The HSPA board of directors honored Fort Wayne Newspapers’ general manager Pete Van Baalen with the Distinguished Service Award during Annual Conference on Sept. 14, 2018. The Distinguished Service Award goes to an individual who has contributed in one or more of the following ways:
• Made a significant impact on the newspaper industry in Indiana through service to HSPA in one or more of the following areas: committee work, board membership, lobbying efforts or legal action.
• Performed outstanding service to the newspaper industry in general.
• Demonstrated service in the local community that reflected positively on its newspaper.
Van Baalen attended his first HSPA advertising conference in 1992 and has been actively involved with HSPA and the Indiana Advertising Executives Association ever since.
HSPA executive director Steve Key said: “If you want to get a project done and done well, you get Pete Van Baalen as your leader on the project. He’s an invaluable resource for our association.”
He is the immediate past president of the INAEA and current member of the Hoosier State Press Association board of directors. As chairman of HSPA’s promotional committee, he’s currently spearheading a campaign extolling the value of newspapers, which will be unveiled soon.
Van Baalen has spent his entire career in media, working with weekly and daily newspapers, magazines, various niche products, a variety of websites and radio broadcasting. He is a graduate of Butler University’s radio and TV program as well as Western Governors University’s marketing program.
He started as a print and radio sports journalist, covering amateur and professional sports in Central Indiana. As a sales and marketing professional, Pete has created award winning content throughout a wide range of media outlets. He is a former American Advertising Federation president for the East Central Indiana chapter and current member of the AAF chapter in Fort Wayne.
Prior to his current position, he has served as publisher of the Elkhart Truth, regional advertising director and vice president of sales and marketing for cnhi, regional publisher of newspapers in Greensburg, Rushville and Batesville, group publisher of multiple publication in Hendricks County, and worked for Thomson Newspapers in Anderson, Zionsville, Carmel.