North Carolina’s Gwen White spends career serving NFPW, others

The late Louise Shadduck was a role model for Media Network Idaho members. She was the first member from Idaho to serve as NFPW president and was known to many as the Lioness of Idaho. One of her dear friends was Gwen White of North Carolina who took the time, at Louise’s request, to spend a weekend with us at an Idaho conference while Gwen was NFPW president. I was impressed with Gwen then and I continue to look up to her today. Through the years I have enjoyed catching up with her at national conferences and learning about all the outstanding activities she continues to support. Meet this unique, unbelievable and dedicated NFPW member.

Name: Gwen Armstrong Whitegwens_pix

City and State: Lived in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina for 36 of my 46-year married career. When my husband, Rhett, retired and took another job we moved inland 40 miles to our childhood area in Columbia, N.C.

Affiliate and leadership: I am a charter member of the NC Press Club that chartered as Press Women of North Carolina. I believe that was 1978. I have served as president of that affiliate four times and currently serve as the treasurer. I have been active on the national level from the time I attended my first convention in the early 1980’s. I served as the national communications contest chairman for 25 years before stepping aside to let the newer generation take it into the digital age. I am very proud of the job they are doing with it.

I served NFPW by serving as each of the vice presidents and rose to the presidency in 1993. Even though I am not in any leadership role on the national level I still attend all conventions and enjoy the great fellowship and friendships I have made.

Tell us a little about you:

I have been a journalist, and am now a non-profit executive director, an event manager, humorist and motivational speaker. I worked for a daily paper for 17 years and 10 years in weekly and twice a week newspapers. I began my speaking career when I first took the stage as a teenage 4-H’er and have never stopped. I have addressed audiences in all 50 states and seven countries.

I direct the North Carolina Lions annual Visually Impaired Person’s fishing tournament for more than 500 blind and visually

Gwen White with a young blind man who had won a trophy for catching a big fish at a Lions event. She says I was her pleasure to  grant his request to meet her.

Gwen White with a young blind man who had won a trophy for catching a big fish at a Lions event. She says it was her pleasure to meet him.

impaired people and guests. I was installed as Lions District Governor in Australia in 2010.  My honors are many but my highest honor is being named the Ambassador of Good Will for Lions where I was one of only 40 out of 1.3 million Lions in 208 countries who received the honor.

Career advice:

I’d say whatever career you choose or end up in, make sure you have a good time, look for the positives, have fun and mentor younger people. I love the communications field.

What talent would you like to have:

As for what talent I would like to have. I would love to be able to sing (as in carry a tune) and play a guitar.

Where would I live?

If I could live any place other than where I am, it would be: Inside the U.S. – Idaho. Outside the U.S. would be New Zealand.

What book are you reading?

I am reading “The Gift of Christmas Present” by Melody Carlson

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am an introvert. I have to make myself be outgoing at parties and events. I used to market leeches to the medical community.

Why is my affiliate and NFPW important to me?

It has been my educational tool. Everything I learned about journalism in the early years was from NCPC and NFPW workshops, institutes, and travel opportunities. I never went to college for the field I entered. I fell into journalism and learned as I went.

I cannot say enough about the travel opportunities and lifelong friendships that I have formed in this organization.

How to follow me:

I am on Facebook (thanks to NFPW). Email is I can be reached at I

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2 Comments on “North Carolina’s Gwen White spends career serving NFPW, others”

  1. Martha Oskvig Says:

    Gwen, you are one of my FAVORITES! e-hugs from, Martha Oskvig (formerly of Minnesota, now Iowa)

  2. Gwen continues to inspire and give generously of her time and energy to NFPW. She is one of the reasons I love going to conference each year.

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