Posted tagged ‘Mary Pat Finn-Hoag’

Meet a Member: Mary Pat Finn-Hoag

September 30, 2015

I always look forward to seeing Mary Pat Finn-Hoag at NFPW conferences. Mary Pat and others from Nebraska are special friends I enjoy seeing each year. She is a dedicated member of both NFPW and Nebraska Press Women and is always willing to help out and share her talents. She is a talented writer and you can always count on her to help out and get a job done. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member I am honored to call a friend.

Name: Mary Pat Finn-Hoag

Hometown: Norfolk, Nebraska

Mary Pat Hoag, right,

Mary Pat Finn-Hoag, right, has written numerous stories with foreign ties. Her latest was on Rochelle Holm, who is coordinating a water and sanitization project Malawi. Holm is shown holding her 18 month old daughter, Mphatso.

Affiliate and leadership positions:

I am a proud member of the Nebraska Press Women and am currently serving as historian. I am a past vice president and have served on various committees and coordinated two state conventions in Norfolk.

Years a member of NFPW:

I’’ve been a member since 7-7-77; am I lucky or what! My regret is that I didn’’t join several years earlier.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I grew up on a Wayne County farm that’’s been in our family since 1906. I ha’ve always loved to read and was “reading” newspapers before I could read. My fourth-grade country school teacher told me: “You can write.” I incredulously answered: “I can?”

I graduated from Wayne State College (a 12-mile pickup drive from home) in December 1972, its first graduate with the journalism-broadcasting double major. I also earned a teaching degree.

I landed a newspaper job before a teaching job — and I’’m now in my 43rd year at the Norfolk Daily News, a family-owned newspaper for more than 125 years. I worked on the national Livestock Market Digest staff for four years before landing the agricultural editor’’s position. I am also in my second long stint as youth editor. I’’ve done general reporting (on almost every subject), plus photography, almost since day one.


Always helping a friend, Mary Pat Finn-Hoag, right, snaps a picture of Lori Potter at the 2014 NFPW conference in South Carolina.

Any career advice?

Continue to learn. Read, read, read. Hone your skills; attend workshops. Be involved in professional organizations. Go the extra mile. Be a team player. Treat everyone with respect. Give praise to others. Use your God-given talents. Maintain high standards.

What talent would you most like to have?

As a teen, my early career ideas were livestock judge, veterinarian or artist. Then I wanted to be a disc jockey. I later thought I woul’d farm full time and do free-lance work on the side. I love art and would love to be more artistic; I have creativity inside wanting to spill out.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Norfolk — and Nebraska — are great places to call home (I’’m not a big-city girl), but I love to travel. I’’ve enjoyed discovering the cities scattered across the country where the NFPW conferences have been conducted. I love mountains, beaches and nature. I’’d like roots but freedom to explore wherever my heart leads me.

What book are you reading?

Prior to the Alaska conference I was delving into a stack of travel information on Alaska. I usually have several books in the works; I gravitate almost entirely to non-fiction. My current reads include “Eighty-One Seconds” by LaRayne Topp (personal accounts by victims of the multiple tornadoes that struck this immediate area in June 2014); “The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey” by Alan Guebert, a nationally syndicated ag columnist who recently spoke in Norfolk; and “My Life with the Saints” by James Martin. I have been a “magazine-aholic” since childhood and subscribe to “too many,” but I love mags and keeping up on many topics.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My high school English teacher said women don’’t go into broadcasting. My guidance counselor said I should work in a factory (since I was fast on office machines) and not go to college. My parents were college educated and all eight of their children would — and did — go to college. My proudest moment in life was graduating from college in 2.5 years (trimester plan), ranking third academically in my class.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I love the “sisterhood,” the networking, the educational workshops, and look forward to the state and national conferences each year. Membership in NPW and NFPW has been one of the wisest investments of my life!

Ways to follow you:

I am not a “techy” and not an avid social media user. My home email is, and I’’m on Facebook (marypat hoag).