facilities.

White, who will leave her post at the end of the year, has shepherded SPAC through artistic changes, including a shorter New York City Ballet residency. A new summer residency was established with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The dance season was broadened to include tours by international ballet companies including Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, as well as modern dance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Twyla Tharp.

White came to SPAC after 20 years as a top political adviser and public relations strategist in the New York State Legislature. She is a former nurse.

Excellence in Career Achievement & Hall of Honor Inductee - Benita Zahn
Anchor/reporter, WNYT NewsChannel 13

Benita Zahn is an anchor and health reporter for WNYTNews Channel 13. She also co-produces and hosts the weekly Health LINK program on WMHT and writes a column for the “Live Smart" page that appears each week in the Times Union.

A seven-time Emmy nominee, Zahn is the recipient of numerous awards from media and health organizations including the New York State Broadcasters Association and the American Heart Association. Her assignments have included several national political conventions, 9/11 and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Katrina.

Active in local theater, she has appeared in productions at the Capital Repertory Theatre, Park Playhouse, Albany Civic Theather and Schenectady Civic Theater, among others. She likes to run and also competed in the 2015 Lake George Triathalon. 

Zahn holds a master’s degree in bioethics and a doctorate in professional studies/bioethics from Albany Medical College/Alden March Bioethics Institute.

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