MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. has honored four employees with the 2016 President’s Circle Award for demonstrating excellence in their roles and innovation in responding to new challenges.

CNHI President and CEO Donna Barrett said this year’s honors go to: Roxanne Birr, CNHI Monster product manager; Candy Olson, CNHI senior product manager; Jake Mienk, publisher, The Daily Sun and the Herald-Press, Corsicana and Palestine, Texas; and George Bremer, executive sports editor, CNHI Sports Indiana.

“This year’s honorees demonstrated tremendous big-picture thinking and initiative in their respective fields,” said Barrett. “Their hard work on all aspects of our business – from storytelling to advertising to production – provided an important service to our communities.”

The winners receive a $2,500 cash award and a personal recognition plaque. Their names will be embossed on a master plaque in CNHI’s corporate office in Montgomery, Alabama.

Founded in 1997, CNHI is a leading provider of local news and information in 130 communities in 23 states. The President’s Circle Award was established to recognize employees whose work and dedication are exemplary.

“We could not be more proud of the leadership and dedication shown by this year’s recipients,” said Barrett. “They eagerly accepted new responsibilities in order to tackle important industry challenges.”

Here’s a summary of the honorees and why they were selected.

Roxanne Birr / CNHI Monster Product Manager: Birr works closely with CNHI locations and on the placement and delivery of more than 4,500 recruitment ads per month. In 2016, she continued her efforts to help CNHI locations generate recruitment revenue while also developing a dedicated sales team that has generated more than $650,000 in new revenue. Birr’s efforts were recognized at the March 2016 annual partner meeting as she and CNHI were presented with the “2015 Outstanding Overall Achievement” award.  Her work ethic and commitment to her job make her a valuable part of CNHI.

Candy Olson / CNHI Senior Product Manager:  An industry veteran, Olson combines the skill and experience to ensure products are well-suited for our local audiences on all platforms, with a keen eye for emerging businesses and technology. In the last year and a half under Olson’s direction, CNHI launched the first notices platform, which makes it easy for municipalities and newspapers to get public and legal notices in print and online. Olson also launched an obituary platform that makes it simple for people to honor their loved ones, present and past, and identified an emerging technology that would integrate the new platform with social media.

Jake Mienk / Publisher of The Daily Sun and the Herald-Press (Corsicana and Palestine, Texas): When Mienk was named publisher of the Palestine Herald-Press in July 2014, the paper was experiencing financial difficulty and had lost its relationship with the community. Conventional wisdom posited the only way it could survive would be to reduce publishing days, outsource printing and operate on less. But thanks to Mienk, by year-end, the newspaper was back in the black, with a bright future. In 2015, Mienk was also named publisher of the Corsicana Daily Sun. Once again, the newspaper’s financial performance improved and in 2016, Mienk added a print publication day, bucking an industry trend. Corsicana is once again showing a bright future with strong revenue gains and margins in the top third of CNHI. Mienk’s success is a result of his strong work ethic, a desire to learn, competitiveness and the ability to build a solid team.

George Bremer / Executive Sports Editor, CNHI Sports Indiana: In 2016, Bremer launched a sports bureau to serve CNHI’s newspapers and websites in Indiana, forming a new team to cover the sports most important to Indiana audiences. A longtime Indianapolis Colts beat writer and sports editor at The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana, Bremer expanded his exclusive coverage of the team, and recruited top talent to cover Indiana University and Purdue University. Bremer’s creativity and tireless effort have provided CNHI audiences with even more original stories, photos and videos about the teams they love, and audiences quickly responded, leading to dramatically improved reader engagement and website traffic across Indiana locations.

Based in Montgomery, Alabama, CNHI is a leading publisher of local news and information, serving more than 130 communities in 23 states.

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