Rebecca “Becky” Sarwate has been selected 2014 Communicator of Achievement by the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.

This prestigious award is the highest honor given by the IWPA to members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession.

Each year an award recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates is nationally recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to National Federation of Press Women and to the community. The COA Award winner and the runner-up are announced at the Communicator of Achievement Award Banquet scheduled during NFPW’s annual conference and awards banquet.

Rebecca Sarwate, President of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association and the 2014 COA.

She began life, as writers often do, as a bookworm, poet and diarist. Sarwate earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She spent several years working in corporate communications, before returning to Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago to earn an M.A. in Literature. Two years later, she turned her attention to a writing career, working freelance as a theater critic for EDGE Media Network, serving as the urban agriculture beat reporter for StreetWise and acting as the copy editor for Jettison Quarterly magazine, all located in Chicago, IL.

Sarwate accepted a full-time Web Writer position at Think Glink Publishing in Glencoe, IL. At Think Glink she developed content for celebrity real estate and personal finance journalist Ilyce Glink’s suite of media platforms. Hearthware, Inc., a direct retail-marketing firm and manufacturer of home products then recruited her. She served as the company’s Senior Manager, Social Media Marketing and Head Writer. Sarwate returned to the world of personal finance in the summer of 2013, accepting a position as a Communications Manager at HUB International, the tenth largest insurance brokerage in the world. Sarwate has received numerous awards through the IWPA’s Mate E. Palmer communication contest for multiple years, and in 2013, Becky was recognized by the NFPW with a first place award for her personal blog and an honorable mention for her continued work in theater criticism.

The IWPA is honored to have such a model communicator represent them at the National Federation of Press Women competition at the national conference in South Carolina this September.