Last Friday was the quarterly meeting of the California Newspaper Publishers Association for which I served for nine years. Since the merging of the CNPA Foundation with the California Press Association last year, the new California Press Foundation is now under the umbrella of CNPA.

During my retirement, I stayed connected to the industry through Cal Press as its president.

With Jack and I coming out of retirement and buying the TC last year, I came back on board CNPA and continued with Cal Press through the merger, too.

No longer president due to restructuring, nevertheless, I still chair Cal Press meetings.

We had a heavy agenda in Sacramento to get through in 45 minutes so we plowed through most of the items, with the safety net of CNPA’s fine staff.

Then came the awards — eight in all — and the first was the Craemer award. That award’s chair was not present, however. I checked the conference call to make sure and then asked if anyone knew anything about the status of that award for the Winter Meeting in December.

CNPA executive director and Cal Press president Tom Newton said he did. “The Executive of  the Year award goes to … Becky Clark.”

Talk about being thrown out off course. I covered my face with my hands and held my breath as the room exploded into applause. I remained that way, wondering how to get through the rest of the meeting with that news and no understanding of how it came about.

But I did, took a breath, thanked everyone, and stutteringly continued.

It’s still an unbelievable honor to be nominated for that award, let alone win it.

Becky Clark,