National Press Club

Larrabee, Priebe win top awards, Club honors 70 volunteers with Vivians

December 19, 2011 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

NPC member Lou Priebe accepts the 2011 Berny Krug Award for outstanding contributions to the Club.

NPC member Lou Priebe accepts the 2011 Berny Krug Award for outstanding contributions to the Club.

Photo/Image: Nathan Mitchell

Former National Press Club President Don Larrabee won the John Cosgrove Award, and Lou Priebe received the Berny Krug Award for outstanding contributions to the Club, at a ceremony Dec. 16 recognizing the top volunteers of 2011.

The event in the Holeman Lounge honored 70 Club members with Vivian Awards for their accomplishments on the Club’s 27 committees.

Larrabee, who served as Club president in 1973, is best known for establishing the Club’s Fourth Estate Award, which honors a journalist each year for lifetime achievement.

The founder of the Griffin-Larrabee Bureau that provided Washington coverage for 26 independent regional newspapers around the country, Larrabee also was instrumental in changing Club rules in the early 1970s to allow women to join.

Club President Mark Hamrick said that Larrabee, a Golden Owl and longtime Silver Owl, “has never, ever quit giving to the National Press Club.”

In his acceptance remarks, Larrabee said, “I love this Club. Thank you for your trust.”

Priebe won the Berny Krug Award, which is given each year to the Club’s top volunteer. Priebe, a communicator member, joined the Club 41 years ago. He co-chaired the inaugural of 1982 Club President Vivian Vahlberg, a journalist for the Daily Oklahoman after whom the Vivian Awards are named.

Over his tenure in the Club, Priebe has won eight Vivians and has chaired or co-chaired several committees. Most recently, he was chair of the House and Bar Committee. He also has been president of the Washington chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and is a member of the organization’s Hall of Fame.

“Lou, you’ve always been constructive, always put the Club before your own interests,” Hamrick said. “I’m proud to present you with the long overdue Berny Krug Award.”

Priebe said that he was humbled.

“It’s a privilege to be able to serve here, where significant things are taking place in the nation’s capital,” Priebe said.

Priebe is one of two Krug winners for 2011. The other was Melissa Charbonneau, who served as Speakers Committee and 5K Run chair.

Charbonneau received her Krug at an Oct. 24 luncheon before she departed for Afghanistan, where she will have a one-year assignment as a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army in Kabul.

“Those of you who have worked with Melissa or know her from around the Club know that she is super competent and unusually kind, and that is precisely the example of altruism that the Berny Krug Award was intended to honor,” Hamrick told the Oct. 24 luncheon audience.

The Vivian Award winners for 2011: Will Lester, Jonathan Salant, Joe Motheral, Joe Luchok, Emily Whitten, Jack Williams, Pat Schoeni, Barbara Bird, Bea Snyder, Dena Bunis, Pat McMurray, Ken Mellgren, Adam Konowe, Mike Hampen, Tom McMahon, Martha Lockwood, Aileen Schlef, Greg Mott, Matt Friedman, John Cosgrove, Art Wiese, Don Larrabee, Melissa Charbonneau, Nyree Wright, Steve Ellis, Rachel Ray, Jerry Zremski, John Donnelly, John Hughes, Peggy Orchowski, Bill Hickman, Larry Quinn, Elizabeth Smith Brownstein, Amy Henderson, Lou Priebe, Valerie Jackson, Paula Delo, Anthony Shop, Kim Bender, Myron Belkind, Arshad Mahmud, Jan Du Plain, Frederica Dunn, Leslie Sage, Ken Yates, Gil Klein, Ron Baygents, Patti Giglio, Jamie Horwitz, Lorna Aldrich, Darlene Shields, Noel St. John, Michael Foley, Mark Schoeff Jr., Donna Leinwand, Heather Forsgren Weaver, Andrea Snyder, Steve Geimann, Michael Bolden, John Domen, Ken Giglio, Marilyn Geewax, Rod Kucro, Bob O’Keefe, Danny Selnick, Kate Michael, Jennifer Schonberger, Lee Perryman.