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‘The Washington Informer’ named Daimler Chrysler/NNPA Foundation award winner

March 22, 2007 by  
Filed under Money/Business

Akiit.com (March 16, 2007) A campaign to educate and empower African-Americans to take control of their financial destiny and the rebirth of a publication nearly devastated by Hurricane Katrina took top honors in the 2007 DaimlerChrysler Financial Services/NNPA Foundation Entrepreneurial Award competition.

The winners, Washington, D.C.-based The Washington Informer and Atlanta-based Data News Weekly were announced during the National Newspaper Publishers Foundation’s annual NewsMaker of the Year Dinner, held Thursday, March 15, 2007, at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“These two publications exemplify the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Award in their ability to implement innovative ways to grow their businesses while staying true to their mission to inform and serve their communities,” said Janet Marzett, Vice President of Human Resources and Administrative Services for DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas.

As grand prize winner, Denise Rolark Barnes (above), publisher of The Washington Informer, received a $10,000 cash award, as well as the use of a Chrysler Group-brand vehicle for one week. In addition, the publisher was presented with an original sculpture, designed especially for the Entrepreneurial Award by Washington, D.C. artist Cheryl Foster.

Honorable Mention winner Terry B. Jones, publisher of the Data News Weekly, received a $2,500 cash prize and a plaque.

Now in its third year, this unique award encourages members of the Black Press of America to look beyond traditional streams of revenue, such as advertising, and to develop creative ways to thrive in today’s competitive media industry. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services initially pledged $30,000 over three years to establish this award and increased its commitment to $35,000 last year with the establishment of an “honorable mention” category that carries a $2,500 cash prize.

“We are pleased to build on our initial three-year commitment to the NNPA, its foundation and member publications,” announced Marzett. “Today we renew our commitment and will continue to recognize NNPA member publications with the Entrepreneurial Award.”

The Washington Informer won grand prize for its annual “Financial Literacy Supplement” to educate its readers on ways to effectively manage money and debt while empowering them to make good financial choices which will benefit them for a lifetime. In the course of the project, The Washington Informer was able to increase its revenue, build and broaden its relationships with financial institutions, bring new and relevant information to its readers, and market its publication to new segments of consumers and professionals.

“Money management is a top issue in just about every African-American household,” said Marzett. “Any effort to educate and empower our community on money matters is a much needed step in the right direction toward personal wealth building and financial independence. We applaud The Washington Informer for its efforts.”

“It was hard not to be touched by the story of the Data News Weekly,” said Marzett. “The paper was set to celebrate its 40th anniversary and instead found itself fighting for its survival as one of many victims of Hurricane Katrina. Not only did it overcome formidable challenges, but it laid the foundation for what could prove a path to future prosperity.”

This year’s panel of independent judges included Tanisha Sykes, Consumer Affairs Editor of Black Enterprise magazine; Sheryl Nance Nash, freelance business reporter, who has contributed to the New York Times and Money magazine and Ken Smikle, publisher of Target Market News. Kevin McCormick, Manager of Diversity and Human Resources Communications for the Chrysler Group and Stephan Koller, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas rounded out the five-member panel.

Other finalists of the 2007 Entrepreneurial Award competition included the Milwaukee Courier for its “THINK – The Hope Is No Killing” campaign to curb violence in its community, the Florida Courier for successfully re-launching a free, state-wide African-American paper, Minneapolis-based Insight News for its internship program to prepare the next generation of black journalists, the St. Louis American for its annual Diversity Calendar and the Indianapolis Recorder for its “Together We Can” campaign.


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