AWC Newsmakers Luncheon to Honor Distinguished Writer, Three Local Leaders

AWARD RECIPIENTS: From left are AWC Newsmaker honorees Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma; Janet Pearson, retired writer from the Tulsa World; Rep. Jeannie McDaniel; and Wendy Thomas, executive director of Leadership Tulsa.

Janet Pearson, a reporter turned editorial writer who covered major beats and issues for the Tulsa World for almost four decades, has won the Saidie Award, the highest honor of the Tulsa Chapter of the Association for Women in Communication (). The organization will recognize Pearson and three other women who shape or write about the news at AWC’s Newsmaker Luncheon, Wednesday, May 7, at Southern Hills Country Club.

The event caps off a year of programs for and about Tulsa communicators. Proceeds from the Newsmakers Luncheon benefit the scholarship program for aspiring communicators and other philanthropic programs. Tulsans Eileen Bradshaw, Wendy Thomas and State Rep. Jeannie McDaniel will join Pearson in receiving awards at the luncheon.

“We pick our Newsmakers and Saidie Award winners with a lot of care, so participants can expect to be inspired and touched by the contributions these women have made to Tulsa,” Molly Jarvis, president says.

Past Newsmakers luncheons have included 200 or more participants.

LeAnne Taylor, anchor at -Channel 6, will be the emcee, so participants can expect some witty dialogue.

Many will recognize Pearson’s byline from her most recent position as an editorial writer at the Tulsa World, but she began as a reporter for the Tulsa World while a Merit Scholar at the University of Tulsa. She went on to cover issues such as early childhood education, mental health insurance reform, domestic violence and reproductive rights. “Not often do we find a woman who has spent nearly 40 years covering the major beats as a reporter and commenting on the major issues of the day as an editorial writer,” Jarvis says.

Bradshaw, Thomas and McDaniel will receive Newsmaker Awards, given to women who are either making news or writing about it. Rep. McDaniel started her political life at the Citizens Crime Commission. In 1991, McDaniel created the Mayor’s Office for Neighborhoods and led the department for 10 years. In 2004, McDaniel was elected to represent Tulsa District 78. Rep. McDaniel has been constantly in the news, informing Tulsans about stricter laws for bullying, health education, grandparents raising grandchildren and the future of the old Drillers Stadium.

Eileen Bradshaw is executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, the largest private hunger-relief organization in Eastern Oklahoma. Her success as director of Emergency Infant Services led her to the top post at the Community Food Bank. Bradshaw oversees the distribution of food to 450 partner agencies in 24 counties. Bradshaw has continuously been in the news addressing the needs of food for the underserved.

Wendy Thomas has served as the “face” and executive director of Leadership Tulsa since 2002. Thomas has shepherded hundreds of Leadership Tulsa alumni
who have worked to strengthen the Tulsa community through service on local non profit and community boards. Her accomplishments include her role in founding Clarehouse, a non profit end-of-life facility. Prior to her role at Leadership Tulsa, Thomas led the campaign to restore Harwelden while serving as director of the Arts and Humanities Council.

Newsmaker Luncheon sponsors include Leadership Tulsa, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Friends of the Food Bank, Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa, Inc., Ruth K. Nelson, Tulsa Community College Foundation, Tulsa World Media Company, Williams, Nancy McDonald, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Honorable Susan Savage, Honorable Kathy Taylor, TulsaKids, TK Publishing, The University of Tulsa, and Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers.
For more information about the Newsmakers Luncheon, call Jan Keim at 918-828-5293.

Updated 04-28-2014

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