Former Vandalia Leader owners Gary and Helen Sosniecki recently learned they will be inducted this fall into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame.
The former publishers of three community weekly newspapers and one daily newspaper will be inducted alongside David Bradley, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News-Press & Gazette Company, St. Joseph; Judy Dixon, Festus, a cartoonist/illustrator with more than 30 years in the newspaper industry; and Don and Kathy Ginnings, longtime publishers of the Hermitage Index.
They will be inducted during the 148th annual Convention of the Missouri Press Association (MPA) at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. This will be the 24th group to be inducted into the Newspaper Hall of Fame, which was established by MPA in 1991.
Hall of Fame inductees receive Pinnacle Awards in honor of their service to the Missouri newspaper industry and their communities. Inductees’ plaques will join the permanent display of inductees in the MPA office in Columbia and in the student lounge in Lee Hills Hall at the Missouri School of Journalism.
“Helen and I have been very fortunate in our newspaper careers, receiving many honors, and going into the Hall of Fame in our home state is icing on the cake,” Gary Sosniecki said.
Gary and Helen Sosniecki owned weekly newspapers in Humansville, Seymour and Vandalia and published The Lebanon Daily Record during a 34-year newspaper career that also included newspaper jobs in Tennessee, Illinois, and Kansas.
They are 1973 graduates of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and will host the 2015 summer conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors at Mizzou.
Their many awards include ISWNE’s lifetime-achievement honor, the Eugene Cervi Award, in 2003. Gary’s editorials won Golden Quill awards from ISWNE in 1998 and 2006.
The Sosnieckis received the National Newspaper Association’s Community Development Award in 1998 for their efforts to build a new library in Seymour and its President’s Award in 2007 for their work on postal issues.
Helen was the NNA’s Emma C. McKinney Memorial Award winner for 2011. Gary was 2004 president of the Missouri Press Association and is the current president of ISWNE. Helen was MPA’s state representative to NNA. Both served as presidents of the Ozark Press Association.
The Sosnieckis have served on numerous local boards in their communities. Since 2008, Gary has been a regional sales manager for TownNews.com and Helen has been senior sales and marketing manager for Interlink Inc.
They live in LeClaire, Iowa.
The Sosnieckis will join the late Weldon H. “Pete” Steiner, former owner of The Vandalia Leader, in the Hall of Fame. Steiner was inducted in 2006.