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The VAB Voice

VAB 35th  Anniversary

VAB 50th Anniversary

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The 2014 Broadcast Calendar

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The first woman to serve as President of the Vermont Association of Broadcasters and two legendary news reporters will be inducted into the VAB Hall of Fame later this year.

Candis Leopold has worked in radio sales in Vermont since 1981, starting at WNCS in Montpelier.  She later worked for Vermont Broadcast Associates stations WKXH and WSTJ in the Northeast Kingdom before being named Sales Manager for Hall Communications stations WIZN and WBTZ in 2010.  She served more than 12 years as a member of the VAB Board, including four straight years as President, the first woman to hold that position.  She continues to serve as a  Legislative Liaison for the VAB.

When it comes to radio news reporting, Tim Johnson has been going above and beyond the call of duty for more than 40 years.  The Vernon native began his broadcasting career in 1973 at WKVT in Brattleboro and moved across town to WTSA in 1997, where he co-hosts the morning show with Steve Cormier.   His work ethic and reporting skills are unmatched.  Windham County residents have relied on Tim, a former VAB Distinguished Service Award winner, to get the story first and to get the story right for more than four decades.

Former WCAX-TV Adirondack Bureau Chief Jack LaDuke has been operating a camera and reporting the news for 65 years, including 30 years for WCAX.  His far-flung career has taken him to many parts of the world, including Europe and Latin America.  Jack and his wife, Marina, established the public broadcasting system in El Salvador. He has covered multiple Olympic games and, accompanied by one his rescue dogs, has reported on breaking news stories from every corner of the Adirondacks.  Supposedly retired, Jack continues to contribute stories to Mountain Lake PBS.   

The 2014 Broadcaster of the Year Award will be presented to FOX44/ABC22 Vice President and General Manager Roger Hess.  Arriving in Vermont in 2013, Roger quickly became involved in as many community events and fundraisers as is humanly possible.  He started the annual Feed A Family food drive, created a partnership with the regional Red Cross, joined multiple anti-cancer campaigns, walked and biked for diabetes, MS and heart disease research and took part in the Spectrum Sleepout, which raised nearly 200-thousand dollars for at-risk youth.  

The inaugural Teffner-Snyder Award for excellence in a career behind the scenes will be presented to Jim Oliver, Chief Photographer for WCAX-TV and a former VAB Distinguished Service Award winner.  Jim joined WCAX in 1969 after serving as a combat cinematographer in Vietnam.  He has filmed and produced dozens of award-winning programs.  Jim plans to retire at the end of this year.  The award is named for the late VAB President and WCAX engineer Ted Teffner and longtime VAB treasurer and WJOY engineer Dennis Snyder.

Judy Simpson of WCAX-TV and recently-retired WOKO air personality Thom Richards will both be honored with VAB Distinguished Service Awards.

Judy Simpson began her Vermont television news career at WVNY in 1985 and soon became the first female TV News Director in state history.  She joined WCAX in 1997 and began a ten-year stint as anchor of “Channel 3 News This Morning” in 2000.  She introduced features such as live cooking demonstrations and live music that are now common on local morning news shows.  She later took over for Tony Adams as the host of “Across the Fence,” and has distinguished herself as the go-to reporter for farming and agriculture stories.

Thom Richards began his radio career in his native New Hampshire. He moved to the Burlington area in 1978 and worked at both WDOT and WVMT before taking his on-air and production skills to WQCR (later WOKO) in 1985. He also gathered news for WJOY and helped launch oldies station WKOL. He held down the afternoon drive slot for WOKO for many years and consistently enjoyed high ratings.  He also devoted untold hours to community service programs, both at WOKO and at home in Monkton, where he served many years as an EMT.  Thom retired earlier this year.  

Three radio stations are being honored with Community Service Awards from the VAB.  WGLY and “The Light Radio Network” will receive the Alan Noyes Community Service Award for their recent “Wheelchairs for the World” event.  The Essex-based network of Christian radio stations collected 200 wheelchairs and walkers from their listeners for distribution to the needy in Third World countries.  The response was so strong that morning host and current station General Manager Ric McClary had to climb over the donations just to get to his studio.

WEZF, “Star 92.9,” is being honored for its ongoing efforts to help raise money for cancer research.  The station’s signature event is the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, held each October in South Burlington. Over the last 6 years, the local event has raised $1,757,000. Each year the event continues to surpass its goal.

Mitch Terricciano of WIZN will also receive a VAB Community Service Award.  As the parent of a child recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Mitch was inspired to raise awareness and money to help find a cure.  Mitch organized a brand new grassroots fundraiser called the “Mitch & Company Cornhole Tournament.”  The June 1 event raised $750 in donations for the local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

The awards will be presented Saturday, December 6 at the Burlington Hilton at the VAB’s annual Hall of Fame Awards Banquet.




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Banquet Schedule

5:30 - 6:45 p.m. Cocktail Reception

7:00 p.m. Dinner will be served

Awards ceremony following dinner

Dress: Semi-formal is encouraged (but not required)