Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Michael Miller Wins Top FRONT Award

Contributor of the Year Michael Miller (left) with Editor Dan Smith.
Speaker Andrea Brunais makes a point.
Smith and Publisher Tom Field introduce the contributors.
Technology writer Michael Miller, whose technological insight, outstanding photography and general reporting and feature writing have been outstanding during the past year, is the 2011 Valley Business FRONT Contributor of the Year.

Alison Weaver
Michael, whose day job is at Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, received the award at the FRONT's annual Writers Luncheon at Hunting Hills Country Club, where Virginia Tech's Andrea Brunais gave the address. Andrea is an award-winning writer and editor, who has also been involved in public relations and freelance writing.

Janeson Keeley
Editor Dan Smith said of Michael, "He's good at everything he wants to be good at and we're fortunate he wants to be good at writing and photography. And we're very fortunate he's with us."

Other writers winning one of the four top awards included:
  • Alison Weaver, Story of the Year, for her cover story "Alternative Medicine." Alison has won one either Story of the Year or Contributor of the Year each of the four years of VBFRONT's existence. Runners-up in this category included Rob Johnson for his cover story on homebrew and small beer breweries; Laura Purcell for cover stories on labor and veterinarians; and Susan Ayers for a cover piece on angel investing.
  • Janeson Keeley, who wrote the FRONT's NetFRONT column (about the internet) for more than a year, was the winner of the Columnist of the Year because, says Smith, "she put so much into her work. She would often quote as many people as you'd see in other publications' cover stories--everybody in the room, sometimes. She got around and she put great effort into the column. You could tell it." She gave up the column this past fall when her own business became more demanding.
  • Laura Purcell was named the Editor's Choice award winner, selected by Dan Smith. He said, "This one is for whatever I want it to be at a given time and this year it is for Laura's outstanding reporting and bulldog approach to her cover stories. I'm afraid I might have underestimated her at one time. I won't again. She's a dandy."
    Laura Purcell

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