Becky Silver Feather

The winner of Illinois Woman’s Press Association’s 2016 Silver Feather Award is Becky Sarwate, IWPA’s current and 49th President. Her work growing a community for the state’s communicators embodies IWPA’s historic mission of support and opportunity.

The Silver Feather Award is bestowed annually by IWPA in recognition of excellence across multiple Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest categories. Becky is the 2016 overall highest point recipient and will be recognized with a special honor during the May 21 Contest Luncheon at Chicago’s Union League Club.

Becky began her freelance writing career in 2009. She contributes to a number of publications, offering her perspective on national and local politics, culture, theater productions, and a lifelong loyalty to the Chicago Cubs. Her entertaining and thought-provoking views regularly appear in EDGE Media Network, Wrigleyville Nation, and Contemptor. Her collected works and personal blog can be found at She has also contributed to PoliticusUSA, RootSpeak magazine, NewCity, Make It Better and StreetWise.

As an extension of her love for creating opportunity, Becky is an Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern Illinois University where she shares her accumulated career knowledge with the next generation of communicators. This term, she’s teaching a 300-level course entitled, “Making Your Liberal Arts Degree Work: Writing for the Professional World and Internships.” Her inspiring instruction provides students with the tools they need to foster professional development.

Becky successfully juggles all of these responsibilities with a 9-5 career as a Sales Communication Manager for TransUnion, a publicly-traded company and one of the nation’s three credit bureaus.

Her professional arc has been punctuated by a number of awards including multiple IWPA Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest wins. She is a five-time National Federation of Press Women award recipient and in May 2012, Becky was the inaugural honoree of NEIU’s English Department Alumni Award. The recognition was bestowed by faculty owing to Becky’s dedication in mentoring students and graduates, connecting them with internships and job opportunities.

Becky and her partner, Bob Maxwell, live in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. She is an avid New York Times reader, loves to travel, and won’t pass up an opportunity to sing karaoke!

IWPA is proud to recognize Becky Sarwate as its 2016 Silver Feather Award Winner.