Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Vernon Henry

Vernon Henry of Cleveland, corporate editorial director for Advanstar Communications, received the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ Lifetime Achievement Award for his 40-plus years in newspaper and business publications.

Henry accepted his award at ASBPE’s national Awards of Excellence Banquet June 21 in downtown Boston. The banquet also honored ASBPE’s Magazines of the Year and more than 200 other winners in 34 editorial, design, and Web categories. The banquet was held in conjunction with ASBPE’s national editorial conference, June 21-22, in Newton, Mass.

During his time in the industry, Henry started up five publications and 28 show dailies and developed programs to raise editorial standards and integrity.

Henry has an impressive list of accomplishments. In 1994, he was inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Hall of Fame of Bowling Green State University. He has won more than 30 state and national writing and editing awards. He has been nominated twice for a Pulitzer Prize. He’s also developed young journalists through a mentoring program, as an adjunct professor at Akron State University, and as a member of the Kent State University School of Journalism Professional Advisory Board.

In addition to developing magazines and trade show dailies at Advanstar, where he has spent the last 17 years, Henry has initiated ongoing corporate editorial training and awards programs, and launched a corporate editorial council for developing editorial standards and an editorial audit program that helps define goals for every editorial page in a publication.

Presently, Henry is working to establish “Advanstar University,” which will train mid-level editorial staff for editorial management positions by providing guidance on management techniques, budgeting and forecasting, and magazine and Web management.

Henry campaigns “furiously for editorial quality and integrity,”said Advanstar group editorial director, Mary Slepicka. His initiatives allow editors “to remember, and then restore, the traditional goals of journalism and commitment to public service,” she said. “Today, it’s more difficult than ever to be a business editor and to marry your employer’s business plans with your personal and professional ethics; Vern Henry allows us to ‘rebuild our professional desktops’ to the benefit of the publication, its employees – and most importantly, its readers.”

Advanstar has 105 business and professional publications, 87 exhibitions and conferences, and 79 Web sites. Prior to working at there, Henry was executive editor for Rowley Publications’ seven newspapers in Ohio. He is a past president of the Ohio UPI Editor’s Association.

Henry is the second to be honored with the award, which was first given last year to Bernie Knill of Penton Media’s Material Handling Engineering magazine (now Material Handling Management).

Vernon Henry List of Awards/Honors

  • Chairman, AP ethics and standards regional committee, 1975-1980
  • 1976, 1978, 1979 Ohio Associated Press First Place: Best Front Page (under 33,000 circulation)
  • 1978 National Newspaper Association First Place: Best Column-Serious Subject
  • 1979 Ohio United Press International First Place: Best Column
  • 1981 Ohio United Press International First Place: Best Editorial
  • President, UPI Editors Association, 1982-1983
  • Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize (commentary and public service categories)
  • General Excellence for military journalism while editor-in-chief of the Fort Chaffee [Arkansas] Sentinel
  • 1994 inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame at Bowling Green State University
  • Member of the Neal Awards committee
  • Judge of the Folio: Editorial Excellence Awards for eight years
  • Authored book jacket copy for Pat Clinton’s insightful Guide To Writing for the Business Press, which is a “near Bible for any writer entering the business journalism field
  • Member of the Kent State University of Journalism Professional Advisory Board
  • Adjunct professor at Akron State University
  • Member of the Society of Professional Journalists

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