The Illinois Woman’s Press Association (IWPA) is proud to announce that Suzanne Hanney has won its Silver Feather Award in the 2022 Mate E. Palmer Professional Communications Contest.

A long-time member of IWPA, StreetWise Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Hanney is doing what she set out to do in high school and college: editing a news magazine in her hometown of Chicago. StreetWise is one of 100+ street newspapers and magazines around the world sold by low-income or homeless people as an alternative to panhandling. Suzanne has attended six conferences of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP): two in Scotland, in Norway, Germany, Greece, and Australia. Suzanne writes many of the stories in StreetWise and is part of the team that determines its editorial calendar. She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Earlier in her career, Suzanne was a copyeditor at the daily Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, and a freelancer for The American Banker and United Press International.

At Shaw Publications in Dixon, IL, she worked her way up from Contemporary Living Editor, to Ogle County beat reporter, News Editor, and editor of the weekly Sauk Valley Sun. Dixon was the boyhood home of President Ronald Reagan and she met Reagan while he was campaigning for the 1980 Republication nomination for the presidency. Her interest in history and political science led her to become the “Reagan Editor,” in charge of developing the archives on President Ronald Reagan for the newspaper in his hometown. Suzanne searched eight years of microfilm and interviewed Reagan’s contemporaries for a special edition that was sent to the White House. She covered his inauguration and helped national and international media understand his background.

Suzanne’s first job out of college was editor of the Marseilles Press, a newspaper that she finally bought to keep it afloat and later sold to the editor of a local shopper.

She was a board member of the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago; two-term president of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association (IWPA), two-time IWPA Communicator of Achievement, and IWPA high school contest co-chair. She has also been professional contest chair of the National Federation of Press Women and co-chair of its 2010 conference in Chicago.

Celebrating 137 years in 2022, IWPA continues to hold a firm place in the history of women communicators in Illinois. When IWPA was established, there were few opportunities for female journalists. The 47 founding members saw a need for communication and support between women writers. The Association remains the Illinois Woman’s Press Association to honor our founders and to remember the reasons why having a press organization for women was necessary.

Today, IWPA embraces members of all genders and generations. A record of IWPA’s legacy can be found on Wikipedia.