National Press Club

Club photographer Noel St. John wins top volunteer award

January 9, 2014 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

Noel St. John, NPC Photo Coordinator, gets the Krug Award, NPC’s highest award for volunteer service, and a Vivian Award, from Club President Angela Greiling Keane on Jan. 8, 2014.

Noel St. John, NPC Photo Coordinator, gets the Krug Award, NPC’s highest award for volunteer service, and a Vivian Award, from Club President Angela Greiling Keane on Jan. 8, 2014.

Photo/Image: Darlene Shields

A ubiquitous figure at National Press Club events was named the organization's top volunteer in 2013.

Noel St. John, the Club's photo coordinator since 2010 and a member of the Photography Committee, won the Berny Krug Award for the many hours he has dedicated to managing the volunteer photographers who covered more than 100 Club events last year.

St. John also shoots dozens of Club activities himself, providing images that appear in the Wire, on the Club website and in its archives.

"This is like a full-time volunteer job, and he needs to make a living, too," Club President Angela Greiling Keane said at a Club awards ceremony on Jan. 8. "Noel is wire-service fast with his turnaround time and is generous with providing digital copies of his work."

The person roving around Club Luncheons shooting the speaker - and the dessert - often is St. John.

"Noel is such a positive presence," Keane said. "He's always here with that smile on his face. It's nice to look out from the podium to spot his pony tail in front of me getting the 'mug shot' - or up in the balcony."

The most rewarding part of his work is that it allows him to enrich other members' Club experiences, St. John said.

"It's when I get home, and I'm looking at the pictures (from an event) and I've shot someone from the Club and I know they're going to enjoy that image," said St. John, a freelance photographer.

The Krug Award was the highest profile honor bestowed at the Club award ceremony. In addition, Donna Leinwand, a USA Today reporter, won the Cosgrove Award for the former Club president who continues to contribute substantially to the Club. In 2013, Leinwand was vice chair of the Speakers Committee, editor-in-chief of the Wire, the organizer of the Club's wine dinners and a member of the Book and Author Committee.

"Donna is a friend, mentor and, much to her husband's chagrin, still an extremely loyal Press Club volunteer," Keane said. "She's very much a jack-of-all-trades."

The Club also honored 55 volunteers with Vivian Awards. Named after former Club President Vivian Vahlberg, the recognition honors outstanding service to the Club.

The Vivian winners for 2013 were Lorna Aldrich, Frank Aukofer, Elizabeth Smith Brownstein, Josue Calderon, Sho Chandra, Megan Cotton, Jennifer Diouhy, John Domen, John Donnelly, Jan DuPlain, Alison Fitzgerald, Heather Forsgren Weaver, Mike Freedman, Fay Iudicello, Delphine Halgand, Mark Hamrick, Tam Harbert, Susan Heavey, Mike Hempen, Herb Jackson, Kathy Kiely, Gil Klein, Adam Konowe, Connie Lawn, Will Lester, Paul Merrion, Bill McCloskey, Molly McCluskey, Tom McMahon, Bill Miller, Joe Motheral, Lindsay Murphy, Rachel Oswald, Herb Perone, Jeff Plungis, Lou Priebe, Lori Russo, Jonathan Salant, Aileen Schlef, Jodi Schneider, Mark Schoeff Jr., Pat Schoeni, Danny Selnick, Darlene Shields, Paul Shinkman, Andrea Snyder, Mike Soraghan, Katy Steinmetz, Al Teich, Chuck Tobin, Celia Wexler, Jack Williams, Peter Urban, Nyree Wright and Noel St. John.

At the beginning of her term last year, Keane posed two questions to Club members: What have you done for the Club lately? What can you do for the Club?

"Everyone in the room tonight answered that call," Keane said.