David Stolberg Meritorious Service Award

Christy George, SEJ's new president of the board, presents the 2008 Stolberg Award to Margie Kriz (right). Photo by Kate Lutz.
The Stolberg Award was presented October 18, 2008, at SEJ's 18th annual conference in Roanoke, Virginia to Margie Kriz.

One of SEJ's most prestigious awards is named for founding member David Stolberg. Every year since 1998, the Stolberg Award has gone to a stalwart SEJ volunteer.

Our 2008 Stolberg winner has toiled in the SEJ trenches for many years: everything from writing for the SEJournal to serving as an awards judge to being a mentor to helping write the Covering Pollution handbook that SEJ and IRE co-published to organizing numerous conference panels, and often multiple panels at the same conference — including this conference, even though she only got here today. [Saturday, the last full day of the conference.]

But most of all, she has been our #1 go-to person whenever SEJ wants to talk about environment and politics. Again and again, she's delivered.

At the Portland conference, during the first year of the Bush administration, she delivered both brand-new EPA Commissioner Christie Todd Whitman and brand-new Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton — and that was just three weeks after 9/11. And they came despite the Secret Service's grave concerns about protestors dressed as caribou.

This year, she not only helped organize the Roanoke conference's Saturday lunch and plenary session, "Election 2008 and the Environment," but also a presidential primary debate on energy and climate change earlier this year. With that panel, SEJ broke into the National Press Club, and also onto C-Span. That's C-Span 1, not C-Span 3. And they carried it LIVE!

So with great pleasure, the 2008 David Stolberg Meritorious Service Award went to Margie Kriz.

Information on the nomination procedure for SEJ's 2009 David Stolberg Meritorious Service Award will be posted here in the new year. Please check back.

This annual award honors exceptional volunteer work by an SEJ member. It was created by the SEJ board in 1998 and named in honor of SEJ founder David Stolberg.

Much of SEJ's best work is accomplished by member-volunteers: tour and panel organizers for the conference, awards program leaders, contributors to SEJournal, SEJ-talk and www.sej.org, freedom-of-information watchdogs, mentors, and leaders in diversity outreach. Volunteers define the heart and soul of SEJ, and they expand the group's reach and significance in ways that are not easily measured.

David Stolberg had a 38-year career with Scripps Howard that included duties for the Scripps Howard Foundation's annual Meeman Awards for excellence in environmental reporting. Stolberg always believed in "the value of networking, of the subliminal training that comes from an association with one's peers." In the 1980s, when Stolberg was assistant general editorial manager of Scripps Howard, he came up with the SEJ idea and kept suggesting it to Meeman winners until he found one who was willing to put in the volunteer time to organize with other journalists and make something happen. That person was SEJ's founding president, Jim Detjen.

Past winners include:
2007 — Mike Dunne
2006 — Dale Willman
2005 — Denny Wilkins
2004 — Ken Ward Jr.
2003 — Orna Izakson and Dawn Stover
2002 — Michael Rivlin
2001 — Russell Clemings
2000 — Paul MacLennan
1999 — Randall Edwards

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