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The Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Neil Westergaard, an award-winning Colorado journalist who served as executive editor of The Denver Post and editor of the Denver Business Journal.
Westergaard received Colorado SPJ’s Keeper of the Flame Award in 2018 for his lifetime contributions to journalism in the state. The Colorado Press Association named him Newspaper Person of the Year this spring. He also was a member of the Denver Press Club’s Hall of Fame. He was 67.
“It’s tragic that Neil is gone so soon, because he still had so much to contribute,” said Colorado SPJ President Sandra Fish. “We’re keeping his family in our hearts as we mourn his death.”
Most recently, Westergaard wrote columns for Coloradopolitics.com.
He died Sunday night after suffering from heart and kidney issues, according to a family statement. He is survived by Cindy, his wife of many years, a son (Ben) and daughter (Rachel). His family plans a private funeral, with a memorial service in August.

Deb Hurley, news editor at Evergreen Newspapers and the elections chair for the Colorado Professional Chapter of SPJ, is calling for self-nominations for the six positions up for election on the board: four directors at-large, president-elect and treasurer.

Board meetings are held every month, and board members may attend in person or via conference call. Board members may reside anywhere in Colorado, and must be members in good standing with national SPJ and the Colorado Professional Chapter.

To indicate your willingness to run for a position and to serve on the board, please e-mail Deb at deb.hurley.brobst(at)gmail.com your name, the position you are interested in, a photo, a biography of no more than 250 words and a statement of no more than 200 words explaining why you want to be on the board. Deadline: Thursday, June 27

The election information will be e-mailed to all members of Colorado Pro on June 28, and members will have until July 8 to cast their ballots.
If there is only one candidate for each position, I will cancel the election and declare those candidates the winners.

If you have any questions about the process, the duties or how you can get involved with Colorado Pro — whether as a board member or as a volunteer — please contact Deb at 303-601-8098 or at deb.hurley.brobst(at)gmail.com.

Position: President-elect
Term of office: 1 year as president-elect, 2 years as president, 1 year as past-president
Duties: The president-elect serves one year as assistant to the president, then two years as president, organizing meetings and overseeing other activities.

Position: Treasurer
Term of office: 2 years
Duties: The treasurer serves a two-year term and manages the books for the chapter. Responsibilities include watching investments, paying scholarships, preparing the annual budget and tracking general expenses.

Position: Members of the board of directors
Term of office: 2 years
4 positions are open
Duties:
The board is responsible for the general direction and planning of chapter activities. Board members are required to attend board meetings and participate in the chapter’s professional development programming.

We’ll have more details this weekend, but for now, here’s a sortable spreadsheet of results.

The Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists board of directors sends their condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Kevin Kaufman, who died of cancer Feb. 10. 

Longtime Boulder Daily Camera editor Kevin Kaufman is 2019’s recipient of the Keeper of the Flame Award, bestowed by from the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his lifetime contributions to the profession in Boulder and Colorado.

Kaufman, who joined the Camera as an assistant city editor in 1994, rose through the ranks at the paper and was named to the top newsroom job in 2006. Staff members say he was instrumental in maintaining the Camera’s role as Boulder County’s paper of record and as a tenacious watchdog over local governments.

“Kevin has made an immeasurable impact on journalism in Boulder County and Colorado since arriving at the Camera in the mid-‘90s … helping train and mold a generation of Colorado journalists,” said Matt Sebastian, former city editor at the Camera and now senior editor for enterprise at the Denver Post. “Kevin has been a fierce advocate for the public’s right to know, holding public servants accountable and, above all, doing the invaluable job of local journalism.”

Kaufman’s journalism career began as a youth in the south Denver suburbs delivering a Littleton newspaper, and his love of the profession never wavered. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and spent his early newsroom days as a reporter in northwest Colorado and in Illinois. He covered Coloradan Gary Hart’s campaign in Iowa during the caucuses there.

A graduate of Heritage High School, Kaufman also served as a medic in the Navy. He previously worked for the Pekin Daily Times in Illinois and the Northwest Colorado Daily Press in Craig. He was married, with two daughters and has six siblings.

As city editor, Kaufman led the Camera reporting staff in coverage of numerous national stories over the years, everything from the JonBenet Ramsey homicide to Ward Churchill to Frozen Dead Guy Days.

The Keeper of the Flame Award is given annually by the Colorado SPJ chapter to honor longtime journalists for their contributions to the profession and for leading and mentoring young journalists.

“Kevin loves his job, he loves journalism, writing, editing, newspapers, and the people involved,” said his brother Ken. “He loves working at the Daily Camera.”

SPJ Colorado professional chapter is accepting applications from Colorado high school and college students for 2019 scholarships.

Check out and download the requirements on our scholarships page, and get your resume, clips and essay together.

Applications are due Jan. 31, 2019, but don’t procrastinate!

SPJ Colorado Pro Elections Chair Deb Hurley is calling for self-nominations for the five positions up for election on the board: four directors at-large and the secretary.

We want to make our chapter better. To do that, to adapt to change hitting our industry, we need fresh ideas and extra hands willing to help us take on programming, connect with and support student journalists, and find ways to carry out our mission of supporting ethics, diversity and freedom of information advocacy.

Board meetings are held at least every other month1, and board members may attend in person or via conference call. Board members may reside anywhere in Colorado, and must be members in good standing with national SPJ and the Colorado Professional Chapter.

To indicate your willingness to run for a position and to serve on the board, please email Deb your name, the position you are running for, a photo, a biography of no more than 250 words and a statement of no more than 200 words explaining why you want to be on the board.

Deadline is 5 p.m. June 13.

The election information will be e-mailed to all members of Colorado Pro on June 18, and members will have until June 22, to cast your ballot.

Send self-nominations to dchurley@aol.com​. 

If there are no contested elections, Deb will declare that an election is not necessary and declare those candidates the winners of the election.

If you have any questions about the process, the duties or how you can get involved with the Colorado Pro Chapter — whether as a board member or as a volunteer — please contact board president Kara Mason at karalmason@gmail.com.

Open positions:

Position: Secretary
Term of office: 2 years
Duties: The secretary maintains a log including meeting dates, meeting minutes, pertinent business transacted; maintains an up-to-date roster of all members with notation of their status regarding local and national dues; sends out meeting notices and other communications as directed by the president or as required by the national Society.

Position: Members of the board of directors
Term of office: 2 years
4 positions are open
Duties: The board is responsible for the general direction and planning of chapter activities. Board members are required to attend board meetings and participate in the chapter’s professional development programming.

Society of Professional Journalists Region 9 winners and finalists in the Mark of Excellence contest were announced April 21 at the Excellence in the Rockies conference on the Auraria campus in Denver.

The 2017 contest for collegiate journalists in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming attracted 359 entries, an increase over the 253 entries the previous year. Certificates for the 119 winners and finalists were distributed at the April 21 MOE awards luncheon.

The list of Region 9 winners and finalists is posted here: Judging_result_vertical2111174542(2018-03-14).

Schools represented by winners/finalists: Adams State University, Arapahoe Community College, Brigham Young University, Colorado College, Community College of Denver, Colorado Mesa University, Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Laramie County Community College, Metropolitan State University-Denver, New Mexico State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of New Mexico, University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, and Weber State University.

One hundred and five students, faculty and professional journalists plus more than two dozen speakers attended the two-day conference, which began April 20 with half-day sessions on Facebook and Google training.

Conference sponsors included the Metropolitan State University of Denver Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, the Univeristy of Colorado-Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, Rio Grande SPJ Pro Chapter, Utah Headliners SPJ Pro Chapter, and the journalism/mass communication departments at Colorado State University-Pueblo, University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University-Fort Collins.

SPJ National Conference 4.20-21.18

Reporting on Sexual Harassment was the first session on April 21 at the SPJ Region 9 Excellence in the Rockies conference on the Auraria campus in Denver. From left: Moderator Corey Hutchins of the Columbia Journalism Review, Colorado Politics chief legislative reporter Marianne Goodland, KUNC public radio capitol reporter Bente Birkeland, KUNC news director Michael de Yoanna, Arapahoe Community College The Arapahoe Pinnacle managing editor Emily Langenberg. (Photo by Justine Suzanne Johnson)

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Freelance journalists Julian Rubinstein, left, Rachel Sturtz and Steve Knopper discuss the various stories they’ve had published in national publications at the April 21 Freelancing 101 session.(Photo by Justine Suzanne Johnson)

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From left: Ashley Schaerfl of Colorado State University-Pueblo, Auraria SPJ Chapter members Rebecca Ramos and Desiree Gillespie, and Fort Collins Coloradoan reporter Kelly Ragan discuss challenges they’ve faced at the April 21 Campus Coverage Roundtable. (Photo by Justine Suzanne Johnson)

The SPJ Colorado Pro chapter thanks the following for their support of and work on the conference:

Shaun Schafer, chair, Metropolitan State University of Denver Journalism and Technical Communication Department
Kristi Strother, journalism chair, Community College of Denver
Auraria Campus SPJ Chapter members:
Angel Rivera
Kaitlin Quinn
Desiree Gillespie
Claudia Tena Guzman
Jonathan Hidalgo
Justine Johnson
Alexandra Gaddison
Rebecca Ramos
Todd Smith
Veronica Holyfield
Krystn Powers