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AUGUST 2019 - - Women's Press Club of N.Y. gives awards: Dinner at 6 p.m. Sept. 12; honorees range Gen Y to baby boomers https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Women-s-Press-Club-of-N-Y-gives-awards-14376520.php

For Immediate Release

Aug. 21, 2019

Liz Benjamin, Moriah Formica and Madison VanDenberg Headline The Women’s Press Club of New York State’s 2019 Awardees

Susan Mehalick, Leah Dunaief, Deborah Sturm Rausch and Ken Lovett also to receive awards;  Kaitlyn Tambasco to receive the Annual Betty Flood Morrow Women’s Press Club of NYS Scholarship  at Sept. 12 dinner


ALBANY, N.Y.  -- The Women’s Press Club of New York State (WPCNYS) will confer its awards on local and statewide persons of distinction at the WPCNYS’ Annual Awards and Scholarship Dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Red Lion Hotel Albany, located in Colonie.

Liz Benjamin, former host of Capital Tonight on Time Warner News/Spectrum News, will be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Honor, joining the ranks of many other notable women including Chris Jansing (2017), Benita Zahn (2016), Liz Bishop (2015), the late Judy Sanders (2014), Jill Abramson (2012) and Barbara Walters (2011).

Ticket sales are open to the public, as well as to WPCNYS members. Everyone is welcome, and one does not need to be a member of the media or in the field of journalism to attend. Tickets are $50 for members and $55 for non-members. Please note that tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations may be made online by Sept. 3 at https://womenspressclubnys.com/events

About this year’s honorees:

Liz Benjamin - 2019 Hall of Honor Inductee

The Hall of Honor was established in 1997 to honor Newswomen of Distinction who have charted the course for others and helped to shape our field. It is the highest award given by The Women’s Press Club of NYS.

Benjamin’s journalism career has spanned more than two decades. Her work has appeared on a variety of platforms including newspapers, television and websites. Before becoming Albany managing director for Marathon Strategies and joining the new website Civ Mix, she spent nine years with Time Warner Cable News/Spectrum News. She hosted Capital Tonight, a landmark show about state politics and policy, and was editor of its companion blog, State of Politics. Before that, she was a reporter and blogger for the New York Daily News and for the Times Union in Albany, where she helped to launch the Capitol Confidential blog.

Susan Mehalick – 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.

Mehalick holds dual roles at the Times Union in Albany as a city desk editor, directing local coverage, and as executive editor of Women@Work, a vibrant network of women in business and the workplace. She has more than 30 years of journalism experience.

Leah Dunaief – 2019 Excellence in Career Achievement Award

This award recognizes a person whose body of work has been consistent and has inspired others.

Publisher of the Times Beacon Record Newspapers on Long Island, Dunaief started the Village Times in 1976 and expanded the company to include several other publications. She is a past president of the New York Press Association and has received numerous honors, including being named One of the 50 Most Influential Women in Business on Long Island in 2011. 

Deborah Sturm Rausch – 2019 Excellence in Career Achievement Award

This award recognizes a person whose body of work has been consistent and has inspired others.

Rausch is a veteran professional with more than three decades of experience in public relations, internal and external communication, media relations, government public affairs, strategic planning and nonprofit leadership. She served in government as statewide director of communications and public affairs for various State agencies and held the same position for the City of Albany. The recipient of many honors, she currently is the international editor of Connections, the newsletter of the Descendants of Jewish Citizens of Augsburg, Germany. A previous two-term WPCNYS president, she serves as a vice president for the club.

Moriah Formica and Madison VanDenberg - 2019 Woman in the Media Award

This award recognizes contributions of women in public life who have presented a positive image in the media.

As a 17-year-old junior at Shaker High School in Colonie, Moriah Formica (L) appeared in 2017 on “The Voice,” making it into the playoff rounds.

Also a Shaker High student, Madison VanDenberg (R) took third place on “American Idol” earlier this year. Both continue to perform.

These two young musicians each captured national audiences and media attention with their performances in televised talent competition programs. They appeared together in June at the Times Union Center in Albany, and continue to inspire young people, especially young women, with their energy and passion in pursuit of their dreams.

Ken Lovett – Standing O!

The Standing O! Award recognizes a person for achievements and contributions in the field of journalism outside of the other award categories.

Lovett spent 25 years covering the state Capitol in Albany, including a decade with the New York Daily News, where he was bureau chief. He also worked for the New York Post, Watertown Times and Bergen Record. He is now vice president for communications and Albany director for Metropolitan Public Strategies.

Kaitlyn Tambasco – 2019 Betty Flood Morrow Women’s Press Club of NYS Scholarship Winner

Created in 1967, the $1,000 scholarship is presented annually to a student in the communications field who is a resident of New York state, enrolled full-time in a college or university located within New York.

A senior at Utica College, Tambasco is studying communications and criminal justice. She has been involved in her college’s newspaper “The Tangerine,” since her freshman year, where she began as a writer for the online team and has worked her way up to managing editor this year. Tambasco is a two-time Syracuse Press Award winner. She also has her own freelance platform, where she writes on a variety of topics. Tambasco plans to get her master’s degree in public relations.

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About the Women’s Press Club of New York State, Inc.

The Women’s Press Club of New York State, Inc. is a nonprofit organization formed in 1966 by a small group of women journalists committed to supporting women in journalism and communications. Today, the organization’s members include women and men who work for radio and television stations, digital media, newspapers, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private companies, as well as freelance writers, entrepreneurs and students. The WPCNYS provides support, professional development, programming, mentoring and networking opportunities for New Yorkers in the field. Further information may be found either on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wpcnys or the WPCNYS website at https://womenspressclubnys.com.

2019 Annual Awards Press Release - fin.pdf

Sept. 26, 2018

Contact:  Deborah Sturm Rausch | womenspressclubnys@gmail.com

Susan Arbetter, Elisa Streeter and Barbara Underwood Headline

The Women’s Press Club of New York State’s 2018 Awardees

Mary Alice Molgard, Casey Seiler and Akum Norder to also receive awards; Jazmin Goodwin to receive the $1,000 Annual Betty Flood Morrow Women’s Press Club of NYS Scholarship at Oct. 24 Dinner


ALBANY, N.Y. … The Women’s Press Club of New York State (WPCNYS) will confer local and statewide persons of distinction with its awards at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at the WPCNYS’ Annual Awards and Scholarship Dinner at Treviso by Mallozzi located at the Italian Community Center in Albany, N.Y.


Emmy Award-winning host and producer of the syndicated public radio program the Capitol Pressroom, Susan Arbetter will be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Honor joining the ranks of many notable women including our most recent inductees Chris Jansing (2017), Benita Zahn (2016), Liz Bishop (2015), Judy Sanders (2014), Jill Abramson (2012) and Barbara Walters (2011). New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood and Akum Norder, author and journalist, will both be honored with the Club's Woman in the Media Award. Elisa Streeter, who recently announced her retirement from NEWS10-ABC, will receive the Media Person of the Year Award, Mary Alice Molgard, assistant professor at The College of Saint Rose, will receive the award for Excellence in Career Achievement; Times Union Senior Editor and Columnist Casey Seiler will receive the Club’s first Standing O! Award; and Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY student Jazmin Goodwin will receive the $1,000 Betty Flood Morrow WPCNYS Annual Scholarship. READ MORE.


  • 19 Dec 2016 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Women’s Press Club of NYS and the field of Journalism lost a pioneer, mentor and role model on December 14, 2016. Elizabeth Gaucas Flood Morrow, co-founder of the Women’s Press Club of New York State, died Wednesday at the age of 83. We mourn her passing and will miss her tenacity, penchant for the truth, advocacy for women in journalism and passion for life.

    She began her career in 1954 as a Part-time Reporter under the direction of Don Holbrook at Cuyler News, an independent wire service that provides trade papers with in-depth reporting on legislative issues affecting such industries as insurance, energy, horse racing, fashion, and finance. She recently recalled that she made $14 a week at that time. In 1956 she became the owner of the News Service. In 1963 Betty Flood became the first woman to cover the Legislature for television as a reporter for WRGB. She found it unacceptable that women were not permitted to be members of the Legislative Correspondents Association (LCA). She didn’t rest until, in 1971, she became one of their first female members. In her words, “I didn’t let that stop me. I covered the news from the State Capital without being a member… until they finally let me in.” Betty would regale Women’s Press Club members with stories of what it was like before women were considered for major positions in the media, and, with a glint in her eye, would warn us not to forget the “not-so-distant past.”

    In 1966, Betty co-founded the Women's Press Club of New York State, an organization that is dedicated to providing support, professional development, programming, mentoring and networking opportunities for New Yorkers in the field of journalism, and served as the WPC’s first president. She used to say that the WPC was founded “in an effort to move women from the bridal pages to the front pages of print journalism,” and to promote the development of women in broadcasting, which she characterized as “moving from cooking shows and Saturday morning children’s programming to hard news.”

    Providing scholarships for women interested in the field was a life-long interest of Betty’s. As a result of the efforts of the founding members and Betty’s strong interest and support, the first scholarship was awarded in 1967 to a student studying at the Syracuse University School of Journalism. In 2012, the Women’s Press Club renamed its annual scholarship and it became the Betty Flood Morrow Women's Press Club of NYS Scholarship. The scholarship, which is awarded annually to a New Yorker who is enrolled as a full-time student majoring in journalism/communications in a college or university located in New York State. The WPC has awarded more than 60 scholarships to deserving students with exemplary records of study and a commitment to a career in the communications field.

    When she was told of the name change, Flood Morrow said she was “pleased and humbled by the decision.” She continued, “It has always been my goal to support and mentor young people who are interested in the field of journalism and communications. This scholarship has, since its inception, provided that support for students who are now working in the field. It is a living legacy of this organization which is so close to my heart, and I hope it continues long into the future.”

    Betty made sure there were opportunities for internships for women entering the field as well. For more than 3 decades she ran an internship program that provided students extensive experience in writing and reporting news from the state Capitol. Her goal was to provide real experiences so her interns “learned the ropes from the ground up.”

    Betty Flood Morrow was one of several journalists inducted into the prestigious Women’s Press Club Hall of Honor in 1997, the year it was created. The Hall of Honor was established that year to pay tribute to Newswomen of Distinction who have charted the course for others and helped to shape our field. It is the highest award given by the WPCNYS. Many notable women have been inducted into the Hall of Honor over the years since the award’s inception, including our most recent inductees Barbara Walters (2011), Jill Abramson (2012) Judy Sanders (2014), Liz Bishop (2015) and Benita Zahn (2016).

    Betty could be found at press conferences or in her office at Cuyler News until she became ill only a few weeks ago. In her long and honorable career, Flood Morrow also served as an analyst for TV and radio stations in the Capital Region. She was featured in a 2008 piece entitled As Newspapers Cut Costs, a Thinning of the Guard Among Albany’s Press Corps by Jeremy W. Peters and, in her day, wrote numerous freelance pieces for such magazines as New York Magazine, Women's Wear Daily and W, among others.

    Betty was honored at the Women’s Press Club’s Annual Awards and Scholarship Dinner this year. She reminisced during her remarks and once again called upon members and guests to continue to support the Club’s efforts to mentor young women entering the field. We will continue to do that through the scholarship that bears her name and in her honor and memory.

    Betty will be sorely missed, but her memory and the legacy she leaves will live on in all of us who she inspired, mentored and supported for so many years.

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    About the Women’s Press Club of New York State, Inc.
    The Women’s Press Club of New York State, Inc. is a nonprofit organization formed in 1966 by a small group of women journalists committed to supporting women in journalism and communications. Today, the organization’s members include women and men who work for radio and television stations, digital media, newspapers, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private companies, as well as freelance writers, entrepreneurs and students. The WPCNYS provides support, professional development, programming, mentoring and networking opportunities for New Yorkers in the field.


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