Virginia Business wins Virginia Press Association awards for writing, design and headlines

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Virginia Business magazine won five awards in the 2011 Virginia Press Association news and advertising competition. Competing in the specialty publication division, the magazine won first place in news writing portfolio and specialty pages or sections.

The first-place award for news writing went to Jessica Sabbath, special projects editor, for a package of stories on legislative redistricting, business legislation and the potential effects of the Panama Canal expansion on the Port of Hampton Roads. The judges said the portfolio spelled out “difficult and complicated subjects clearly.” All three stories were praised for “doing an excellent job of explaining the problems involved and steps needed to remedy the solution.”

Freelance writer Tim Loughran of Richmond came in third in news writing portfolio for stories on the changing federal IT market, Roger Mudd’s donation to help expand an ethics program at Washington and Lee University and a piece on last year’s battle against debit card fees.  The judges said the debit card story pointed out “how smaller businesses are being penalized in clear, easy-to-understand language.”

Art Director Adrienne Reaves Watson’s first-place win was for the overall design of a specialty section called “Interiors,” which runs in the magazine’s commercial real estate section.  Judges described the section, which showcases some of the most innovative office designs in the state, as “a good idea implemented in a creative way.”

In business and financial writing, Managing Editor Paula C. Squires earned a third-place award for a cover story she wrote on Michael J. Quillen,  the magazine’s Business Person of the Year in 2011. Squires toured an underground coal mine with Quillen, chairman of Alpha Natural Resources, one of the country’s’ largest coal producers. The judges said her piece demonstrated “what is a very tough and unforgiving profession in a well-written and excellently reported manner.”

Squires and Editor Robert Powell also won third-place for a series of headlines.

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