AABP names winners of its annual contest36 min read
THE ALLIANCE OF AREA BUSINESS PUBLISHERS 2022 EDITORIAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS LIST OF WINNERS
1. Best Cover – Magazine
Bronze: Hawaii Business; “20 For the Next 20”; Kelsey Ige, Aaron Yoshino
A radiant image of one of Hawaii’s emerging leaders literally sheds positive light on an individual that is at the forefront of Hawaii business. The experimental use of typography, with
alternating font width, creates a wonderfully balanced cover. This breaks the rules, is outside the box and succeeds stupendously.
Silver: Insight On Business; “Buzz Worthy – Insight July 2021”; Brian Rasmussen, Jessica Thiel
Numerous design elements provide fun entry points for readers’ eyes to latch onto, such as fonts at the top and secondary lines. The portrait is beautifully lit through a beekeeper hood.
The honeycomb background is an excellent choice, including the slight vignette at the corners. The headline pops because of the smart use of a gradient color screen.
Gold: D CEO; “From Success to Significance: Amber Venz Box”; Hamilton Hedrick, Sean Berry
The composition of this cover photograph draws attention to the bold, lengthy headline, giving it a wonderful presence. The white top on white background makes her hair and face
stand out and draws attention to the serious expression. Conceptually, the photo subject is looking to the right, forward into the future as a pioneer and influencer. The symmetry, pose and
positioning create a powerful, dramatic cover.
2. Best Feature Layout – Magazine
Bronze: Hawaii Business; “20 For the Next 20”; Kelsey Ige, Aaron Yoshino, Michelle Mishina, Jordan Murph
Bold typography makes an impactful statement on the opening spread of this design while a dynamic grid system, colorful backgrounds, fun typographic title treatments and stellar
photographs convey a visually exciting celebration for Hawaii’s emerging leaders. The color tones, rules and simple visual elements strike a great balance of worldliness and fun.
Silver: Biz New Orleans; “Executives of the Year”; Sarah George, Edmund Fountain
A complex design system and an extreme attention to details contribute to this well-balanced design. Every element of design, from the sidebars to the captions, is strategically
placed to heighten a sense of visual intrigue. The use of negative space, minimal use of color and the pops of red here and there help maintain a wonderful sense of hierarchy all while allowing the dramatically lit subjects to be the true heroes.
Gold: D CEO; “The Business of Beauty”; Hamilton Hedrick
A consistent color palette, a wonderful variety of visual elements, and exquisite styling and lighting all contribute in making this an outstanding feature. The iconic badge element adds
sophistication, the illustrations and hand-written script add character and playfulness, and the photography is absolutely stunning and powerful. Every font and design element feels perfectly appropriate and related to the beauty industry.
3. Best Overall Design – Magazine
Bronze: Virginia Business; Joel Smith
Humorous illustrations, consistent portraits and real people provide a wonderful representation of real business in Virginia. The photography and artwork are consistent and
relevant to the content. The department pages are simple and professional, the features provide a pop of visual fun, and the overall page designs exemplify a great sense of hierarchy.
Silver: dbusiness; Austin Philips
A typographic design fit for billionaires, a retro illustration, and a bright and engaging photograph of a motorsports legend provide a wonderful variety of design solutions. Impactful
department splash pages, strong page compositions with a plethora of visual entry points, fun illustrations and unique feature designs all delight readers and provide a noteworthy visual
experience from cover to cover.
Gold: D CEO; Hamilton Hedrick
Beautifully stunning portraits of beauty brand leaders, citizenship award winners, and a pioneer and influencer set the tone of this extremely well-designed publication. The use of color
is subtle, yet exciting. The visual hierarchy on each page is flawless and the extreme attention to detail is obvious. The use and application of sophisticated typography, dynamic grid systems
coupled with intelligent and conceptual designs all contribute to the visual success.
4. Best Front Page – Newspaper
Bronze: Indianapolis Business Journal; “A year of fear, grief, hope, change, loss”; Audrey Pelsor, Sarah Ellis
A palette of soft grays creates quiet impact and sets the right tone for this cover story about the effects of the pandemic. The gradually disappearing headline is a beautiful way to
underscore the message. Seeing the faces of people affected amps up the emotional component.
Silver: Crain’s Chicago Business; “U of C’s next test: Crime and Punishment”; Thomas J. Linden
This cover effectively tackles a complicated visual challenge for a story about crime on campus. Headline and deck are compelling. Secondary promo images are well chosen, and all
the elements fit together nicely.
Gold: Crain’s Detroit Business; “Swimming in Plastic”; Karen Freese Zane
The lead image powerfully captures attention while deftly symbolizing the story topic. There is good interplay between headline and image, without going too far. Additional visual
elements are well sized and positioned to attract attention while still complementing the main area of focus.
5. Best Feature Layout – Newspaper
Bronze: Mainebiz; “Next”; Matt Selva
Well-lit, technically solid environmental portraits are sized and positioned effectively throughout the layouts. Good typographic detailing and use of red spot color provide multiple
points of entry. There also is good attention to visual hierarchy.
Silver: Crain’s Cleveland Business; “Ivory Towers”; David Kordalski
Bold illustrations harness an unusual style and monochrome color range to pull readers into the cover and opening spread. On the interior illustration the falling column barring the
entrance is smart approach to a challenging concept to illustrate. The typography picks up the color palette and creates a clear path for the reader.
Gold: Crain’s Chicago Business; “40 Under 40”; Karen Freese Zane
Every one of these 40 portraits shows spark and personality, and makes the subject featured look absolutely gorgeous. A limited palette of jewel-toned background colors provides a
beautiful unifying element to the spreads. Drop caps pick up the visual theme in a wonderfully restrained way. Images and text are arranged with dominance and hierarchy that facilitate
reading and maintain a good visual momentum from start to finish.
6a. Best Overall Design – Small Tabloids
Bronze: Greater Wilmington Business Journal; Suzi Drake, contributing designer
Covers are consistent, clean, direct and easy to read with a dominant image that grabs the reader. The cover page cross promotion to the website is a savvy marketing move. The up front
table of contents informs the readers of a variety of content, where to look and what to expect. The Economic Indicators package delivers data in a clean, easy-to-read format. The
comprehensive health care spread is rendered more readable by being broken up and displayed in segments.
Silver: Delaware Business Times; Chris Johnson, art director
Bold photo display distinguishes the covers, the Retiree Rush being the best example. There is an obvious visual effort in packaging the table of contents. Overall, the design is very
clean and organized with a wonderful control of typography and ample line spacing that enhances a modular, easy to follow layout. Nearly every story includes easy-to-read breakouts.
The At a Glance/By the Numbers packages serve up solid, interesting, informative graphics. Documentary photographs offer more context than just portraits.
Gold: San Fernando Valley Business Journal; Nina Bays, creative and production director; Marci Shrager, art director
A top strip with lead package below, and three more stories down the side make a lively, very newsy cover format. Brighter paper delivers crisper, more dynamic photographic/image
reproduction. Clean, lively design/layout/typography is aided by abundant breakout boxes. Lists and data pages are clean very readable. The June edition had strong photo selection and display. Throughout the pages there is lively design with lots of well-displayed images. Particular attention is devoted to lead stories, such as the Back to Work package.
6b. Best Overall Design – Medium Tabloids
Bronze: Mainebiz; Matt Selva, art director; Peter Van Allen, editor
Big picture play dominates the covers and images are sized well throughout the book. The table of contents is strong, readable and easily navigated. Sophisticated typographic
treatments, including page or section headers, headline treatments and supplemental icon visuals, set a comfortable pace for moving through the magazine.
Silver: Springfield Business Journal; SBJ staff
The two art covers stand out for their bold use of color that grab the eye, yet retain room to breathe. Several story packages stand out: Engaging art with SPAC story, eye-grabbing and
informative graphics for Workforce Development stories, and attention grabbing images for the Decision Maker’s piece. Week on the Web is a good cross-platform promotion. There is an
active variety in typography, including headlines and deck heads that are well delineated.
Gold: Worcester Business Journal; Mitchell Hayes, art director
Covers are attractive and inviting, drawing readers into a four-story or poster page. Alternating the format creates interest and offers design opportunities to engage regular readers.
Overall there is a good mix of photography, charts and breakout boxes. There’s obvious effort in the photographs, a conscious effort to put a lot of smiles in the book, creating an upbeat vibe. The Ticker package is nice, interesting and informative. The opening spread at the font of the book is consistently clean. The recurring Focus content is attractively packaged. Images are sized well throughout the book.
6c. Best Overall Design – Large Tabloids
Bronze: Crain’s Detroit Business; Tom Linden, Karen Freese Zane, Kayla Byler, Beth Jachman
This entry is loaded with beautifully sized documentary images of real people doing real things. Covers are eye-catching, with strong photo and illustration display. The “10 Ways to
Reform Michigan’s Government” package is noteworthy, with balanced white space and a long story broken into readable chunks and visual touches throughout. At the back of the book, “The Conversation” is always an appealing final element.
Silver: Crain’s Chicago Business; Thomas J. Linden, Karen Freese Zane, Jason McGregor
Covers are dramatic, with thoughtful illustrations and photographs. Typography is sophisticated and understated, with contrast in headline font. The 40 Under 40 package is
particularly striking, with a lively color palette; the photographer worked with the subjects and putting them at ease. Overall, this publication does a particularly good job with multiple stories per page, giving each element strong play while still maintaining hierarchy.
Gold: Los Angeles Business Journal; Nina Bays, Marci Shrager
There are several beautifully designed special packages per issue. October’s “Homegrown Hope” and “No Bones About It” stories are broken into pieces for easier scanning
and filled with visual treats that make them fun to read. Break-out boxes and graphics organize information. The “Staying on Track” infrastructure special report was comprehensive, using
design and chunks of information to add to the reporting.
7a. Best Use of Photography/Illustrations – Newspapers
Bronze: Greater Wilmington Business Journal, Suzi Drake, Michael Cline Spencer, Mark Weber
The strength of the graphics and illustrations shows creative problem-solving when translating numbers and issues to readers. Information in “hempseed oil,” “Covid” and
“Economic Indicators” is decoded in clear typography and colors. On the other end of the spectrum, a few illustrations interpret through color, style and texture the tone of package, such
as “Wilmington Gothic”, a comedic look at newcomers through the filter of Grant Wood.
Silver: Crain’s Detroit Business; staff
There’s real character and grit that shows through in the documentary images commissioned for the “vaccine roll out” and the “decade of decline” packages. Even in the portrait “Hard Stops,” this vibe comes through. The inequity in the cover illustration of this package makes clear the inequities the community is experiencing.
Gold: Crain’s Chicago Business, Thomas J. Linden, Karen Freese Zane, Jason McGregor, John R. Boehm, Andrea Levy, Stephen J. Serio, Brian Stauffer, David Plunkert
Every person’s story is important, and the portraiture in the 40 Under 40 focuses on individual personalities in a tasteful, fun manner. The entire entry contains a striking mix of
photography and illustrations, showing a seamless approach to finding the best visuals to lead the pages and overall voice of the publication. Highlights include a black-and-white image of a plane between buildings and a colorful collage of a human and a bull, used to illustrate capitalism.
7b. Best Use of Photography/Illustrations – Magazines
Bronze: Florida Trend; Gary Bernloehr, Jason Morton
The Final Fun-Teir is a smart Space Coast concept that mixes tourism and Florida into an adventurous notion. This is a wonderful execution. The simple idea of folding plastic bottles into
the formation of a recycling symbol is brilliant and beautiful. The sculpting communicates the concept in a surprisingly appreciative manner. These unique ways to deliver original content are the surprises that delight readers — yet are difficult to conceive and create.
Silver: Insight On Business; Brian Rasmussen, Jessica Thiel
“Eco Chic” is outstanding and outlandish with the utmost attention to details in the conceptual photo shoots. Equally purposeful are the beekeeper pages. Both topics are elevated
through bold, colorful, and carefully planned concepts. Extra thought and alternative thinking was used to create a Jaws-themed illustration called “Pause” that is a perfect and layered
metaphor for the supply chain issues felt around the world.
Gold: D CEO; Kesley Foster, Sean Berry, Lance Trachier, Hamilton Hedrick, Jamie Lyons, Trevor Paulhus, Jill Broussard
This entry is full of stunning photography encompassing a diverse type of imagery, from portraits, details, illustrations, color and black and white. The “Business of Beauty” is a three-
part spread full of the details of the business of makeup while “The New Era of Citizenship” contains reverent portraits in black and white. The cover of the Dallas 500 combines wonderful
contrasting colors and light. Throughout, the strength is the great portraiture used well. The diversity in the approaches is commendable.
8a. Best Use of Multimedia
Bronze: Indianapolis Business Journal; IBJ’s “The Rebound”; IBJ staff
After the NCAA planned its 2021 men’s basketball tournament in its hometown of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Business Journal went all out in its reporting. It branded its well-rounded multimedia work “The Rebound” – a play on words from a cancellation of the 2020 tournament. From video to audio to graphics, the great variety of multimedia elements cover the
full breadth of the tournament and its economic impact on Indianapolis.
Silver: Crain’s Chicago Business; “Crain’s Chicago Business – Crain’s Forum”; Jason McGregor, Cassandra West, Stephen J. Serio, Paul Goyette, Alyce Henson, Dennis Rodkin, Alby
Gallun, Chad Livengood
The Great Fire. Plastic in the Great Lakes. COVID-19’s effect on education. Through video, audio, interactive graphics, audio and photography, this package uses all aspects of multimedia. With easy-to-follow storytelling, the work masterfully integrates the multimedia elements.
Gold: Hawaii Business; “How Honolulu’s Rail Got to $12.45 Billion and 11 Years Late”; Noelle Fujii-Oride, Kelsey Ige, Amy Ngo, Joelle Cabasa, Chavonnie Ramos, Aaron Yoshino, Tianna
After well-researched reporting, the team found the O’ahu rail project faces a $3.5 billion deficit after more than 10 years. Writing, graphics, and videos keep the audience engaged
through this multipart series. With a very comprehensive coverage of the topic, the package includes an impressive range of visualizations to communicate deep and well-rounded reporting.
8b. Best Podcast
Bronze: Indianapolis Business Journal; “The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman”; Angela B. Freeman, Lesley Weidenbener
Shining a spotlight on the stories of minority business owners, “The Freedom Forum” provides a valuable platform for entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds and
communities. Host Angela B. Freeman’s easy rapport with guests helps foreground their personality, making their stories more accessible to listeners.
Silver: Business News; “At Close of Business”; Jordan Murray, Matt Mckenzie, Jesinta Burton
“At Close of Business” is well-produced and features a range of useful information for listeners. The podcast combines elements of a newscast running down the top stories in its
listening area with interviews that give the journalists a platform to go more in-depth on stories they’re reporting. The podcast fits a lot of information into a neat and easy-to-listen-to package.
Gold: Crain’s Chicago Business; “Crain’s Daily Gist”; Amy Guth, Todd Manley
This podcast strikes an important balance between relevant, factual reporting, and the clearly established personality of the hosts. The banter between them helps make the underlying
reporting — even on topics as important as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout — relatable to listeners. The podcast also exhibits excellent production value, with clear thought given to its
pacing and editing.
9. Best Daily Email
Bronze: Des Moines Business Record; “Business Record Daily”; Emily Barske
This newsletter offers a good survey of area news and reporting of benefit to the target population – even from sources outside the publication. This is a service to readers and the
community. The content offers both depth and context, in a readable and relatable style.
Silver: Indianapolis Business Journal; “Eight @ 8”; Mason King
Readers of this newsletter get a concise, smartly curated roundup of Indy’s business news in their inboxes every morning. The summaries provide enough information about the Top 8
stories of the day for readers to be informed, and offer links to other sources, including IBJ content for readers who want to get a deeper dive into any of the day’s news.
Gold: Arkansas Business; “Morning Roundup”; Scott Carroll and Kyle Massey
This tightly written morning briefing gives readers a steady diet of local business news, with plenty of context and relevance on the side. The newsletter offers strong headlines, and an
engaging style that is crafted for readers. Content is well-curated to draw together multiple sources that provides the reader with a unique resource.
10. Best Specialty E-Newsletter
Bronze: Crain’s Detroit Business, “Crain’s Saturday Extra”; Amy Elliott Bragg
This newsletter is exactly what you’d want in a topic-focused newsletter with its deep knowledge, and ability to help readers connect the dots. The writing is smart, candid and clever.
The concept of a Saturday newsletter is a great idea. It gives business leaders a chance to absorb the material and its context beyond just the news of week, while also bringing a more human
aspect to these broader topics.
Silver: Indianapolis Business Journal; “The Rundown”; Leslie Bonilla, Emily Ketterer and Craig Weaver.
This newsletter provides a thoroughly-reported insider briefing on what’s happening across the state. For readers it carries a lot of value since it makes sure they’re “in the know” in a
way that other people cannot access. The content is curated well and the visual presentation makes the news easy to consume.
Gold: Des Moines Business Record; “Fearless”; Emily Kestel
This newsletter of specialized content is supportive, interesting and community-building. The material adds significant value on top of what the publication provides otherwise, and it’s
written in an authentic and friendly voice.
11. Best Scoop
No Silver award.
Gold: Delaware Business Times, Katie Tabeling, reporter
Being part of a two-person staff means being everywhere at once. A notice for a public hearing in tiny Middletown caught the reporter’s eye. Turns out she was the only member of the
public to hear that a Chinese company would be building a new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. The pharmaceutical company will invest about $1 billion – making it one of the largestever economic development projects in Delaware. Not only did her story catch other media unaware, but many state leaders as well.
Silver: Ottawa Business Journal; “Senior execs Forsyth, Frasca and Lemieux leaving Shopify”; David Sali, reporter
Shopify was blazing hot during the pandemic and millions bought online goods, making the Ottawa-based company the largest public company in Canada. So, it was a shock that the
ecommerce giant would part ways with three of its seven top executives as it set about its quest to take on Amazon. Through great sourcing, the reporter was able to confirm the departures,
earning a “tip of the hat” from one competitor.
Gold: Hartford Business Journal; “Amid annual lobbying battle with auto dealers, Tesla to plant its flag in E. Hartford”; Matt Pilon, writer
Tesla’s business model is to bypass dealerships and sell direct to the public. So, in the middle of a statehouse lobbying effort, Tesla quietly bought a building in East Hartford for a new
showroom. The reporter broke the news and added an ironic context: Tesla bought a property from a car dealership that had fought it at the state Capitol. It took the competition three days to match the story.
Silver: Crain’s Chicago Business; “Warehouse developer poised to buy Allstate campus”; Danny Ecker, writer
The pandemic had an outsized effect on commercial real estate. Remote work prompted insurance giant Allstate to sell its Northbrook office complex to a Nevada developer to build
warehouses. Careful reporting fleshed out the details of the $200 million deal and provided context on what the redevelopment would mean for the community. Other Chicago-area media
rushed to follow the story.
Gold: Baton Rouge Business Report; “Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center-OLOL part ways”; Stephanie Riegel, writer
It was news that stunned Baton Rouge – that a regional medical center and an adjacent standalone cancer center would part ways, with the cancer center teaming up with an out-of-state
partner. The reporter followed up the initial digital report with a detailed print package on what it would mean for cancer treatment in the community, including how the two separate entities might now compete for donations. Deep sourcing and extensive interviews create a vivid picture of how business decisions impact a region.
12. Best Feature
No silver award.
Gold: Corridor Business Journal; “Her way”; Katharine Carlon, Kevin Blocker Richard Pratt, Julia Druckmiller
This ambitious project is a testament to the heavy toll the pandemic has taken on women. The multi-part series makes extensive use of data, anecdotal evidence and effective storytelling
to demonstrate the impact of the crisis. It is a credit to the staff that they recognized how critical it was to invest in this story and then report it thoroughly.
Silver: Journal of Business; “Zagonomics”; Kevin Blocker
How a men’s basketball team became a key economic engine in Spokane is well documented here. The sturdy piece is elevated by the author’s knowledgeable approach, wide-ranging research and comfortable writing style. It almost surely dovetails with the culture and interests of the community.
Gold: Biz New Orleans; “Best Year Ever”; Kim Singletary
This is a fresh spin on the long-running saga of pandemic challenges, one that focuses on six unconventional success stories. A brand of red beans, a bike and toy store, a gift shop, a local
plastic surgeon, a professional dog trainer and a mental health center are among them. The tales are told briskly and concisely, leaving the reader happily engaged, inspired and satisfied.
Silver: Baton Rouge Business Report; “This Is Where You Live”; Stephanie Riegel
The merger of an urgent topic, deep reporting, well-crafted writing and outstanding images makes this a stand-out. Unsightly and dangerous litter is threatening parts of Baton
Rouge, and the writer takes us on a journey through its dregs with perception and skill. This is exceptional journalism that makes a difference.
Gold: Crain’s Chicago Business, “Forum”; Cassandra West, staff
Multiple issues come to the forefront in this series that addresses workplace diversity, plastics pollution in the Great Lakes, police misconduct, socially conscious investing, the Chicago Fire, racial tension, gun violence and more. A reporting juggernaut, this is a solutionsoriented analysis of the issues challenging the city. It is important, perceptive, daring, gritty, courageous and genuinely award-worthy.
13. Best Personality Profile
Silver: dbusiness; “The Captain”; Tim Keenan
A story beyond the racing industry, this profile shows a behind-the-scenes of the legendary Roger Penske. Through an easy-to-follow timeline and descriptive adjectives, the
writer does a great job explaining how and why “The Captain” made a difference in the racing business. The descriptive, supporting quotes and untraditional portraits set this story apart from typical personality profiles.
Gold: Greater Wilmington Business Journal; “Acorn Hunter”; Johanna F. Still
This profile introduces readers the business of tree nurseries through its main subject, Richard Johnson, a man with a marketing mindset and passion for farming. With supportive
numbers and descriptive words, the writer shares a memorable story that will keep people talking and motivated to follow their dreams.
Silver: Business North Carolina; “Community Conscience (Rolfe Neill)”; Rick Thames, David Mildenberg
The writers share a beautiful story about journalism and its impact on a community through this well-sourced, contextual, complete picture of Rolfe Neill. Descriptive writing sets
the tone and chronicles how Neill’s legacy fuels the future of local news coverage.
Gold: Columbus CEO; “Jennifer Williams, Weiland’s Market”; Laura Newpoff
Almost everyone can relate to the tension of being in a grocery store during a pandemic. Through vivid, upfront writing the reporter connects readers to Jennifer Williams and her family
market. You can smell the fish counter, hear her staking her place and reminding people that they are in her world. The writing in this personality profile stands out in its ability to put readers on the scene – and the strong visuals help support a story that embodies what it means to stand up for your family business no matter the circumstances.
Silver: Florida Trend; “Champion for Women’s Sports”; Amy Martinez
We know about athletes when they’re in the public eye, but this piece is a poignant story about what got Nancy Hogshead-Makar to the Olympics, and how and why she’s making equity
in sport her life’s work. This story goes beyond sports and equality in women’s sports; it leaves readers with a connection to the central figure and a desire to follow her work.
Gold: D CEO; “Let’s become something different: Michael Sorrell”; Zac Crain
A personality profile that reads like a short book, the story gives readers a feeling like they know the person being written about. We get a glimpse into his family life, the effect he’s
had on his community, and why people want to work with him. From basketball scout to educator, the reporter introduces us to the man, not just the leader. We get a true sense of what
makes this college president a multidimensional visionary.
14. Best Body of Work, Single Writer
Silver: New Hampshire Business Review, Bob Sanders, writer
The best investigative stories spring from curiosity. Reporter Bob Sanders wondered if OSHA was still checking local workplaces during COVID, and it turns out that workers just weren’t being protected by “remote” inspections. He also wondered if New Hampshire’s lax trust laws were making it a haven for unscrupulous businesses. And he doggedly tracked down victims in a Ponzi scheme and got them to share how they were duped into buying into an event business. His skill in explanatory journalism shone in a two-part series on the metamorphosis of the health insurance market in the state.
Gold: dbusiness, Tim Keenan, writer
Writing stories that are reader favorites is an art and science. Detroit’s biggest sports story was the aftermath of the Lions trading quarterback Stafford to the Rams. But reporter Tim
Keenan looked beyond the Lion’s perennial poor performance into the value of the franchise itself – resulting in a lot of grist for sports talk radio. In Keenan’s hands, a report on the notoriously mum financial community turned surprising – that despite COVID, venture capitals were able to do 70 deals totaling $514 million. And showing versatility, his interview with Roger Penske showed the vulnerable side of the racing giant. A further example of his adaptable style was a well-researched and easy-to-read report on the future of the Michigan economy in a post-COVID world.
Silver: Virginia Business, Rich Griset, writer
Adding a creative spark to the dogged reporting seems to be Rich Griset’s hallmark. His profile of a rising crypto chief also shows an ability to ferret out stories and other details after the
executive refused to cooperate. A profile of an influential hotel developer showed a deft touch for getting the most of a cooperative subject. His writing ability was on full display in a piece on the renovation of aging shopping malls, including one that was used to shoot a pivotal scene in “Wonder Woman 1984.”
Gold: Arkansas Business; Mark Friedman, writer
Stellar court reporters know how to mine records for a mother lode of great stories. Friedman found court documents that were meant to be sealed when he wrote about a suit filed by Simmons Bank against another bank over employee poaching and document theft. He broke news again when he uncovered that one of the state’s biggest private companies was accused of
human trafficking and sexually exploiting young women in multiple lawsuits. And he also uncovered that meat processing giant Tyson was swindled by a Washington rancher who billed
the company $233 million for cattle that didn’t exist. Friedman supplemented legal documents with great storytelling when he revealed a thicket of questionable legal wrangling among
families after a tragic death at an Arkansas hunt club.
Silver: Florida Trend; Amy Keller, writer
It’s rare to find a writer who tackles complex topics and makes them accessible and fresh. Reporter Amy Keller’s take on Florida becoming the bitcoin capital includes one of the easiestto-understand explanations of how bitcoin emerged from obscurity. Her piece on Florida professors being recruited by Chinese companies to obtain high-tech research was well reported,
highlighting deep sourcing and ability to get reluctant sources to share information. In Keller’s capable hands, even a tax story is an enjoyable and informative read.
Gold: Baton Rouge Business Report; Stephanie Riegel, writer
Great reporters find great stories everywhere they look. For Stephanie Riegel, that includes two stories on the local watershed – as water is an important resource in low-lying
Louisiana. In one piece, she discusses the consequences of litter – 81 tons of it, and its threat to animals and humans. A second piece looks at the consequence of not addressing local flooding and drainage issues. The stories in this entry include great sources, like a breaking news report about how two local hospitals were ending their partnership. There is also strong watchdog work, such as a follow-up on a Title IX harassment case at a local school that found a second case. All in all, this body of work shows deep connections into the community coupled with strong writing and deft way of pointing out problems without being preachy.
15. Best Recurring Feature
Silver: Greater Wilmington Business Journal; “Restaurant Roundup”; Christina Haley, Jenny Callison, Lynda Van Kuren
This is a wonderful spotlight that celebrates the hard work and creative ideas of local restaurateurs. The pieces are varied and consistently well-reported. The stories illuminate Wilmington businesses that are striving to improve the whole community.
Gold: Delaware Business Times; “In the C-Suite”; Jacob Owens, Katie Tabeling
Beyond offering insight into local business leaders, these articles show deep reporting, with inspiration and life lessons sprinkled amid the business acumen. Whether telling the story of
a health care CEO’s unconventional background or the initial reluctance of a family business leader, the pieces are well-written and engrossing.
Silver: Springfield Business Journal; “A Conversation With”; Christine Temple
The Q&As that make up this recurring feature are robust and informative. In the process of interviews with varied business leaders, the articles go beyond profiles to provide rich insight
into business processes and economic issues. For example, through the lens of company founders, pieces on a solar energy startup and a farm-to-table operation provide perspective on
such companies as a whole.
Gold: Biz New Orleans; “Why Didn’t I Think of That?”; Ashley McLellan
This feature is a smart idea that is incredibly well-executed. It offers a view on new business trends and outlines the creativity of the industrious entrepreneurs behind them. While
addressing business ideas – from sake distilleries to tech startups – the pieces get at the core of ingenuity that fosters success while also explaining the foundations of these industries.
Silver: Crain’s Detroit Business; “Small Business Spotlight”; Jay Davis
The goal of this feature is clear: Tell the story of the Detroit small businesses landscape. By starting with broad topics, such as independent businesses or outsourcing, then getting in
close to the people and issues in those sectors, this feature shares stories that feel complete and full of life. Packaged with useful sidebars, the result is a layered feature about what makes small businesses tick.
Gold: Crain’s Chicago Business; “Equity”; Cassandra West, Crain’s Chicago staff
In depth and breadth, this section has real impact. It goes deep into specific aspects of the economic and business diversity issues facing Chicagoans. Profiles of Black entrepreneurs
alongside columns that address foundational challenges make for a recurring feature that provides inspiration, knowledge and awareness to the Chicago business community.
16: Best Coverage of Local Breaking News
Silver: Worcester Business Journal; “Becker College officially closing at end of spring semester”; Grant Welker, projects reporter
This story brought an impressive degree of context to a breaking news event, incorporating voices from within the college and community, and from regulators and expert
observers. The report effectively framed the college’s closing within national and regional financial and demographic trends in higher education.
Gold: Business News; “Going bust in a boom: the collapse of Pindan”; Jesinta Burton, journalist, Matt Mckenzie, journalist
The depth and breadth of the reporting on this series of stories stands out. The reporters used all the tools at their disposal to call sources, visit construction sites and unearth documents
to tell a complex story that involves numerous subcontractors, government projects and thousands of workers. The story spans much of the continent but never loses its way.
Silver: Crain’s Chicago Business; “Selling the James R. Thompson Center”; A.D. Quig, reporter, Danny Ecker, reporter
A trio of stories fleshed out the details of the State of Illinois’ sale of a prominent downtown building to a private developer. The reporting clearly lays out the terms of the deal,
the plans for the redevelopment and the financial implications for the public. The story also helps readers understand how the proposal fits within trends in downtown Chicago real estate and within the prolific history of its new developer.
Gold: Crain’s Detroit Business; “Beaumont-Spectrum Health merger coverage”; Dustin Walsh, reporter
This story dealt with the merger of massive health care companies with thousands of employees, millions of customers and billions in revenue. The breaking-news element was clear and concise, but its historical context sets it apart by letting readers see how years of deteriorating employee relations and competing business models helped cause and shape the day’s events.
17. Best Investigative Reporting
Silver: dbusiness; “Flint Settlement”; Norman Sinclair
This story provides tons of great context and is clearly written and well told. It covers a lot of ground clearly and with great details
Gold: New Hampshire Business Review; “OSHA’s Meager COVID Response”; Bob Sanders
A strong data-driven investigation, this story also highlights strong characters and examples that illustrate the impact of the agency’s failure to act. The mix of analysis and storytelling is strong.
Silver: BizWest; “As It Shuttered Stores, Alfalfa’s Market past due with vendors by millions of dollars”; Dan Mika
The reporter obtained leaked documents, then did the vitally important work of verifying those documents by going to the sources. The end result does a great job of showing the impact
that one company’s failure to pay vendors can have throughout a community.
Gold: Business News; “Caught out: Proving the Government Foresaw Pindan’s Collapse”; Jesinta Burton
This entry does a great job of illustrating, in great detail, how government officials ignored information they had when they poured millions into a company they already identified as a risk. Strong use of freedom of information laws helped fuel the reporting.
Silver: Baton Rouge Business Report; “LSU Ag Center Title IX”; Stephanie Riegel
This project does a great job of connecting the dots between individual cases to show how a campus institution was able to operate without oversight. Strong documentation and
details nail down every point.
Gold: Crain’s Detroit Business; “Hard Stops: Metro Detroit’s Disjointed Transit System Makes Access to Jobs Inequitable”; Chad Livengood, Annalise Frank
This project does a strong job of illustrating the impact of Detroit’s inadequate public transportation system and highlights the inequities it creates.
18. Best Explanatory Journalism
Silver: Corridor Business Journal; “Then and Now”; Katharine Carlon, reporter, Richard Pratt, reporter, Angela Holmes, magazine and special projects editor, Becky Gardner, editor & chief content officer, Jennie Morton, reporter, Steve Gravelle, reporter, Becky Lyons, creative and specialty projects director.
This extensive package of stories, photos and charts shows how a cataclysmic summer storm devastated local businesses. The selection of personal tales from business owners lets readers see the damage suffered by many of their neighbors and how some recovered.
Gold: dbusiness; “Short on Reform”; Norm Sinclair, reporter
Covering insurance reform certainly can be challenging. In this article, the reporter uses anecdotes, interviews and documents to show why Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law has
been so difficult to change without causing further harm to injured drivers.
Silver: Providence Business News; “ALL IN with Bally’s”; Marc Larocque, staff writer
Rhode Island’s dependence on one casino gets scrutinized in this even-handed article. The reporter delves into the pros and cons of the contract with the home-grown company and shows why state residents could eventually be at risk.
Gold: Des Moines Business Record; “20 years of decline: Iowa’s dwindling birthing units”; Sarah Bogaards, staff writer
This three-part series examines how expectant mothers across the state have been harmed by the shutdown of hospital birthing units. The writer weaves together stories from mothers who
have experienced this crisis and the reasons why. Another of the articles offers possible solutions from experts across the state.
Silver: Hawaii Business; “How Honolulu’s Rail Got to $12.45 Billion and 11 Years Late”; Noelle Fujii-Oride, writer and engagement editor
This package of stories and infographics reveal the reasons behind cost overruns and delays for a public works project unprecedented in the state. By taking a by-the-numbers approach with context, readers can see the scale of the project for themselves.
Gold: Florida Trend; “Fixing the Glades”; Mike Vogel, South Florida editor
Here is an exhaustive look examining why efforts to clean up the Everglades were behind from the start. Excellent work weaving together history, expert sources and documents to show
the obstacles to change. Graphics and maps are used well to help show the story.
19: Best Local Coverage of a National Business/Economic Story
Silver: Corridor Business Journal; “Malls 2.0: It’s Reinvent or Die for Struggling Retail Centers”; Katharine Carlon
Shopping habits have changed, it takes a lot more than department stores, specialty stores and a food court to bring people into malls. This feature shows how today’s malls have evolved
from shopping centers to full-blown community experience centers. This complete report is brilliantly illustrated with lively photos and relatable sources.
Gold: The Business Journal, Fresno; “When It Comes To Apartments, High-End Is the Flavor of the Day”; Edward Smith
Everyone wants luxury, so builders are going high-end. But, with high-end homes, come higher rents few can afford. This unique look at the nationwide housing crisis goes beyond simply explaining why building materials are so expensive. It deftly takes us along with the building managers as they explore and implement creative cost-effective solutions.
Silver: Arkansas Business; “Drugstores Give Shots, Then Wait for Paycheck”; Kyle Massey, assistant editor
Throughout the last year and a half Americans rolled up their sleeves for their free COVID vaccines, but many didn’t know what it cost their local pharmacists. This feature tracks how some independent pharmacies in Arkansas had to wait for reimbursement for those vaccinations, driving the point home in excruciating detail.
Gold: Business North Carolina; “Electrifying Potential: Mining Startup Piedmont Lithium”; Ed Martin, David Mildenberg, Ralph Voltz, Ben Kinney, Peggy Knaack
This captivating report brings home the global challenges of a lithium shortage, introducing us to one of the newest links in the auto supply chain in the small town of Cherryville. From Piedmont Lithium’s homegrown geologist and his tale of an odd green gravel used on driveways, to the resident whose property sale felt like winning the lottery, this story
tells the story of the budding excitement about solving one of the nation’s – and the world’s – biggest energy crises.
Silver: Baton Rouge Business Report; “Speak No Evil”; Caitie Burkes
Cancel culture sounds like a buzzword, but for business owners and executives it can become a matter of dollars and cents. This is a smart take on a topic too many people are too
uncomfortable to talk about: the consequences of free speech. As marketers toy with what’s OK, what’s not, what’s considered social responsibility and what’s seen as performative, this piece puts the risks into perspective.
Gold: Florida Trend; “Masked by COVID”; Mike Vogel, Amy Keller, Amy Martinez
In 2020, 481 Floridians ages 25-44 died of COVID. In the first nine months of that year, nearly seven times that many died of a drug overdose. While everyone was paying attention to
COVID, a new wave of opioid addiction gripped Florida. A combination of exceptionally detailed reporting and deep sourcing made very real the grip opioids still have on the region.
20. Best Ancillary Publication
Silver: New Hampshire Business Review; “603 Diversity”; New Hampshire Business Review staff
Vibrant design marries nicely with engaging content in this section. Striking photography, crisp writing and superb editing converge to elevate the publication. Overall, the
reader gains real clarity about the matters surrounding diversity in the workplace.
Gold: Delaware Business Times; “Careers & Stuff”; Tina Irgang, Today Media Custom Publications
This publication rises to the top with its strong, accessible text, masterful organization and appealing array of material. Also noteworthy are the crisp writing, refreshing design choices
and well-played visual elements. For young people entering the work force especially, it is a goto resource worth saving.
Silver: Twin Cities Business; “SmartMN”; Twin Cities Business newsroom
This publication about Minnesota start-ups puts a premium on innovative design and unpredictable story choices. For example, there’s an insightful piece about an entrepreneur who
wouldn’t stay in the city after the George Floyd incident. From short takes to graphics to profiles, this publication delivers essential lessons to its readers.
Gold: Arkansas Business; “Greenhead”; Chris Bahn, Brent Birch, Todd Traub, Dean Wheeler
From front to back, this publication for duck hunters presents content that is smartly chosen, authoritatively written and beautifully illustrated. This is an outstanding example of a niche product that deeply understands its audience.
Silver: Los Angeles Business Journal; “Wealthiest Angelenos”; Stephanie Barbaran, Nina Bays, Marci Shrager, Howard Fine, Hannah Madans Welk
Extensive reporting and superb editing are evident in this publication, which highlights the wealthiest members of the Los Angeles business sector. In addition to financial history, each
segment adds important analysis about the subject’s professional practices, strategies and achievements. Bold design, graphics and photographs are clear signals that this is an important
aspect of the city’s business culture.
Gold: D CEO Magazine; “Dallas 500”; Christine Perez, Hamilton Hedrick, Ben Swanger, Kelsey J. Vanderschoot, Will Maddox, Bianca R. Montes, Brandon J. Call
Classy, stylish and impeccably designed, the Dallas 500 section hits all of the right notes. The design is elegant, the writing is personal and thoughtfully constructed, and the images are
dazzling. The judges agreed that extensive planning and dedication of resources to this publication clearly make a difference.
21. Best Bylined Commentary
Silver: dbusiness ; “Letter From the Editor”; R.J. King, Editor
The commentaries on green spaces downtown, getting people back to work, and the Ford Innovation Complex provide interesting visions of what the future could bring to the city. The
articulate and fact-based articles champion solutions and ideas to move the business community forward, leaning on optimism to approach possibilities.
Gold: San Fernando Valley Business Journal; “One More Thing”; Charles Crumpley, Editor and Publisher
These columns favor clear logic and valid arguments supported by succinct writing. The
well-written manufacturing package cites many specific details to support its point while
remaining focused and staying on point. The impact of duplexes and fourplexes on
neighborhoods address a relevant and timely community issue. These articles display a knack for
challenging conventional wisdom and offering potential implications of a decision or trend.
Silver: Worcester Business Journal; “My Son, In Crisis”; Brad Kane, Editor
Using a personal challenge to highlight a statewide lack of behavioral health beds
delivers a powerful, emotional and engaging piece that is both timely and relevant. Showing how
the issue can hit home strengthens the compelling use of details.
Gold: Hartford Business Journal; “HBJ Editor’s Take”; Greg Bordonaro, Editor
Keen observations and insights identify the lack of communication and coordination
between the city council and the business community during COVID. These include a proposed
parking fee hike and image problems of the city’s own making. Each issue is met with a strong
stance that is backed up with logical, detailed arguments. The issues are intensely local and the
writing is powerful and persuasive.
Silver: Crain’s Chicago Business; “Joe Cahill On Business”; Joe Cahill, assistant managing
There’s no pulling punches here. Whether it’s utility company bribes being financed by
customers, or excessive pay for Abbott Labs’ CEO, the author calls them as he sees them, with
forthrightness, clarity and a dollop of indignation. An examination of the work-from-home trend
presents both the positive and negative implications, highlighting the complexity.
Gold: Baton Rouge Business Report; “Viewpoint: The Big Picture”; Stephanie Riegel, Editor
These are smart, eminently readable examinations of accountability, or the lack thereof.
“Who’s Regulating the Regulators?” raises serious questions of how much regulation falls to
vendors providing goods and services, and how little regulatory responsibility seems to lie with
government. Another column, citing history and data, tackles the lack of gender diversity on the
LSU board. Then there’s the heartbreaking tale of Louisiana parents thinking the unthinkable:
considering leaving the state so their children will have a better shot at a better life. These issues
are addressed with resolve, empathy and compassion.
22. Best Editorial
Silver: Delaware Business Times; “Delaware can, and should, lead in green tech industry”; Jacob
An informed opinion is situated in a well-reported editorial. The writer makes a clear
case for Delaware’s private employers to take bold positions in support of renewable energy in
the green revolution. The arguments challenge collaborators to find local opportunities in a
AABP 2022 Editorial Excellence Awards List of Winners | Page 19Gold: Vermont Business; “Electric Idea”; Timothy McQuiston
This commentary localizes a universally relevant issue – renewable energy – and brings
readers a candid, relatable assessment of a City of Burlington proposal. Part history lesson, part
market assessment and 100% keen writing, this editorial delivers context readers can use as they
navigate a current local issue.
Silver: BizWest; “CU should learn from mistakes in Kennedy hiring”; Christopher Wood
This editorial shines light on issue of public importance. Calling for transparency and
accountability in hiring the president of Colorado’s public university system helps readers
understand the nuance of the president’s role and holds the university and the president
Gold: Worcester Business Journal; “Worcester must play a better hand at the bargaining table”;
This editorial lays out the history of negotiations between the city of Worcester and the
developers who invest in it. Solid reporting helps readers understand the city’s bargaining power,
and ties a compelling narrative together with consistent use of a card-playing theme.
Silver: Crain’s Chicago Business; “Slouching Towards Chicago”; Ann Dwyer
Journalists speak truth to power, and this forceful editorial calls on the leadership of
Chicago – the mayor herself – to face the truth of the city’s crime wave and articulate a plan to
reduce violence. The call is backed by solid reporting and tight, compelling, thoughtful writing
that helps readers grasp the nuances of a complex issue and take a stand.
Gold: Indianapolis Business Journal; “Where’s the FBI’s punishment?”; Greg Weaver
This editorial demands accountability from the very institute responsible for bringing
criminals to account. The methodical presentation of FBI missteps in the investigation of Larry
Nassar is compelling and pulls no punches in arguing that several members of the FBI and the
director of the Indianapolis field office bear responsibility for allowing the abuse to continue.
BEST OF SHOW CATEGORIES
23. Most Improved Publication
Business News; Darren Noronha, Sean Cowan, Mark Beyer, David Turnock, Sarah Augustin, David Henry, Matt Mckenzie, Jordan Murray, Jess Mascione, Claire Tyrrell, Maddi Stephens,
Covers display a clean design and more informative teases. Photographs are stronger, with an emphasis on portraits and large images. The table of contents is sleek and clean, and
overall typography has been updated with a modern look. Feature stories are given the space they deserve, with deep dives into important issues.
24. Best Website
Bronze: Springfield Business Journal; Geoff Pickle, Christine Temple, Eric Olson, Karen
Craigo, Mike Cullinan, Heather Mosley, Cynthia Reeves
The site excels at tailoring its content to the audience in the area it serves, providing
large, engaging and locally-sourced photos to provide further connection with the content. The
information and stories are fresh, locally relevant and engaging, while the intuitive and easy-tonavigate interface further simplifies the website experience, enhancing it with its simple and
Silver: Business News; Jesinta Burton, Simone Grogan, Nadia Budihardjo, Mark Beyer, Mark
Pownall, Sean Cowan, Jordan Murray, Claire Tyrrell, Maddi Stephens, Matt Mckenzie
The amount of news and content offered by the website is balanced well by a simple and
clean design, backed up by a strong sense of brand communicated through the content and its
strongly visual presentation. The site emphasizes the latest news and most current information,
while offering engaging analyses of data and insights into business trends, questions and current
Gold: Crain’s Chicago Business; staff
Strong headlines introduce the audience to the site’s bold and forward-thinking coverage. The stories featured most prominently are timely and give essential information, while the site
seamlessly draws visitors to more in-depth content presented through a variety of innovative methods such as podcasts, data visualization and creative multimedia packaging.
25. Best Magazine
Bronze: Hawaii Business; Steve Petranik, Cynthia Wessendorf, Noelle Fujii-Oride, Kelsey Ige, Amy Ngo, Aaron Yoshino, Cheryl Oncea
Strong and varied cover design provides an inviting front door. Important stories about rail projects, grandparents as caregivers and rising sea levels combine deep reporting and visual
packaging. Features such as “20 for the Next 20” and “The Next $1 Billion Industry” are beautifully designed while offering glimpses of what’s next for business in Hawaii. At the heart of each issue is a clear-eyed focus on the people at all levels who make business happen.
Silver: dbusiness; R.J. King, Tim Keenan, Jake Bekemeyer, Austin Phillips
Clean, compelling covers open into a magazine that is robust in content and tone. The magazine displays incredible range – with lively CEO profiles, intelligent analysis of Michigan’s
economy, introductions to venture capitalists and deep dives into the Flint water crisis. The Ticker section and recurring departments such as Commentary, Compendium and Closing Bell
help complete a full picture of Detroit business life. Page after page offers impressive depth, authority and creativity.
Gold: D CEO; Christine Perez, Hamilton Hedrick, Will Maddox, Bianca R. Montes, Kelsey J. Vanderschoot, Ben Swanger
This magazine delivers a beautifully constructed package that is instantly recognizable and packed with content that truly speaks to the Dallas business community. Features such as “The Golden Age of Innovation” and “The Great Balancing Act” display a deftness for design and layered editorial, while profiles of educators, influencers, football entrepreneurs and more
introduce readers to the people behind thriving endeavors.
26a. Best Newspaper – Small Tabloids
Bronze: Delaware Business Times; Jacob Owens, Katie Tabeling, Chris Johnson, Mike Rocheleau
Branded covers with large images pull readers into the lead story, such as “Corporate Delaware Confronts its Diversity Gap.” Many faces and names throughout the issues show that
the staff put effort into including their community. The material feels authoritative and plugged in. There is a good mix of stories, with something for everyone.
Silver: Corridor Business Journal; Becky Gardner, Katharine Carlon, Richard Pratt, Noah Tong, Angela Holmes, Vicki Dean, Becky Lyons, Julie Druckmiller, John Lohman
This publication is full of local content. Of note is the range of coverage included in the article “Then – and Now.” There is a strong focus on pandemic recovery throughout the issues.
Covers make good use of space, and compelling headlines grab attention.
Gold: San Fernando Valley Business Journal; Charles Crumpley, Joel Russell,
An inspired mix of content and stellar design elevate this entry. Striking covers, design details, and an organized table of contents help with navigation and readability. Photography includes lots of faces and real people doing real things. Writing was solid and covers topics from entertainment to energy.
26b. Best Newspaper – Medium Tabloids
Bronze: Des Moines Business Record; Emily Barkse
The bold covers on this publication play up their lead stories well; design and visuals are dominant as a strength. The photo selections show the publication knows how to choose the right
image to enhance design. The reporting shows the staff has great access for stories like the firsthand account of health care workers dealing with COVID.
Silver: Providence Business News; Providence Business News staff.
This publication is filled with lots of personal stories about regular folks, not just high-end businesses or corporations, which gives it interesting cover stories. Stories include investigative pieces that demonstrate in-depth reporting and all-around good journalism. There are lots of images showing local faces, and each issue includes good, creative content on inspired topics that are really accessible for readers.
Gold: Worcester Business Journal; Worcester Business Journal Staff.
The strength of this publication is in its story selection. The publication offers a range of topics covered with brisk, smart writing. There is a no-nonsense approach to stories and the tone
is very upbeat. Great graphics sprinkled throughout each edition show strong research in identifying key stats and numbers in storytelling.
26c. Best newspaper — Large tabloids
Bronze: Crain’s Detroit Business; Crain’s staff
Stories are full of strong content on key issues, such as water supply and transportation. Stories regularly address major news and other material that really matters. Visuals and graphics
are married thoughtfully with stories.
Silver: Los Angeles Business Journal; Stephanie Barbaran
This publication is stylish, sophisticated and classy, with just a bit of flashiness. Headlines are clever and well-written. Informative graphics, such as the stock index and
wealthiest Angelinos, aid the storytelling.
Gold: Crain’s Chicago Business; staff
This is a satisfying publication on so many fronts. Stories zero in on important issues and give thoughtful reasoning and solutions to the city’s problems. Of note is the tremendous story,
“Up from the Ashes.” The coverage mix includes a broad range of business, from sports to entertainment to real estate. Columnists have both wisdom and courage. In addition, there is
attention to diverse coverage, strong display of visuals, and punchy headlines.