Former Vandalia Leader publisher retired January 3, his 65th birthday, after more than 47 years in the newspaper business.
Sosniecki and wife Helen, who owned the Leader from 2003 to 2007, are moving from Le Claire, Iowa, to Lebanon, Missouri, where they edited and published the Lebanon Daily Record from 1999 to 2003.
Gary’s newspaper career began in 1968 as a stringer for the Bensenville Banner and Paddock Publications, both in the Chicago suburbs, then as a student staff member of the Columbia Missourian at the Missouri School of Journalism. His full-time career began in 1973 at the Jackson Sun in Tennessee, followed by the Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, the Humansville Star-Leader in Missouri, the Hillsboro Star-Journal in Kansas, the Webster County Citizen in Seymour, Missouri, The Lebanon Daily Record, and The Vandalia Leader in Missouri. He spent the most-recent eight years on the digital end of the newspaper business at TownNews.com in Moline, Illinois.
Helen’s resume is nearly identical except that in southern Illinois she worked at the Marion Daily Republican and in Kansas she worked at the Wichita Eagle-Beacon. Until earlier this year, she worked for Interlink Inc. of Berrien Springs, Michigan.
The Sosnieckis owned the weekly newspapers in Humansville, Seymour, and Vandalia.
Gary has served as president of the Ozark Press Association, the Missouri Press Association, and the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. Helen has served as president of the Ozark Press Association and as Missouri state representative to the National Newspaper Association.
They are inductees of the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and have received the Eugene Cervi Award, and the lifetime-achievement award of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. Helen has received the Emma McKinney lifetime-achievement award from the National Newspaper Association.
The Sosnieckis plan to remain active in press activities in retirement.
“I know of no one more passionate about journalism (especially community journalism) than Gary, unless it’s his wife Helen,” said Marc Wilson, CEO of TownNews.com.
“Gary has been a dedicated advocate for his customers, and for the newspaper industry. He has helped our staff at TownNews.com understand the needs and culture of our industry,” Wilson added. “In addition, he has been my close personal friend, and I will miss his presence in the office and over lunch.”