A little bit of information on our special awards
Chester Evans Award (STPA's Distinguished Service Award): Chester Evans was the publisher of the Edna Herald (now the Jackson County Herald-Tribune). Chester was treasurer of STPA in 1967-68, after which the office became secretary-treasurer, a position he held until 1985. He was known for the 3 x 5 index cards on which he used a manual typewriter to correspond with officers and directors, always signed "Evans of Edna." For his long and dedicated service to STPA, the award was named in his honor and at the association’s 75th convention in May 2002, Chester himself was presented with the award that bears his name. He died Sept. 25, 2002.
Red Gibson Award: Red (Dr. Martin L.) Gibson was a journalism professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He became an associate member of STPA in the late 1970s and attended conventions and was a presenter many times, leaving his audiences with information, inspiration and laughter. He died at the age of 59 in 1993. The Friend of STPA Award was initiated in 1956. Red received the award, along with UT colleagues Mike Quinn and Griff Singer in 1994. In 1995 the award was renamed the Martin L. “Red” Gibson Award because Red was, indeed, a good friend to STPA.
Joyce and Fred Latcham Community Service Award: The Beeville Bee Picayune’s walls are filled with Community Service Awards. Joyce Latcham, along with her husband Fred, represented the third generation of Joyce’s family to lead the Picayune. Not only has the Picayune earned community service awards in STPA contests, but in Texas Gulf Coast Press Association, Texas Press Association and National Newspaper Association competitions. It is a valued tradition at the newspaper, and fitting the award should be named in honor of two people who continually exemplified community service year after year. Their sons, Chip and Jeff, continue the tradition. Joyce died Oct. 21, 2000, and Fred died Feb. 11, 2009.
Griff Singer General Excellence Award: Griff was a professor of journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. UT’s Griff, Red Gibson and Mike Quinn were regulars at STPA conventions, and Griff was as frequent a presenter was Red. He continues to present to this day. Griff reminded us – and still does – of the standards, both in terms of writing and ethics, to which we must hold ourselves and our newspapers. Because of his high standards, the General Excellence Award was named in his honor.
Judy and Bill Wilkerson Sweepstakes Award: Judy and Bill were the longtime publishers of the Pleasanton Express. Both are past-presidents of STPA, and Bill was treasurer from 1985 to 2004. Bill was known as “Wild Bill,” a reflection of his bigger-than-life personality and his love of Pearl Light -- one of which he kept in every pocket during STPA conventions. Judy was his rock, and served as an inspiration for all young women entering into and working in the newspaper profession. While Judy’s focus was on the news side of the newspaper, Bill’s was on making sure the news hole was paid for. So, it was fitting to name the Sweepstakes award, which encompasses all aspects of the newspaper, after Judy and Bill. he died April 30, 2015, while she died April 26, 2019.
Nick West Memorial Internship This program is named for long-time chairman of the internship committee, Nick West. He was publisher for the Palacios Beacon and a dedicated member of STPA for many years. Approached times to serve as an officer on several occasions, he always declined. He preferred working in the background, and did so with dedication and loyalty. After a seven-and-a-half battle with cancer, Nick died July 27, 2014.
The Strauss Haus: The STPA hospitality room was initially the Palmer Room, named for the company that provided supplies to newspapers throughout South Texas. The sales rep was a man named Joe Strauss. He was the congenial, welcoming host, and his wife, Gladys, provided what has become an STPA tradition, her recipe for “Trash,” a magical mix of nuts and crunchy cereals that has fueled many a poker game. The company changed hands, but the hospitality suite carried on with Joe and Gladys as hosts. Eventually, Granite Publications took on the sponsorship, with members of the Pleasanton Express staffing the hospitality suite as Gladys and Joe moved into retirement. The room was renamed The Strauss Haus in honor of these STPA legends.
STPA Special Awards Recipients
Red Gibson Friend of STPA Award Recipients
1956 – *Howell W. Jones, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
1964 – *Henry Natho, Natho Paper Co.
1970 – *Joe Strauss, E.C. Palmer Paper Co.
1971 – *Helen and *Maurice Gardner, Central Power & Light Co.
1973 – *Harry Jersig, Lone Star Brewing Co.
1990 – “Jimmy” Springs, Rural Electric Cooperatives
1991 – T.B. “Beau” Miller, GTE
1992 – Not awarded
1993 – Hal Reagan, ALCOA
1994 – *Mike Quinn, Griffin “Griff” Singer, *Martin L. “Red Gibson, The University of Texas at Austin
1995 – State Sen. Judith Zaffarini
1996 – *“Bill” Erwin, GTE
1997 – State Comptroller John Sharp
1993 – Elane and Stuart Franke, HastaGro
1999 – *Mike Quinn, The University of Texas at Austin
2000 – Joe McClung, Strauss Haus
2001 – *John Willoughby, AEP-CPL
2002 – Charles Butt and H.E.B. Grocery Co.
2003 – Sharon Wells, Verizon
2004 – Bobby and Sandra Strauss, Strauss Haus
2005 – Judy and *Bill Wilkerson, Pleasanton Express
2006 – *Andy Heines, AEP
2007 – Mike Hodges, Texas Press Association
2008 – Ed Sterling, Texas Press Association
2009 – The Pleasanton Express staff
2010 – Larry Jones, AEP Texas
2011 –Granite Publications/Brandi Guy
2012 – *Nick West, STPA webmaster and scholarship chair
2013– Jeff Berger, Hondo Anvil Herald
2014—Graham Dodson, AEP Texas
2015 – Griff Singer, The University of Texas at Austin
2016 – South Texas Electric Cooperatives
2017 - No Award Presented
2018 - The Linemen of AEP
2019 - Thad Swiderski, eType Service
2020-2021 - No Award Presented
2022 - Sue Brown, Texas Press Association
2023 - Donnis Baggett, Texas Press Association
During the administration of Jeff Berger of the Hondo Anvil Herald, the Friend of STPA Award became the Martin L. “Red” Gibson Friend of STPA Award.
Chester Evans Award Recipients
1985—*Kathryn and *Chester Evans, Edna Herald
1986 — *Vera and *George Bridges, Flatonia Argus; *Margaret Mick, Smithville Times; *Arthur H. “Art” Kowert, Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post
1987 – *Dorthea and Paul Busch, Trinity University
1988 – *Joe Strauss and family, Shiner Gazette
1989 – *J. G. “Scoop” Richards, Aransas Pass Progress
1990 - *Joyce and *Fred Latcham Jr., Beeville Bee Picayune
1991 – *M. Dale Barker, Zavala County Sentinel, Crystal City
1992 – Judy and *“Bill” Wilkerson, Pleasanton Express
1993 – Jerry and “Bill” Berger, Hondo Anvil Herald
1994 – *Helen Tracy, San Patricio County News
1995 – *Margaret Mick, Smithville Times
1996 – *C. M. “Cap” Henkel Jr.*, Refugio County Press
1997 – *Betty and *Earl Luedecke, Sealy News
1998 – Otha Grisham, Seguin Gazette
1999 – Vicki and Sam Fore Keach, Nueces County Record Star
2000 – *Arthur H. “Art” Kowert, Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post
2001 – Peggy and “Bill” Cooke, Rockdale Reporter
2002 – *Chester Evans, Edna, Edna Herald, ret.
2003 – *Burnis Lawrence, Alpine News
2004 – *Andy McBeath, Eagle Pass
2005 – Sally and *Dick Richards, Aransas Pass Progress
2006 – *Fred Barbee, El Campo Leader News
2007 – Susie and Larry Jackson, Fayette County Record
2008 – Julie and *Willis Webb,, Jasper Newsboy
2009 – Agnes and Larry Sedlmeyer, Shiner Gazette
2010 – Mary and Murray Judson, Port Aransas South Jetty
2011 – *Nick West, Palacios Beacon
2012 – Chris Barbee, El Campo Leader News
2013 – Ramona (Bebo) and Chad Ferguson, The Banner Press Newspaper, Columbus
2014—Joe and Maxine Vyvjala, Schulenburg Sticker
2015—Lisa Treiber Walter, Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post
2016 – Jeff Berger, Hondo Anvil Herald
2017 - Sue Brown, Pleasanton Express
2018 - Glenn Rhea, The Cuero Record
2019 - Ken Esten Cooke - Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post
- 2020 - No Award Presented -
2021 - S. Griffin Singer, Austin
2022 - Sarah and Bud Buckner
2023 - Cyndy Slovak-Barton, Hays Free Press
The award had been called the Distinguished Service Award from 1985 to 1995 when it was renamed the Chester Evans Award.