Lifetime members and past presidents have earned the respect of their peers — and for good reason. Scroll down to read about some of these exceptional Circulators...and what made their association membership so important to them.
The nomination for Lifetime Membership is now open. Nominees should have demonstrated exceptional service to GWAA, CWCMA, or NICE over a significant period of time. Some examples of service include:
- Extraordinary service beyond the ordinary responsibilities of membership
- Creating, planning, organizing or conducting association programs, events or other activities
- Distinguished performance in career in news media
- Distinguished performance as an association board member or officer
- Work on committees at all levels or volunteering for special projects
2021 Great Western Audience Development Summit
The Great Western Audience Development Summit provides each attendee with the opportunity to meet and exchange information with others in the industry, from newspaper organizations to business partners and expert guest speakers.
June 23-25, 2021
Las Vegas, NV
2019 Lifetime Members
Dale Irvine (NICE Past President)
Aaron Kotarek (Past President)
Mark Ogle (NICE Past President)
Blake Weber (Past Executive Director)
John E Reichard (Past President)
John was born in Iowa but went to college in Long Beach and served in the military. From 1960, when he was a District Manager at the San Jose Mercury News, to 1999, when he was named Corporate Circulation Director for Wick Communication, he held stints in California, Utah and Arizona. In 2004, he joined Digital Direct as National Sales Manager and retired in 2006.
“I began attending GWAA in 1973, was on the board several times, Secretary in 1974, President-Elect in 1976 and President in 1997. It was important to me to attend all sales conferences and legal seminars to share knowledge with other members. It was always fun entering the different award categories which I was lucky to win my fair share. If you bring back at least one idea you can use to improve your operation it was worth attending. I’m second generation circulation my father was in the business for 50 years and I had 53 years. Currently my oldest son Mike is Circulation Director in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He’s made his father very proud of his accomplishments. “
Ray is a long-time newspaper executive, with over 30 years of service. He started as the National Sales Manager of the Newspaper Division of Pollak’s in 1988, then opened Lyon Enterprises in 1994 when Pollak’s closed. Lyon Enterprises specializes in circulation supplies, premiums and promotions.
Ray has been a member of Cal Western Circulation Managers’ Association and Northwest International Circulation Executives since 1994.
“Every year I look forward to networking at GWAA (now GWADS) conferences as well as renewing friendships with customers and other vendors. Most importantly learning and sharing the latest trends and applications in audience development. “
Rick Hively began his newspaper career as a DM in Lakeland, FL, getting promoted to Sales and Promotions Manager after just 1 year.
He soon returned to Kansas and became the Sales and Promotions Manager at the Lawrence Journal-World until 1977, when he was recruited to become a Sales Representative for Hickey-Mitchell Insurance Company, where he worked for 10 years.
In 1980, Rick became an Independent Agent for Wilson Gregory in 1987, and was soon promoted to Vice President of Sales. He is now President, a position he has held since 1998. Wilson Gregory provides accident insurance and surety bonds for Independent Contractors and offers payroll and 1099 tax compliance services for Distribution Companies. They are adding Occ-Acc programs for all Parcel Deliveries, Food Service and Pet Transportation.
"I’ve been a member of GWAA since 1984. In that time I’ve seen a whirlwind of change, yet the one constant has been the superior professional character of the organization, its operations, the content of their conferences and ancillary legal seminars and now webinars.
Many of the people I’ve met here, first professionally, are now personal friends of mine and people whom I truly respect and admire.”
Robert Perona (Past President)
Robert started his newspaper career in Oakland California at the Oakland Tribune as a Teamster truck driver and rose in responsibility to Circulation Home Delivery Manager. In its time, the Tribune was a major metro loaded with many future great newspaper leaders. Starting in 1979, when he left the Tribune to take a similar position at the Denver Colorado, Rocky Mountain News, he gained experience in single copy, home delivery and all aspects of circulation, earning positions and promotions at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Riverside Press Enterprise, where he was ultimately promoted to Vice President of Circulation and Production. It was there that Robert became a board member of GWAA, and served as its President from 1997 to 1998.
In 2000, Robert joined The Cleveland Plain Dealer, where, two years before his retirement, he promoted to Senior Vice President of Circulation and Product Distribution. After 47 Years and on his 66th birthday, he retired from the newspaper business.
Robert is also a past president of the Western Conference of Newspapers and active in other sectionals and associations.
“GWAA will always be special to me...it was the place that I could go to learn, share and be with so many who were both experts in their field, but also great friends. Much of who I became is because of the knowledge and leadership experience I gathered as being part of GWAA.”
Chaz (Charlie) McManis (Past President and past Executive Director)
Chaz worked at several newspapers including the Pomona Progress-Bulletin, Thousand Oaks News-Chronicle, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Tucson Newspapers, Inc., Los Angeles Times and retired from the Daily Breeze in 2002. He was GWAA President in 1980 and was Executive Director from 2000–2013.
“GWAA has been an important and integral part of my professional newspaper life, affording me to work with many talented associates from whom I learned to appreciate the circulation side of the business. That appreciation is still with me today.”
Dan Sidbury (Past President)
Dan started in the newspaper business in 1952 at age seven, helping the local newspaper boy for 10 cents per day. At age 10, he got his own route and in 1964 at age 19, was hired at The Oakland Tribune as an employee. Over the next 25 years he held nearly every job in the Circulation Department, with the final five years as Circulation Director.
After leaving the Oakland Tribune in 1989 he worked at four different newspapers as Director or Vice President of Circulation. Since 2001 I have been the President/CEO at Mercury Mail Services in San Leandro, CA.
"The most important thing I got out of being a member of GWAA was the ability to meet and network with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the circulation business. Whenever I had a question or a problem I knew I could pick up the phone and get excellent advice from other GWAA members."
Dave worked at USA TODAY from 1983 to 1988 in various positions, ending in Circulation Manager for Northern New Jersey. He participated in five USAT market launches. Then he was Los Angeles Daily News Single Copy Sales Manager from 1988 to 1999, moving back to USA TODAY as Circulation Director for Southern California from1999 to 2013, and finally USA TODAY Distribution Director Western Territory 2014-2017. Dave retired at the end of 2017. He served on the GWAA Board from 2003 to 2006, and as GWAA President in 2007. He is the author of Lose 50 Pounds and Keep the Weight Off without Exercising.
“GWAA has always held a special place in my heart. The friendships built, the knowledge shared, the deals made and the frank discussions at GWAA conferences and events helped shape my career.”
Jerry Byrne (Past President)
Jerry Byrne sold papers in Downtown LA in the early 1950’s — when they were 3 cents a copy. After stints as a driver, pressman and the mailroom, he became a District Manager in the 60’s, rising to Division Manager at the Daily Breeze in 1966 and Circulation Manager at the Sacramento Union in the early 70s. Jerry served as Circulation Manager or Director in Sioux City, Santa Maria, The Lompoc Record, the Nevada Appeal and the Enterprise Record, until he retired in 2006. Of the Scripps years, Jerry recalls, “I am proud to say that almost without exception all those years I increased Net Paid Circulation, increased revenue and reduced expenses.”
Jerry’s whole family was in newspapers, with his father delivering papers via horse and buggy in Chicago, and two brothers, one a pressman and the other a publisher.
“I am very thankful for all my years in Circulation, I enjoyed going to work everyday and I believe I've helped many people get ahead, both kids and adults. I have many friends from my Circulation years. I will also honestly say that with the current situation of the newspaper industry, I'm glad I retired when I did.
Last but not least, I want to say one final "Thank you" to all those men and women that have helped me over the years. I very much appreciate it.”
Thomas J. Wafer Jr. (Past President)
Tom feels fortunate to have had a 40-year career working for the Copley Press. He was Circulation Manager at four of their newspapers before being promoted to General Manager and then Publisher of Copley Los Angeles Newspapers. After serving nine years, he retired early in 2001.
In 2005, Tom became Chairman of Centinela Freeman Health System, and remained there until 2015 when they sold their last property to Cedars-Sinai Medical System. He is now fully retired. Tom says, “We enjoy traveling and spending time with our six grandchildren.
“I loved my years in circulation management. It was without a doubt the most challenging time of my life. In my opinion, no one works harder than the CM. “
Walter Moredock (Past President)
Following three years in the Marine Corps, The San Diego Union and Evening Tribune hired Walt in 1959. After rising through the ranks, he became the Circulation Director at Springfield, Illinois, also a Copley newspaper, in 1972. In 1975, he was hired by the Houston Post to revise the circulation department from independent distributor to employees, including leasing or building distribution centers.
Walt returned to the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune in 1978 and was named Circulation Director in 1980.During his tenure as Circulation Director there, he actively participated with several circulation associations from 1972-1989, including Cal-Western, where he was a member, board member and President in 1986-1987.
“It is with huge gratitude that I appreciate the effort to recognize those who attempted to achieve answers, and share the tools needed in circulation while enjoying the friendships molded.”
Joe Nunes was a District Advisor at the Antioch Ledger, the Circulation Manager at the Santa Clara Journal News, District Manager at the Palo Alto Times and Circulation Operations Director for Lesher Newspapers. He fondly recalls how he increased Contra Costa Times’ circulation to over 100k Sunday, and how he increased prepaids from 400 to over 58,000 by promoting customer convenience.
Joe implemented centralized services for Lesher including circulation, customer service, transportation, telemarketing and NIE. He also won numerous awards from GWAA and ICMA for his achievements in carrier recognition, carrier scholarships and carrier safety, and received the Phil Knox Award from the California Newspaper Foundation.
“GWAA was a very important part of my newspaper career. Many friendships were made and the exchange of information enabled the members to be better managers in serving their publishers. The memories are priceless.”
L. Michael Zinser
Michael Zinser is president of the Zinser Law Firm in Nashville, which represents over 250 daily newspapers. During Michael’s career, he has successfully defended independent contractor status for newspapers in 40 of the 50 states. He has been the General Counsel to GWAA, NICE and TCMA since 1980.
In 2014, Circulation Idea Service inducted Mike into the National Circulation Director Hall of Fame. He was the first non-Circulation Director recipient of this honor.
If you don’t know Dan Martini, you must be new to the newspaper industry.
Dan has dedicated his entire career to the success of newspapers. He has worked with countless publishing and circulation professionals helping them with their circulation databases to improve internal operations and performance.
"GWAA has given me the ability to interact with clients and potential customers in an engaging venue. The memories of good people and good times at GWAA conferences are always with me. Thank you, GWAA!"
Additional Lifetime Members
Lee Bollinger (Past President)
Mardi Browning (Past President)
Wesley Buhrle (Past President)
Bob G. Bush
Frank Casanova (Past President)
Bryan Clark (Past President)
Gene Czarny (Past President)
Ron Hemig (Past President)
Frank Hill (Past President)
Lauren (Flynn) Miller (Past President)
Donald L. Minor (Past President)
Charles Pexton (Past President)
Joe Robidoux (Past President)
David G. Williams (Past President)
BECOME A MEMBER
Your membership goes to support GWAA, a nonprofit organization committed to continuing education and sharing of ideas. Members get preferred rates at all GWAA sponsored events, the opportunity to network, learn revenue-generating strategies, and stay in the forefront of ongoing digital engagement. The GWAA Executive Board of Directors and Board Members look forward to your participation and support in advancing our audience development program.
Connect. Learn. Drive Change.