Dean S. Lesher Award background ( .PDF )
Dolph C. Simons Jr., editor of the Journal-World and chairman of The World Company, is winner of this year's Dean S. Lesher Award, a lifetime achievement award given by Suburban Newspapers of America in recognition of outstanding community and industry leadership.
The award will be presented during the association's Publishers' and Advertising Directors' Conference, set for Oct. 2-5 in Philadelphia.
"Anything I've done - and I'm serious when I say this - is because of the Journal-World and all the good people we have here at the office," Simons said. "The secret of anything we've accomplished is having good people. It really is."
In nominating Simons for the award, Jon Rust, co-president of Rust Communications Inc., described the third-generation publisher's career as a "hallmark of excellence" befitting a media pioneer.
"He is : an award-winning publisher of outstanding newspapers, a highly respected civic benefactor and a dedicated industry leader," Rust said. "He is also a man of powerful charisma and enlightenment, whose knowledge and interests exceed the newspaper industry."
Simons served as publisher of the Journal-World from 1962 to 2004 and has been its editor since 1978. As top executive for The World Company - which owns the Journal-World, Sunflower Broadband and eight area newspapers - he leads operations that provide news and information, cable television, telephone and Internet services throughout Douglas County and neighboring communities in northeast Kansas.
This year, Simons was inducted into the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was recognized by the Cable Television Center as a "Pioneer" member of the industry. He is a former board member for The Associated Press and has served four times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize.
In 1976, Simons received the Fred Ellsworth Award for significant service to Kansas University and in 1980 received the Distinguished Service Citation from KU, the university's highest honor.
In 2006, Simons received the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Years Award, in recognition of his service to the people of Lawrence.
Suburban Newspapers of America, a trade association serving more than 2,100 suburban and community newspapers, last month named the Journal-World as its Newspaper of the Year for the second time in three years.