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Gannett Announces Annual “Unsung Hero” Award Winners

McLEAN, VA – Gannett Co., Inc.’s (NYSE: GCI) President and CEO Gracia Martore today announced the winners of the company’s 25th annual “Unsung Hero” awards. Gannett’s “Unsung Hero” awards honor employees from throughout the company who make significant contributions to the company and provide outstanding service every day.

“On the 25th anniversary of these awards, today we are honoring a truly remarkable group of employees. They are exceptional in every way and we are grateful for their efforts, creativity and spirit. They give their all to make us better and through their dedication, they help push our progress forward,” said Martore.

The winners were selected from more than 70 nominations this year. Each winner will receive $1,000 and be honored at a reception on Wednesday, June 6 at Gannett corporate headquarters in McLean, VA.

This year’s winners are:

    Gannett IA Digital Team (Lynn Cheryan, Toral Contractor, Courtney Dean and Brian Price). These digital information architects have worked tirelessly as a team to define and develop the architecture for the company’s upcoming digital relaunch. They provide the user’s perspective and the “glue that binds logic to the code, enabling projects to succeed,” said one nominator.
    Brian Franco, solutions architect, Gannett Broadcasting, has been instrumental in implementing the new newsroom, video editing and play-out solution across Gannett’s Broadcasting Division. This new workflow completes the transition of Broadcasting’s newsrooms from tape-based to a digital-based workflow for video. This new system links Broadcasting’s newsrooms together, allowing searching and sharing of stories, video and other information to be done easily and from employees’ workstations or mobile devices.
    Mark McBee, senior account specialist, Customer Service, Gannett Publishing Services, Springfield, VA. McBee is acclaimed by clients for providing first-class customer service and for always being willing to go that extra mile. Clients say he is “helpful,” “flexible,” “accommodating,” “good-humored,” and “just all-round professional and fantastic” and his careful customer service helps build repeat business.
    Terence McKnight, finance research clerk, Gannett. McKnight overcomes challenges to put forth his best effort for the company as he helps with scanning documents, filing and expense management. As one nominator said, “he’s totally committed to his job, always happy in his work, and is a true light point” for the company.
    Trevor Porter – photographer, Wiltshire Times, Trowbridge, Newsquest. His dedication and commitment to the news organization extends beyond photography, deep into his community. “He’s a superb ambassador for the Wiltshire Times. … Barely a day goes by when Trevor does not arrive back in the newsroom with a tip, and more often than not, they turn into good stories,” said a nominator.
    Willy Villanueva – manager of content, advertising and publishing systems group, USA TODAY. Through his leadership, Villanueva’s team has taken on the skillful development and implementation of across USA TODAY. Employees value Villanueva’s open door approach and say he welcomes all questions and concerns. He’s also the first manager to choose to be a part of the team’s on-call rotation, which enables him to better understand ongoing user challenges while also gaining insight about the support needs the group faces.
    Jean Pieper Voshell – designer, Design Studio, Des Moines. Voshell is known for being “in tune with the content” as a designer and the end result is the creation of engaging and bold designs. Her designs are crisp and communicate clearly with readers. She frequently adds special features to her designs which have helped boost the overall design quality of the newspapers she serves. Her editors can rely on her to “simply take care of business” – and do it at a high level.

Judges involved in the selection of the Unsung Heroes include Martore; Maryam Banikarim, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; William Behan, senior vice president of Labor Relations; Paul Davidson, chairman and chief executive officer, Newsquest, plc.; Robert Dickey, president, U.S. Community Publishing; Susie Ellwood, executive vice president and general manager of USA TODAY; Roxanne Horning, senior vice president of Human Resources; Dave Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Todd Mayman, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary; David Payne, senior vice president and chief digital officer; Evan Ray, Gannett Publishing Services president; and Jack Williams, president, Gannett Digital Ventures.

About Gannett
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international media and marketing solutions company that informs and engages more than 100 million people every month through its powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. Our portfolio of trusted brands offers marketers unmatched local-to-national reach and customizable, innovative marketing solutions across any platform. Gannett is committed to connecting people – and the companies who want to reach them – with their interests and communities. For more information, visit

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