Meet a Member: Mark Fowser

Posted April 19, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Delaware, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

One of our valued members is Delaware Press Association Mark Fowser. Fowser and his team are leading one of the most active NFPW affiliates. They have outstanding programs and last year won the affiliate sweepstakes award in the NFPW communications contest . He is another example of an outstanding NFPW member. I am honored to call him a friend.

Mark Fowser

Mark Fowser

Name: Mark Fowser


City and State: New Castle, Delaware

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Delaware Press Association President; past Treasurer; 2016 Communicator of Achievement

Years a member of NFPW: 15

Tell us a little about you.

I have been involved in journalism (broadcast and print) for more than 30 years, and it is something I’ve wanted to do since I was young. The first job I had was as an overnight announcer and disc jockey at a nostalgia station near the New Jersey shore, playing Big Band, Sinatra and Easy Listening tunes and reading news from the wire each hour. Then, I became that station’s News Director, overseeing a staff of one (myself).

After a few years I headed to northern New Jersey for a job in which I anchored radio news for half the day and worked on the nightly news show for a local cable TV channel the other half of the day. Here, I was really able to broaden my horizons and cover a number of important and interesting stories – a hot-air balloon ride, a rafting trip down the Delaware River, a visit below ground to an abandoned zinc mine, and a mountaintop wedding at a ski resort. The first time I ever donated blood, the cameras were rolling.

The opportunity to return to my native Delaware was too good to pass up, however. I have enjoyed various opportunities for more than two decades in news and talk radio, public radio and television, and online journalism. I have been with Delaware1059 radio since its beginning in September, 2012. 

Any career advice you would give?

Learn; ask; intern; explore; join. Find your passion, but realize that it may take several attempts to do that – and, that’s OK.


Mark Fowser



Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to sing better, and perhaps learn a musical instrument to accompany or drown out my singing.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I have been very happy living in the Mid-Atlantic region (Delaware or New Jersey). The 2009 NFPW conference got me very intrigued about San Antonio. If I were to pick another country, it would probably be Spain. 

What book are you reading?

“Driving Home” by Jonathan Raban

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I never traveled far until about 13 years ago; now, I try to get far away once a year.

I am a little introverted considering the profession I have chosen.

And, I follow Philadelphia Flyers hockey with the passion normally seen in English soccer (minus the hooliganism).

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I am grateful to DPA and NFPW for the opportunity to network, to take part in contests and learn valuable feedback from peers, to have attended three national conferences, to have a role in high school contests that will hopefully encourage the next generation, and most of all for long-lasting friendships and relationships that have developed.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Delaware1059 blog:

Meet a Member: Judi Buehrer

Posted April 11, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Colorado, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

I was fortunate to have dinner this past weekend with Judi Buehrer and other Colorado Press Women. The dinner was planned as part of the NFPW spring board meeting in Denver. Judi is working on a memoir about her experiences living in Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union. Two of my friends have read the nearly competed book and tell me it will be a great book. I can’t wait to read it when it is published. Judi is a talented writer and a great asset to both Colorado and NFPW. Meet my friend, Judi Buehrer.

Judi COA 007

Judi Buehrer



Name: Judi Buehrer

City and State: Littleton, CO

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Currently Colorado Press Women Co-VP/Membership and Program Committee member; Colorado COA and NFPW Runner-up COA in 2008. Unfortunately, I was recovering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and wasn’t able to receive the award in person. I’ve also served CPW as president, vice president, secretary, newsletter editor, and helped with high school contest and served on nominating committee and program committee.

Years a member of NFPW: 35

Tell us a little about you.

I am currently semi-retired and finishing Moscow Stories, a memoir about my experiences about living in and reporting about Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union. I fell in love with journalism in high school and graduated from the University of Nebraska J-School with a major in journalism and minors in English and political science. I began my career as a reporter at the Lincoln Journal and then the Northern Virginia Sun. After our first child was born, I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom and switched to freelancing and reporting for weekly papers. Several years later, I worked as a managing editor at the American Water Works Association in Denver before and after my husband and I went abroad for nine years. During that time, I worked at The Moscow Times and returned to freelancing and stringing for area magazines during our postings in Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Over the years my freelance articles appeared in The Denver Post, Albuquerque Journal, Chicago Tribune, Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal, Travel Holiday Magazine and several magazines in Denver and New Mexico.

Me attaching photos to display

Judi Bueher attaching photos to a display.

Any career advice you would give?

Look for the story behind the obvious one. Things are seldom what they seem.

Which talent would you most like to have?

That’s easy. Figure skating!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

On one of the idyllic beaches in Southern Thailand.

What book are you reading?

Wonder by Raquel Jaramillo, under the pen name of R. J. Palacio. It’s a wonderful, humbling, evocative story recommended by my 10-year-old daughter.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I used to get sent to the principal’s office in first grade for taking out my tooth retainer and showing it to classmates. The teacher wasn’t as amused as my friends.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Early in my career, I got two of my jobs through contacts at CPW and learned a lot from the professional programs and my colleagues. Most of us are retired now and have developed close, nurturing friendships. That explains our affiliate’s primary benefits — mentorships and networking.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

I have a FB page, but no website or twitter presence yet.

Meet a Member: Tara Puckey

Posted April 5, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Indiana, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Affiliates are a key part of NFPW and strong leadership at the state level can help an affiliate thrive. Tara Puckey is the president of Woman’s Press Club of Indiana and is doing an outstanding job. She is a proven leader and helps keep membership strong. She is constantly on the go as she continues to grow her skills. Meet this outstanding NFPW member I am pleased to call a friend.

Name: Tara Puckey

City and State: McCordsville, Ind. (just outside Indianapolis)

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Woman’s Press Club of Indiana; Vice President, President (currently serving second term)

Years a member of NFPW: Joined in 2008


Tara Puckey

Tell us a little about you.

After finding the degree program with the least amount of math (math is hard), I picked journalism and graduated with an amazing group of classmates from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis in 2011. While in school, I began freelancing for New York’s Broadway Magazine and Ameriforce, a collective of different magazines all focused on the military, and later added social media management, small business consulting and brand management to the mix . In 2012, I picked up a full time gig with the Society of Professional Journalists after serving two years on their national board as a student representative. As Membership Strategist, I focus on member retention and recruitment, the stability of our more than 150 active chapters and other duties as assigned (nonprofit = multitasking staff).

I multitask the rest of my life, too, I suppose. Currently, I’m wrapping up my MBA in June of this year and will being pursuing my CAE designation shortly after. When I’m not working or studying, you’ll find me teaching dance at a local studio or tromping through tiny Indiana towns in search of the perfect antique find. I’m also pretty easy to track down with a glass of wine and a good book, but my absolute favorite thing is spending time with my husband, Bryan, and two daughters, Alexa and Brooklyn.

Any career advice you would give?

Interview them more than they interview you. Don’t take a job just because the pay is right or it’s where you’ve always wanted to work. Ask questions about the culture, about the atmosphere, about how well everyone plays together in the office. Otherwise, you’ll walk into something you weren’t expecting that makes you uncomfortable or miserable and the money or the position will be the least of your concerns.


Tara Puckey at a Woman’s Press Club of Indiana event.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Maybe it isn’t a talent, but I’d like there to be more hours in the day. I have a million things I still want to do and learn and experience and there’s never enough time. That’s totally crazy, so if you’re looking for the real answer, I’d love to be able to play the guitar and cook super amazing chef-quality meals. Dang, that was too many.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Manhattan. New York is one of my favorite places because I love feeling like I’m just a little speck in something larger. Small towns don’t quite allow that anonymity that you can get somewhere like New York. But, the hubby won’t go for it, so I guess if I have to take him with me, we might go to Savannah. Or, Memphis.

What book are you reading?

Sitting on my coffee table right at this moment is “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I love the dark. Think low lamps everywhere, mood lighting. My entire family hates it, but it takes me to my happy place.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

WPCI was one of the first journalism organizations I joined when I decided to pursue my career. After that first event, I knew I had found a home. The women (and men) I’ve met through WPCI have not only been mentors, but true friends that celebrate every achievement and mourn every loss. I couldn’t be more thankful for this amazing group of people who consistently remind me why I love this industry so much. I’m honored and proud to be among them and wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.:

You can check out my website at, follow me on Twitter at @tpuckey and connect on LinkedIn. I’m on just about everything else, too: Instagram, Snapchat, Zoom, etc. and my username is almost always tpuckey. Hope to connect soon!

Meet a Member: Jane Primerano

Posted March 24, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: NFPW, Pennsylvania, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,


One of the wonderful things about belonging to the National Federation of Press Women is the opportunity it gives members to network and have friends all over the United States. My friend Jane Primerano is an accomplished member of NFPW and also other professional organizations. She is a consummate professional who is willing to adapt to meet the needs of our changing profession. Meet another outstanding member of our organization. 

Name: Jane Primerano

City and State: Hope, NJ

Jane Primerano © 2014

Jane Primerano with her ever present Nikon. (Photo by Anthony Buccino).



Affiliate and any leadership positions: Pennsylvania Press Club. I was a member of the late, lamented, New Jersey Press Women. I was president from 2001 through 2003 and was Communicator of Achievement in 2003. I joined PPC because I wanted to be part of an affiliate and I live 10 minutes from Pennsylvania.

Years a member of NFPW: 33

Tell us a little about you.

Right now, I’m a freelancer specializing in agriculture and agri-business. I am also moving into writing about wineries, craft breweries and craft distilleries, which happened sort of by accident. I have been a reporter, photographer and editor for weekly, daily and online publications. I also spent some time on the “dark side” doing hospital communications and working for public relations firms.

I have three grown children, a son-in-law and two “grandcats.” One of my favorite things is “borrowing” a cousin’s grandchildren and taking them to county fairs and other cool places. Sort of practice, I suppose. I’m active in my church and in Warren County Community Singers.


Jane Primerano with Diesel, a friend’s daughter’s horse in Ohio. Jane loves horses as well as dogs and cats and pretty much any animal. (Photo by Jessica Vezza)





Any career advice you would give?

Develop a specialty early on. The only way I can survive as a freelancer is because I have expertise in farming. You never know, especially today, when you may have to become an independent journalist.

Which talent would you most like to have?

A real knack for languages.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Tuscany. But I’d miss my kids.

What book are you reading?

Just finished The Lowlands by Jhumpa Lahiri and started Informing the News by Thomas E. Patterson.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I once played a sheriff at a wild west theme park.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I believe professional organizations are vital for networking and for banding together for our common interests such as freedom of information and journalism ethics.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

I’m on Facebook as Jane Primerano and on Twitter as @ReporterJane2.

Meet a Member: Julie Slaymaker

Posted March 17, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Indiana, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

I have been a fan of Julie Slaymaker for many years. This little bundle of energy is fun to be around and is always looking for ways to solve problems. She is such an inspiration for all her many accomplishments. I am honored to be able to call her a friend.


Julie Slaymaker

Name: Julie Slaymaker

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Affiliate: Woman’s Press Club of Indiana. Joined in 1973. A member for 43 years.

Leadership Positions: Bulletin Editor; Acting President in 1988. Elected President in 1989. Served until 1990. Elected President again in 2009-2011; (The only member to serve as president three times in WPCI’s 103-year history.) Fulfilled Treasurer and husband Gene Slaymaker’s term when he died in 2012. She has served as treasurer ever since. She is a longtime head of the WPCI Education Fund, a (501) (c) (3) and former board member of NFPW Education Fund.

A little about Julie:

She is a national award-winning freelance writer and was president of the Indiana Professional Chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists from 2001-2002. In 2009, the Indiana Pro Chapter created the Gene and Julie “Indiana Service to Journalism Award” to honor their almost three decades as statewide SPJ contest directors.

While president of Woman’s Press Club of Indiana in 1988-1990, Slaymaker founded the WPCI Prison Writing Contest in conjunction with Women’s Prison of Indiana. While serving as Communications Director for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, she convinced the Indiana Department of Correction to expand the contest to all incarcerated inmates, male and female. It is the achievement for which she is most proud. She was named WPCI’s Communicator of Achievement in 1998 and is a two-time Kate Milner Rabb winner of the organization’s highest award given for dedication and service to the organization. From 2009-2011, Slaymaker again served as President of Woman’s Press Club of Indiana. The Julie and Gene Slaymaker scholarship was established in 2012.

She was only 19-years-old when she got her start in journalism as a summer intern at The Indianapolis Times. While still in college, she served as a correspondent for the Indianapolis office of Fairchild Publications. Her first byline story appeared in Women’s Wear Daily. Her sister found that funny, claiming she knows bag ladies who dress better.

The former WIFE-AM/FM radio public service director was a member of The National Broadcast Promoters Association and Women in Radio and Television. Years later, she became a freelance trial reporter for WTLC Radio. She won UPI’s “Best Reporter” award for her trial coverage of one of the biggest drug rings in the history of Indiana. That same series garnered her shared National Headliners Club Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won a UPI Regional Broadcast award for her radio coverage of the Mike Tyson rape trial.

As a freelance magazine writer, Slaymaker’s work has appeared in magazines including Indianapolis Woman, Indianapolis Pet Quarterly, Indiana Super Lawyers, Indianapolis Monthly, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Indiana State Alumni Magazine, Indiana University Alumni Magazine, Dog Fancy, and AAA’s Home & Away – to name a few.

She is a member of the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers and a board member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

An amateur actress and one of few female presidents in the over 100-year history of The Players, Slaymaker appeared in Dan Wakefield’s Hollywood movie, “Going All the Way,” starring Ben Affleck.

Any career advice you would give:

“Do what you love and the money will follow!” Unless you go into journalism!


Julie Slaymaker


Talent I would like to have:

“I would love to be comfortable speaking in public. Though, I’ve been told I’m good at it, I would rather endure root canal or Pap smear than speak in public!”

What are you reading? 

I just finished reading Alice Munro’s Family Furnishings! I’m a speed reader but not with this book. I read at a snail’s pace while savoring her magnificent writing. No wonder she won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature! Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites is beckoning me to grab an afghan and curl up on a snowy day.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

People would probably be surprised to learn that I was pre-teen, runway model for the biggest department store in Peoria, Illinois. Which doesn’t say much. Because my “budding” career came to an abrupt end when I grew boobs, giving new meaning to “If it will play in Peoria!”

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I didn’t become active in Woman’s Press Club until I turned 40 and received my first NFPW first place award in Vail, Colorado. While there as an unknown, I replaced an ailing WPCI delegate and was immediately adopted by mentors like journalism power houses Hortense Myers, Naomi Whitesell, Dottie Steinmeier, and Joan Bey. For the awards ceremony, I wore an elegant, toga-style gown that matched my Sappho fantasy.   I was on top of the world that night, surrounded by wonderful new NFPW friends. Before going to an after-party, Gene and I went back to our room so I could quickly use the commode. Somehow, the one shoulder drape of my toga swooped into the toilet and when I flushed, I was headed downstream for Denver!

“Fame is fleeting!” But that set a record! One minute I was on top of the world. And the next minute, I was in the proverbial toilet! It’s a Peoria thing!

When I became active in WPCI, I was nurtured and mentored by an organization of journalism mothers who always wanted to know what I was working on so they could guide me to excellence with their professionalism.   Their belief in me gave me confidence to write personality profiles on some of Indiana’s best and brightest.

My NFPW membership gave me inside access to the entire country when Gene and I investigated Indiana’s biggest drug ring that had international and nationwide tentacles. Using my NFPW Directory, I called members who filled me in on their local ringleaders.   Gene and I won a Headliner’s Award for Investigative Radio Reporting. That wouldn’t have happened without the help of NFPW members’ leads who strengthened our reporting. When my Mr. Microphone died, I was surrounded by my WPCI family – many of whom I’ve mentored. They call me “Journo Mom.” They are my adored “Journo Daughters.” It’s an NFPW thing!

Meet a Member: Barb Micek

Posted February 14, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Nebraska, NFPW, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Nebraska Press Women have many strong members. One person I have enjoyed getting to know at NFPW meetings, through the NFPW board and when I attended a Nebraska affiliate meeting is Barb Micek. She is a talented writer, dedicated member and has a friendly personality so people enjoy spending time with her. Meet this awesome member I am happy I can call a friend.


Name: Barb Micek

City and State: Fullerton, NE

Affiliate and leadership positions: Nebraska Press Women, served on NPW board for around 15 years in committee positions and as secretary.

Years a member of NFPW: Member for 20 years

Tell us a little about you:

I have worked as editor for a weekly newspaper in Fullerton since 1996. In 2013, co-writer Nancy Hansen, who is currently serving as NPW secretary, and I published the book “Nebraska Authors Volume One” and in 2014 published military stories of over 50 veterans across Nebraska titled “Nebraskans Remember.” The books were a culmination of three years of interviews and research in between working, so I guess we like to work on the wild side of life! We are currently working on the second books in between our work schedules. In January I also decided to take an online college courses to pursue a Library and Information Services Degree. I guess I thought I didn’t have enough to do!

Any career advice you would give?

Love what you do, life is too short to do otherwise.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to have the talent of not procrastinating.


Barb Micek, front left, with NFPW members visiting Island Park following a spring board meeting. From left: Cathy Koon, Micek, Teri Ehresman, Katherine Kenniston, Lori Potter and Cynthia Price.

If you could live anywhere where would it be?


I hear Arizona is nice this time of year, especially after digging out of 15″ of snow. Where I’d like to visit is Poland and find my ancestry there.

What book are you reading?

The Worst Hard Times : The Untold Story of the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan, and A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. (You have to read at least two books at a time.)

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That if you tried to interrupt me while watching Downton Abbey, I probably wouldn’t answer your phone call.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

NPW is important to me, mainly because of the sisterhood it’s become in my life, and because the conferences are so valuable in what I learn and gain in the way of education and friendship. Plus, the conferences bring me to places in Nebraska I never would have been if not for NPW. The very same can be said for NFPW.

Way to follow you:

Facebook, I don’t Twitter. Our book website is

Meet a Member: Donna Penticuff

Posted January 30, 2016 by tlehre
Categories: Indiana, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

NFPW has a number of great leaders from all over the United States. One of our former national president is Donna Penticuff from Indiana. She has dedicated many years supporting NFPW and her affiliate. In 2015 her affiliate honored her efforts by naming her their Communicator of Achievement. She is deserving of this recognition for all her outstanding communicators efforts. Meet my friend, Donna Penticuff.

Name: Donna Penticuff

City and State: Marion, IN


Donna Penticuff, left, with her first born granddaughter, Lynley Grace Douglas, and her mother Hazel Sorrell. This photo is one of Donna’s favorite and was taken prior to her mother’s passing in December 2014.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:


Member of Woman’s Press Club of Indiana and most recent COA for Indiana. Past National President (2003-2005), and served on the national board for several years, including two terms as treasurer and one-year terms as third, second and first vice president, plus served additional year as past National President and was NFPW Education Fund Director. Have also attended all national conventions since 1984 (32 so far). Also served Woman’s Press Club of Indiana in various leadership roles, including President.

Years a member of NFPW: Joined in 1980 under the sponsorship of my great friend Nancye Hawes.

Tell us a little about you.

I’ve been in newspapers and communications for more 36 years professionally plus four more in college. I’ve been in the trenches doing all kinds of reporting, though I always favored medical/health and technical reporting; have been a copy editor, designer and manager in newsrooms, and had a 16-year career in public relations, development and nonprofit management. In addition, I have taught communications and journalism at a community college and at Ball State University. Five years ago, I became a licensed real estate agent as part of my road to semi-retirement. I now do communications consulting and have a great time helping people make major life decisions in selling and buying real estate.

I’ve also been a longtime community volunteer in several organizations and have loved being a part of WPCI and NFPW.

I’ve been privileged to receive state and national awards for my work but my biggest achievement is having the good fortunate to have three fabulous children (plus their spouses), three (with one on the way) grandchildren and my better half — longtime journalist and editor David Penticuff. Family has always been my top priority and thankfully that family has always understood and supported my love for my career and NFPW.


Donna Penticuff, second from left, meets with other former NFPW presidents during the NFPW conference last September in Alaska. Former presidents from left, Lori Potter, Penticuff, Cynthia Price, Teri Ehresman, Meg Hunt, Marsha Shuler and Gwen White. (Photo by Marsha Hoffman)

Any career advice you would give?


Join NFPW as soon as you can and attend national conferences — and follow your passion!

Which talent would you most like to have?

Other than to grow money on trees? I’d like to have a longer attention span so I could write historical romance novels.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Hard to answer as NFPW conferences are always providing me with new ideas about where I’d like to live. Overall, I need to be close to water and I love historical areas.

What book are you reading?

The Brain Fog Fix by Dr. Mike Dow, though I rarely read non-fiction. For pure enjoyment I am a thriller, romance, sci-fi fan.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Most people think I am an extrovert, but in truth I would rather be in the back row being quiet and taking everything in or just readng a good book. I love to explore why things work or don’t work.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I would not be the person I am today without WPCI and NFPW. Both have allowed me to learn (my No. 1 passion), to grow professionally, to develop leadership skills and to develop the best professional and personal relationships anyone could hope to have.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.:

I am on Facebook and keep telling myself I will actually post to my Twitter account. I currently am a communications consultant and also a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.


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