The Associated Press names winners of its 2011 Gramling Awards for staff excellence

Sept. 8, 2011
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NEW YORK -- The Associated Press has named eight individuals from its worldwide staff and a five-member cross-department team as winners of the nine 2011 Oliver S. Gramling Awards for excellence.

“This year’s award winners speak to the core of what makes AP the definitive source for news,” said President and CEO Tom Curley. “Whether it’s helping our journalists in Dakar navigate local customs or taking one of AP’s oldest and most recognized products and turning it into a must-have smartphone app, all of these staffers help us empower our customers and lead our competition.”

The awards, established in 1994, are given annually to staff members whose work and initiative contribute significantly to AP’s news report and to overall AP operations. The awards will be presented at a ceremony Oct. 26 at AP headquarters in New York attended by the AP Board of Directors.

The awards are named after Oliver S. Gramling, the AP newsman and executive who is credited with developing AP's first radio wire, in 1941. Gramling bequeathed his estate to the AP when he died in 1992, directing that it be used for AP staff members nominated for excellence by their colleagues.

A cross-departmental committee of AP managers selected the winners:

$10,000 Gramling Journalism Awards:
AP Senior Field Producer Rob Celliers, based in Durban, South Africa, for his breaking news video skillset, ingenuity and courage on the ground, garnering historic footage while covering the unrest in the Middle East.

Boston-based National Writer Jeff Donn, a member of AP’s national investigative team, for his investigative pieces on the Gulf oil spill, Japan’s nuclear crisis at Fukushima and the alarming state of aging nuclear plants in the U.S.

$10,000 Gramling Achievement Awards:
Sacramento correspondent Tom Verdin for leadership of AP’s groundbreaking, nationwide collaboration with the Associated Press Managing Editors association on the AP-APME “Broken Budgets” series, designing the framework for commitment across 50 statehouses to chronicle the coming financial crisis for states.

The cross-department AP Stylebook team of Darrell Christian, Sally Jacobsen, David Minthorn, Mike Boord and Colleen Newvine, for expanding and advancing the Stylebook product line, delivering a vibrant, state-of-the-art tool for reporters and editors across text, online and mobile formats. It’s the first year a team has been eligible for an achievement award.

$3,000 Gramling Spirit Awards:
Dakar, Senegal-based West Africa Bureau Office Messenger Maliki Ouedraogo, for more than two decades of fierce dedication to the AP, enabling a long line of bureau chiefs, correspondents, photographers, producers and technology managers to consistently meet the challenges that come with covering Africa.

Washington, D.C.,-based Broadcast News Center Radio Chief Supervisor Kathryn Loomans for her people skills and cross-format cooperation, particularly in identifying ways of including video.

New York-based Global Media Services Special Events Manager Nico Maounis for his intense client-focused collaboration setting up video operations for the media and for his honed journalistic instincts.

$3,000 Gramling Scholarship Awards:
Diaa Hadid, Ramallah correspondent, who intends to study Hebrew at the Milah institution of Jerusalem, to enhance her reporting.

Julia Weeks, photo editor for the AP Images Content Team, who plans to pursue a certificate in digital media marketing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies to enhance her ability to expand AP Images’ presence in social media networks.

About The AP
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Jack Stokes, AP Corporate Communications, 212.621.1720

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