VPA award winners

The Star-Tribune won 13 awards in the non-daily category of the 2019 Virginia Press Association’s annual News and Advertising Contest.  The competition consists of categories in advertising, writing, photography, artwork, news presentation and multimedia.

Womack Publishing Company Director of Operations and Star-Tribune Publisher Chad B. Harrison stated, “We are very proud of our entire team being recognized for their outstanding work and commitment through these state-wide Virginia Press Association awards. Their commitment to doing excellent work shows up weekly in the Star-Tribune and it’s nice to see their hard work recognized.”  Harrison also serves as vice president on the board of the Virginia Press Association. 

Staff writer Lanie Davis earned a first place award for education writing for coverage of area SOL testing results. 

Davis joined the staff of the Star-Tribune in May 2018 after graduating from Averett University in Danville. A Danville native she is a feature writer for the newspaper and covers the city of Danville and the town of Gretna.

Former senior staff writer Matt Bell received a first place award for his breaking news photo of the arrest of Matthew Bernard, suspect of a triple homicide.  Bell also won a first place award for breaking news writing for coverage of a shooting that occurred at a Blairs gas station in January 2019. Bell left the paper in December of 2019.

General Manager Leigh Ann Shields and Womack Publishing Production Manager Mary Beth Wellborn won three first place awards for an advertisement promoting weddings at the Berry Hill Resort and Conference Center that was published in Wedding Belles Magazine, a twice-yearly publication of Womack Publishing Company that is distributed regionally.

Shields, a 34-year veteran of Womack Publishing Company and current general manager of the Star-Tribune began her career at the newspaper in layout and design under the direction of former editor Preston Moses. She has held many different positions within the company throughout her career.

Wellborn began her career at the Star-Tribune as graphic designer and is manager of Womack Publishing Company's graphic design department. She over sees production of all Womack Publishing display advertising, as well as speciality publications. 

Graphic Designer Jessica Ingram won a first place award in the category of member self promotion, for her work on a media kit promoting Wedding Belles Magazine.  Ingram works on speciality publications for Womack Publishing Company providing layout expertise for the company's magazines, she also creates advertisements and the company's media kits. 

Shields and Wellborn also won a second place award for an advertisement promoting the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. 

Second place awards were also given to Star-Tribune Account Executive Rachel Nanney and Wellborn for their work for advertisements for The Homeplace Vineyard and Haymore Garden Center. The pair also received third place awards for Cocoa Trail Chocolates, The Homeplace Vineyard and Reid Street Gallery. 

Danville native Rachel Nanney also serves as Womack Publishing Company's assistant marketing director in addition to her responsibilities as account executive for the Star-Tribune.

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