NAA Announces Winners of Inaugural Top 30 Under 30 Awards

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NAA Announces Winners of Inaugural Top 30 Under 30 Awards

Winners Formally Recognized at NAA mediaXchange 2016

April 18, 2016

Arlington, Va. – The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) today announced the recipients of its first-ever Top 30 Under 30 Awards at NAA mediaXchange 2016, being held this week at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. The newly-created awards program honors young leaders working in every aspect of the news media who are contributing to the future success of the industry.

The Top 30 Under 30 Awards program provides an opportunity to showcase the unique energy and knowledge that young professionals bring to news media companies. From journalists to advertising executives to photographers and social media experts, the Top 30 Under 30 winners give off an excitement for what is to come – and it is their ideas that continue to push the industry forward.

“So much positive change is currently taking place in the news media industry, and it is because of people like our Top 30 under 30 that I am more confident than ever in the future success of our industry,” stated NAA president and CEO David Chavern. “Thanks to them, news media are adapting and improving our products and offerings – from new technologies to innovative partnerships to increased reach and influence – so that we can continue to play a central role in the dissemination of important information.”

The below individuals were selected from an impressive group of nominees as the recipients of this year’s Top 30 Under 30 Awards. Each nominee was judged by an NAA/American Press Institute committee on the value of the nominee’s contributions to his or her company and to the industry as a whole. NAA looks forward to highlighting the work of these exceptional individuals on its website over the next several months.

2016 NAA Top 30 Under 30 Awards Winners:

  • David Beniot, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
  • Ashley Bethard, Digital Manager, Cox Media Group Ohio
  • Rafael Carranza, Digital Producer and Reporter, La Voz
  • Brittany Coale, Automotive & Grocery Manager, The Kansas City Star
  • Christina Contreras, Circulation Marketing Manager, The Arizona Republic
  • Anna Costello, Director of Business Development, Adpay, Inc.
  • Adam Fitzgerald, Business Development Manager, NANDO Media Company
  • Shannon Green, Senior Multimedia Producer, USA TODAY
  • Babak Hagh, Marketing and Multimedia Manager, The News & Observer
  • Saundra Hooper, Media Manager, USA TODAY
  • Ashley Howard, Circulation Digital Audience Development, The Oklahoman Media Company
  • Hannah Hunsinger, Staff Photographer, The Sanford Herald Newspaper
  • Elizabeth Jespersen, Content Initiatives Coordinator, GateHouse Media
  • Nathan Kelly, Video Planning Editor, The Arizona Republic
  • Nina Mandell, For The Win Managing Editor, USA TODAY Sports Media Group
  • Joe Martin, Editor-in-Chief, Houston Business Journal
  • Michael Matthews, Circulation Marketing Manager, The News & Advance
  • Clare McMahon, Client Strategy Manager, Democrat and Chronicle Media
  • Mark Pan, Partnership Strategist, Newsela
  • Clifford Parody, Reporter, The Ledger
  • Joshua Peterson, Publisher, Manchester Times
  • Allison Petty, Reporter, Herald & Review
  • Adam Playford, Director of Data/Digital Enterprise, Tampa Bay Times
  • Arielle Ray, Video Journalist, The Wall Street Journal
  • Joshua Robinson, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
  • Lauren Rolls, Reporter, The Albuquerque Journal
  • Richard Romeo, Senior Account Executive, Cox Media Group – Austin American Statesman
  • Allison Sebelius, Marketing and Event Coordinator, The World Company
  • Chris Segal, Managing Editor, The Daily News (Jacksonville, NC)
  • Elizabeth Varin, Web Producer, American News
  • Eric Webb, Social Media & Engagement Editor, Austin American Statesman

About NAA mediaXchange 2016

NAA mediaXchange 2016 will take place from April 17-20, 2016, at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. The conference is designed to inspire and provide valuable ideas to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products. The theme of the conference is “local” — the importance of newspapers in providing localized knowledge and information, engaging and improving the lives of their local communities. Previous Washington conferences featured speeches from the top presidential candidates. We hope to add the leading 2016 candidates to the event, making it a particularly noteworthy affair for all attendees. For more information, visit


About NAA

The Newspaper Association of America is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of new media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the association and the industry also may be found at


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