SEJ's 2014 David Stolberg Meritorious Service Award was presented to SEJ member Beth Daley during the 24th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, by SEJ president Don Hopey, during the Wednesday evening gala:
"This year's Stolberg winner is someone who has done a few different volunteer jobs over the years. Most recently she's worked tirelessly handling a complex set of tasks in a position that sounds like some kind of honor, but is really a lot of hard work. A lot of people benefit from her services in this role, in fact everyone in this room right now is benefitting from it. The winner of SEJ's 2014 David Stolberg Award for Meritorious Volunteer Service: Beth Daley, Chair of the SEJ Awards Committee."
This annual award honors exceptional volunteer work by an SEJ member. It was created by the SEJ board in 1998 and named in honor of SEJ founder David Stolberg.
Much of SEJ's best work is accomplished by member-volunteers: tour and panel organizers for the conference, awards program leaders, contributors to SEJournal, SEJ-talk and www.sej.org, freedom-of-information watchdogs, mentors, and leaders in diversity outreach. Volunteers define the heart and soul of SEJ, and they expand the group's reach and significance in ways that are not easily measured.
David Stolberg had a 38-year career with Scripps Howard that included duties for the Scripps Howard Foundation's annual Meeman Awards for excellence in environmental reporting. Stolberg always believed in "the value of networking, of the subliminal training that comes from an association with one's peers." In the 1980s, when Stolberg was assistant general editorial manager of Scripps Howard, he came up with the SEJ idea and kept suggesting it to Meeman winners until he found one who was willing to put in the volunteer time to organize with other journalists and make something happen. That person was SEJ's founding president, Jim Detjen.
Stolberg died May 24, 2011 at age 83.