Jane Brandt, publisher of The Hebron Herald and The Richardton Merchant, was named communicator of achievement by the National Federation of Press Women Sept. 13 at the 2001 NFPW conference in Indianapolis.
Brandt is the first North Dakotan to be awarded NFPW communicator of achievement.
Brandt was nominated for this national honor by the North Dakota Professional Communicators. She was selected for the award among the 19 nominees from state communications organizations based on professional achievements (60 percent), contributions to NFPW an NDPC (20 percent) and community service (20 percent).
Because of the events of Sept. 11, Brandt was unable to be in Indianapolis to accept the award in person. In a written response, Brandt said, "When I read the information describing the lives, accomplishments and professions of the other nominees, I was in total awe. It made me realize, once again, that NFPW is a strong and meaningful organization because of members who are dedicated, hardworking women and men who have chosen the field of communications as their profession."
Brandt moved to Hebron from California in 1965 trained as a medical secretary and with no writing experience. But when on his third day as publisher of The Herald, Brandt's husband said he couldn't do this alone, her life changed forever.
Seven years later, Brandt was alone at The Herald with a pressman, his high school brother and a friend who helped set type. Despite hot lead, no air conditioning and hand-wrapping newspapers, Brandt continued to have success with The Herald and The Richardton Merchant she started. When their press died, she scrambled with a hand-me-down Justowriter. Weeks later, Compuwriter machines arrived and a closer printer cut travel from 210 to 60 miles per trip. Today, The Hebron Herald even has a Web page Brandt developed.
Brandt has been a leader in North Dakota Professional Communicators, the National and North Dakota Newspaper associations, the Hebron Business Club and several other groups.
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