Virginia Press Association

Virginia Press Association Names Outstanding Journalist and Advertising Sales Winners at Annual Awards Banquet




April 14, 2018

Contact: Betsy Edwards

Virginia Press Association Names Outstanding Journalist and Advertising Sales Winners at Annual Awards Banquet

RICHMOND, Va. –  Chris Suarez, from The Daily Progress in Charlottesville was named Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year, Madeline Hickman, of the Northern Virginia Daily was named Outstanding Sales Professional and Tim Eberly of The Virginian-Pilot was named Outstanding Journalist of the Year.

The three winners exemplified the best of their profession through excellent skills and a commitment to always producing the best work.

2017 Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year: Chris Suarez – The Daily Progress

The judges noted, “Chris Suarez’s portfolio includes stories that cover a range of topics familiar in a small community: the closing of a Kmart, public funding for a festival, proposed changes to a walking trail.   But the bulk of his work brackets the deadly protests that took place in Charlottesville on Aug. 12.  Before the national media arrived, Suarez’s stories presaged the radical factions planning to attend and the potential for violence.

Another piece offered historical perspective on the tensions between free speech and hate speech.  And after the tragic day, his stories documented the dramatic responses – by both city officials and citizens — and the findings of the independent investigation. Suarez’s stories are meticulously reported and clearly written, exhibiting skill beyond his years.  Even in the Kmart closing story, he went the extra mile to determine how many bus riders get off at the stops in front of the store each month.  Suarez deserves recognition as Virginia’s Outstanding Young Journalist.”

2017 Outstanding Sales Professional of the Year: Madeline Hickman – Northern Virginia Daily

In nominating Hickman, her published noted, “Madeline really hit the ground running from the first week. She cares about her customers and she believes in her products. She gained the trust of her customers almost instantly and developed very valuable relationships very quickly. She is never afraid to try something. If it works, she will make it bigger and better. If it doesn’t work, she will either take a different approach or say, “I tried”. Her personal goals are often higher than the goals we set for her. Madeline is very much a team player. As a publisher it gives me great pleasure to nominate her for this award.”

2017 Outstanding Journalist of the Year: Tim Eberly – The Virginian-Pilot

The judges noted in selecting Eberly, “In a high-quality field, Tim Eberly’s work stands out for its community impact.  His series on “three-strike” prisoners who faced unduly long sentences led to changes in the Parole Board’s practices and freedom for several inmates.  The stories were deeply reported and written in an engaging manner.

Eberly also turned his investigative talents on the longtime Norfolk Sheriff.  Using the state’s FOI law and extensive interviews, he uncovered at trail of abuse by the sheriff, who abruptly resigned as the story was being reported.  Eberly exhibits range and depth and merits recognition as Virginia’s Outstanding Journalist.”



The judging for the 2017 contest was conducted by journalists in Alabama

For more information about the contest results go to:



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