MCLEAN, Va. – Gannett Co., Inc.’s (NYSE: GCI) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig A. Dubow announced the winners of the company’s 24th annual “Unsung Hero” awards. Gannett’s “Unsung Hero” awards honor employees from throughout the company who give outstanding service every day. This year’s winners are:
• Jeremy Day, District Sales Manager, The Burlington (VT) Free Press. “Jeremy goes above and beyond his job on a daily basis. He is recognized by others for his outstanding work ethic,” one nominator said. Jeremy saved the life of a carrier who had called in sick but was, in fact, suffering from a heart attack. “Thinking fast on his feet, he drove to the carrier’s location where he found her in her car. He immediately called 911 for help and then stayed with her until an ambulance arrived. Both the carrier and her doctor credit this Free Press employee with saving her life. This type of quick thinking is typical of Jeremy Day’s work behavior. He comes to work with a positive attitude daily and his service levels are among the best in the department.”
• Donna Evaro, Reporter, Great Falls (MT) Tribune. “With a shift that starts at 6:30 a.m., Donna has provided a particular boost to the credibility of our early morning report, from grabbing a camera and notepad to chase an overnight fire to soliciting reader photos whenever an opportunity arises,” said one nominator. “Her wide-ranging efforts were a very important factor in the Tribune’s 14.3% increase in online traffic in 2010 and 10% increase the year before. Just out of curiosity one morning recently, I asked Donna Evaro to send me a note on what she had accomplished that morning. Her list came back with more than 30 different tasks. That’s my definition of an unsung hero.”
• Fred McFarland, Team Leader, Digital Production Center, McLean, VA. One nominator said: “Imagine if every time you had a problem, all you had to do was pick up a telephone and ask the person on the other end to help you solve it. And imagine if every time you did that, the problem was solved quickly and successfully. I don’t have to imagine it. That’s exactly what happens when I need help improving The Daily Journal’s website. The voice on the other end is Fred McFarland, a team leader in the Digital Production Center who has been the quiet foundation of our site’s digital strategy for several years. He successfully helped our site become one of the first to make the transition to the new Odyssey design. Along the way, we had questions. Lots and lots and lots of questions. And Fred had answers. Lots and lots and lots of answers.”
• Diana Melton, Web Developer, KSDK-TV, St. Louis, MO. Diana oversees multiple web sites, as well as training and mentoring other station employees. One nominator said: “From the day Diana walked into KSDK, she has continually sought to better herself. Diana has taught herself most of what she knows and has become one of our most trusted resources for the understanding and the operation of digital products. It’s what took her from the role of KSDK ‘go to’ person to one of the Broadcast Division’s web developers. Diana is a selfless star who always helps when called upon whether she is formally on duty or not. She has the company’s best interest at heart, making our products better and our customers happier.”
• Erik Sundvall, Senior Creative Services Manager, USA TODAY, McLean, VA. “Erik’s knowledge of and dedication to the brand is extensive,” said one nominator. “Erik doesn’t hesitate to share his knowledge and pass along pertinent information so everyone is up to speed. He takes a great deal of pride in his own work and design, and encourages others to exceed their own expectations. Erik is an excellent leader of the team. Erik is a mentor to all the designers and the Project Managers as well.” Among his numerous 2010 accomplishments, Erik designed the iPad consumer promotion that has helped generate 1.6 million downloads and won an Inhouse Design award for the Snapshot calendar he designed.
• Pauline White, Media Support Trainer, Newsquest, Somerset, UK. Pauline has been with Gannett for 20 years and has worked in a variety of roles, including as a canvasser and sales manager for a free ads classified title. She is responsible for ad production training and digital development of Newsquest Group projects, as well as digital development, training of salespersons and general administrative support. As one nominator said: “Leading by example, either as part of a team with minimal supervision or entirely on her own initiative, is a key strength and she has demonstrated a strong work ethic. She has also shown commitment to the local business and industry in working her way through the ranks.”
“Our Unsung Heroes are outstanding performers who consistently and continuously give their very best to ensure our company’s growth and success,” said Craig Dubow, chairman and chief executive officer. “We could not be more proud of and grateful for the incredible energy, creativity, commitment and leadership they each demonstrate every day. They have inspired and impressed our leadership team and their colleagues throughout the company.”
The winners were selected from more than 100 nominations this year. Each winner will receive $1,000 and be honored at a reception on Wednesday, April 6 at Gannett corporate headquarters in McLean, VA.
Judges involved in the selection of the Unsung Heroes include Dubow; Gracia Martore, president and chief operating officer; Robert Dickey, president, U.S. Community Publishing; Dave Hunke, president and publisher, USA TODAY; Dave Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Jack Williams, president, Gannett Digital Ventures; Paul Davidson, chairman and chief executive officer, Newsquest, plc.; Roxanne Horning, senior vice president of Human Resources; Todd Mayman, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary; Paul Saleh, senior vice president and chief financial officer; William Behan, senior vice president of Labor Relations; Laura Ramos, vice president of Innovation and Design of Gannett’s Center for Design and Innovation; and Josh Resnik, vice president and general manager of Gannett Digital Media Network.
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international media and marketing solutions company that informs and engages more than 100 million people every month through its powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. Our portfolio of trusted brands offers marketers unmatched local-to-national reach and customizable, innovative marketing solutions across any platform. Gannett is committed to connecting people – and the companies who want to reach them – with their interests and communities. For more information, visit www.gannett.com.