2010 Gold Nugget Award Winner – Sheila Balestreri

Sheila Balistreri has been with Channel 2 News for 16 years. She’s been the producer and anchor of the “Morning Edition” for 9 years, getting up at 3 a.m. to go to work. Sheila is a graduate of UCLA and a military veteran, having spent three years in the Women’s Army Corps.

Sheila started her 30-plus year journalism career in Bismarck, North Dakota, then went on to work in Salt Lake City, Utah as a radio news director.

Sheila and her family moved to Anchorage in 1989 where she worked in both radio and television.

She has won numerous awards, including four Edward R. Murrow regional awards, Goldie awards from the Alaska Broadcasters Association, AP awards and awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Her most recent awards for “Best Newscast, Television” and “Best Presentation, Television” come from Alaska Professional Communicators. Sheila’s entries moved to National Federation of Press Women, and for the past four years, including 2010, have won first place in those categories at the national level.

After she attended her first NFPW conference, she was hooked and has attended almost every year since.

Sheila has done community service in Anchorage for years for many groups including: American Diabetes Association, Salvation Army, Bean’s Cafe, and many, many more.


Joan Harris, Spark Plug Winner, with Sheila Balestreri, Gold Nugget Winner

Joan Harris, Spark Plug Winner, with Sheila Balestreri, Gold Nugget Winner

Kay Kennedy Gold Nugget Award

Kay Kennedy Gold Nugget Award

2010 Spark Plug Award Winner – Joan Harris

As 3rd vice president and co-program chair, Joan Harris deserves the Spark Plug Award for her unprecedented success in transforming her quiet spark into a flame of action that, months in advance, has secured, scheduled and coordinated monthly luncheon speakers for Alaska Professional Communicators.

Joan graciously shoulders her responsibility with focus and devotion to our organization. She has secured interesting speakers, and has done an awesome job in following up to ensure that they have a successful speaking engagement at our meetings.

Joan Harris, Spark Plug Winner, with Sheila Balestreri, Gold Nugget Winner

Joan Harris, Spark Plug Winner, with Sheila Balestreri, Gold Nugget Winner

Betzi Woodman Spark Plug Award

Betzi Woodman Spark Plug Award

Jan. 3, 2011–Alaska Statehood 50th Anniversary Grants–Sarah Hurst

Journalist, author and translator Sarah Hurst will speak on January 6 about some large projects she worked on that were funded by Alaska Statehood 50th Anniversary grants. She wrote a play about Alaska history for schools called A Native Lad and later, with the help of nine Alaskan artists, created a graphic novel version of it that was published by Anchorage’s Greatland Graphics. She was also research director on a two-hour documentary for PBS called Statehood!

Sarah Hurst was born and raised in England and lived in Russia, Azerbaijan and China before moving to Anchorage in 2001. As a journalist she has written articles for publications all over the world, and she has written several books and plays. She also translates articles and books from Russian to English. Sarah founded the organization Alaska’s Kids to implement creative projects in the 49th state, and A Native Lad, funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum, was the first of those. She has a two-year-old daughter, Cecilia.

Sarah Hurst

Sarah Hurst

Jan. 27, 2011–Social Media Seminar–The Basics and Beyond (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and More…)–

For months now the buzz has been social media. You’ve put off jumping into the fray, and you feel you may have missed the boat. It’s not too late, but how do you begin? Or maybe you’ve been using Facebook (and even Twitter or LinkedIn) for a few months, but where do you go from here?

Learn from an expert about using social media to promote your business, your books, or your cause.

– Find out the most efficient ways to start using social media or if you’re already dabbling, how to optimize what you’re doing to leverage these tools and channels for your work.

– You’ve heard of Digg, MySpace, Jaiku, and others, but which ones do you really need to use? Discover the best tools for whatever you’re trying to do, from SlideShare to Flickr to YouTube, RedRoom and more.

– If you’re looking to get the most out of social media, you’ll need tools to help you manage and measure what you’re doing. Learn about a few handy tools that can get you organized and help you measure your results.

Join Alaska Professional Communicators as we welcome seminar presenters Aliza Sherman and Sherrie Simmonds for an afternoon dedicated to the ins and outs of social media! You’ll learn how social media gives you the tools you need to boost your communications, marketing, brand-building, and more.

Fulfill your New Year’s resolution to continue learning and expand your social media presence. Register today!

Location: Elim Café, 561 W. Dimond Blvd., Anchorage (near Arctic Blvd.)

Date and Time:

Thursday,  January 27, 2011

12 – 1 p.m. Lunch and Networking,

1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Seminar
Registration Fee: Members $50; non-members $75 (prepaid by January 19)

Registrations after January 19: Members $60; non-members $85

Seating is limited. Register today.

Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman is a social media innovator and commentator. She speaks around the world about Internet and social media-related topics. In 1995, she founded the first woman-owned, full-service Internet company, Cybergirl, Inc. and the first global Internet networking organization for women, Webgrrls International. Aliza is recognized for her writing and blogging and was named by Fast Company as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Technology.”

In 2003, she started a consulting firm that would become the social media agency Conversify to provide high-level, strategic Internet and social media consulting to companies and organizations. Aliza is also the author of seven books, including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise, Ecommerce, and PowerTools for Women in Business. She is working on her 8th: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing, out July 2011. Her new company – Mediaegg – develops iPhone and iPad apps for women and children.

Sherrie Simmonds

Sherrie Simmonds has managed communications for Alaska Housing Finance Corp. for 15 years. She is a Distinguished Toastmasters and has won numerous state and national speaking, writing and public relations awards. She has been a frequent speaker on social media at meetings and conferences, including Oregon State Clerks Association annual conference and Yukon/Alaska Council of Toastmasters fall conference.[metaslider id=1013]