National Press Club

Wensing wins Club's top volunteer award

December 26, 2018 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. | markschoeff@gmail.com

Kevin Wensing, a member of the National Press Club Headliners Team, won the 2018 Berny Krug Award as the Club's top volunteer. Club President Andrea Edney presided over the Club Vivian Awards Dec. 21.

Kevin Wensing, a member of the National Press Club Headliners Team, won the 2018 Berny Krug Award as the Club's top volunteer. Club President Andrea Edney presided over the Club Vivian Awards Dec. 21.

Photo/Image: Noel St. John

A National Press Club member who was instrumental in organizing some of this year's highest-profile events earned its top volunteer award.

Kevin Wensing, a member of the Headliners Team, won the Berny Krug Award for his leadership in securing several Club luncheon speakers, including Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, among others.

“Kevin is really elevating the level of speakers we have here at the Club,” Club President Andrea Edney said at the Members Holiday Party Dec. 21.

The evening included a ceremony recognizing 43 Club volunteers who won Vivian Awards. Named after the Club’s first female president, Vivian Vahlberg, they are given annually to members who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the Club.

Another special honor, the Cosgrove Award, went to Angela Greiling Keane, a Politico editor. Named after late Club president John Cosgrove, it recognizes a former Club president who has remained deeply involved in Club life.

A retired Navy captain, Wensing joined the Club 10 years ago and has been a member of the Headliners Team for three years. He said he doesn’t have to do a hard sell to convince cabinet members and other newsmakers to appear at Club luncheons.

“I say it’s the best venue in Washington, D.C.,” Wensing said. “It’s a way to get your message out clearly to the American people and the world.”

Luncheons, which are broadcast on C-Span, are the Club’s signature event. Wensing said that it takes a lot of teamwork to pull them off, citing the efforts of Edney, Club Executive Director Bill McCarren, fellow Headliners Team members and many Club staffers.

Originally from a small town in Illinois, Wensing came to the Club after a career that saw him spend 26 years in the Navy and many years as a Pentagon special assistant. He also cherishes his more recent affiliation with the Club.

“The National Press Club is a national treasure and indeed an important global resource,” said Wensing, chair of the board of directors of Finn Church Aid Americas. “Im grateful to be a member and have a tiny role in their important work.”

The Club is only as strong as the dedication of its members, Edney said.

“We appreciate you so very much,” she said. “We could not do it without you. We would not be the same without you.”

The 2018 Vivian Award winners: Will Lester, Mark Hamrick, Danny Selnick, Emily Wilkins, Allegra Harpootlian, Lisa Matthews, Betsy Fischer Martin, Gil Klein, Paul Merrion, Antonella Ciancio, Jan Du Plain, Eileen Drage O’Reilly, Al Teich, Al Kotok, Noel Francisco, Mark Schoeff Jr., John Donnelly, Mike Hempen, Adam Konowe, Irv Chapman, Doug Harbrecht, Eileen O'Reilly, Marc Wojno, Shahryar Rizvi, Jim Noone, Robert Weiner, Bill Miller, Lorna Aldrich, Menachem Wecker, Joseph Morton, Bill McCloskey, Heather Forsgren Weaver, Sho Chandra, Jonathan Salant, Aileen Schlef, Donna Leinwand Leger, Paul Minehart, Tamara Hinton, Kevin Wensing, Bill Lord, Angela Greiling Keane, Lori Russo, Sean McMinn.