Alexandria Times staff win 11 VPA awards

Alexandria Times staff win 11 VPA awards
The Alexandria Times won first place awards from the Virginia Press Association for ad design, editorial writing and specialty pages. (File Photo)

By Denise Dunbar | 

Staff members of the Alexandria Times won 11 Virginia Press Association awards at the annual banquet held Saturday in Short Pump, Virginia, just outside of Richmond. The paper won five first place awards, two seconds and four third place finishes.

Times Graphic Designer Jessica Kim led the way with three first place awards, along with one second and one third place finish for her ad designs. Kim’s first place awards were for the “Home and Garden,” “Fashion and Personal Care” and the “Education, Churches and Organizations” categories. The judge awarding Kim’s first place award for fashion design in her Serafino ad said “Great layout and clean design. Highlights all the important information.”

Times Publisher and Executive Editor Denise Dunbar won first place for editorial writing for “What constitutes ‘good behavior,’” “Don’t strangle Duke Street” and “Education vs. ideology.” The judge making this award said: “Solid editorials on subjects readers are interested in – what constitutes jail time, city growth and the dilemma of ideology vs. education.”

The Times other first place award was for “Specialty pages or sections” and was a team award given to former Kim, former Editor Cody Mello-Klein, then-reporter Olivia Anderson, Dunbar and Sales Director Margaret Stevens. The award was for the Times’ “Tying the knot” wedding sections, which feature a story on a couple and smaller wedding-related stories, as well as special ads. The judge making this award said of the Times’ entries: “Nicely written with some good standing items. Section is well marked within the tab to let readers clearly see where the section starts and stops.”

Anderson also won second place for her feature writing portfolio and third place for investigative/in-depth reporting. The paper earned third place honors for its front page design in another group award that included Kim, Anderson, Mello-Klein, former Reporter Kassidy McDonald and former Intern Liana Hardy. The Times’ final award was a third place finish for “Special Sections or Special Editions” for our City Creatives arts section, which was produced by the team of Kim, Anderson, McDonald, former Intern Ariana Wilson, Stevens and Office Administrator and Graphic Designer Tina Franco.