Spensley receives distinguished newspaper honor

Monticello Express Publisher Mark Spensley received the Master Editor-Publisher of the Year Award on Friday, Feb. 8, at the INA Convention in Des Moines. Congratulating Spensley on his honor is Gov. Kim Reynolds. (Photo by Pete Temple)

The Express received three awards for advertising as part of the INA Convention: two first place awards and a third-place award. From left are Graphic Designer Abby Manternach, who designed the ads; Publisher Mark Spensley, who received Master Editor-Publisher of the Year; and Rae Ann Manternach, advertising and sales. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Express advertising staff takes home awards
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Monticello Express Publisher Mark Spensley joined the historic ranks of statewide editors and publishers when he was awarded the Iowa Newspaper Association Master Editor-Publisher Award.

     On Feb. 8, Spensley was honored with Iowa Newspaper Association honor, one of three from across the State of Iowa.

     "I am extremely honored to receive the Master Editor-Publisher Award,” said Spensley. "To be honest, I never envisioned being selected to this impressive group of Iowa newspaper men and women. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for our hard working staff, both current and present, that has helped keep our newspaper a strong voice in our community."

     Spensley was nominated for the award by Express Editor Kim Brooks and Sports Editor Pete Temple.

     “Working alongside Mark in the daily operations of the Express, I see first-hand his commitment to the newspaper business, to reporting local and area news, and providing our readers with a top-quality newspaper,” stated Brooks in her nomination letter.

     “Throughout his career as co-publisher of the Monticello Express, Spensley has been a tireless and devoted supporter of the City of Monticello and the newspaper business as a whole,” wrote Temple.

     Co-owner Dan Goodyear stated, “Mark is passionate about everything he does…”

     Several community members and business leaders also submitted letters of support.

     Chamber Director Jan Hoag shared, “Mark is clearly an outstanding professional, volunteer and mentor, but most importantly an outstanding leader.”

     Jones County Supervisor and now-retired Monticello firefighter wrote, “He truly is always putting our local community first.”

     Fareway Assistant Manager Tracy Buszka offered, “He puts the needs of his customers above all. Mark is a pillar of our community.”

     Spensley has been with the Express and Shoppers’ Guide since 1991, when he started out working as a technician in the dark room. From there he worked his way up the business ladder, joining the advertising sales team, becoming advertising manager, and associate publisher. Spensley’s weekly column, “Off the Mark,” has appeared in the Express since 2003.

     In 2004, Spensley and his brother-in-law Dan Goodyear purchased the family-owned and operated business from Bob Goodyear (also a Master Editor-Publisher recipient).

     Since November 2013, Spensley has served on the INA Board of Directors. He now serves on the Iowa Newspaper Foundation as secretary/treasurer.

     Spensley was overcome with emotion upon receiving the INA Master Editor-Publisher Award. Aside from Express staff in attendance, Spensley’s entire family and extended family surprised him, joining in the celebration.

     Spensley joins an honorable list of fellow Express leaders who have also received the Master Editor-Publisher Award:

     • Chas A. Doxsee in 1947

     • H.M. “Johnny” Jones in 1974

     • Bob Goodyear in 2000

     Aside from the Master Editor-Publisher Award, the Express also received three advertising awards.

     First place for “Best Ad Featuring Grocery, Food or Entertainment.” This ad was for Above & Beyond’s Memory Garden workshop.

     The judges offered: “Clever use of artwork. Clean and easy to read. Attractive use of color.”

     First place for “Best Ad Featuring Furniture, Furnishings, Appliances or Hardware.” This ad was for Monticello Carpet & Interiors, and was featured in the Express’ annual “Home & Building” issue.

     The judges offered: “Love the house graphic. Went well with this ad.”

     The Express also received third place for “Best Ad Featuring Financial, Insurance or Other Professional Service.” The ad was for Above & Beyond, showcasing what their clients had to say about their level of service.

     The judges offered: “Great use of color. It really catches your eye. The use of text bubbles invites the viewer to read what each one says. The ad does a great job of displaying a lot of information without being overwhelming.”

     All three of the ads are credited to Mary Yanda and Abby Manternach of the Express.

     "I also would like to congratulate both former advertising sales manager Mary Yanda, and current ad designer Abby Manternach for the three ads that won awards this year,” praised Spensley. "I am proud of our entire staff."



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