Cambern caps full evening at 2012 Founders Day banquet

Andrea Cambern at Founders DayDeparting WBNS-10TV anchor Andrea Cambern talked about breaking into the business, her career in Columbus and the little things she’ll miss most about the city and its people at the Central Ohio SPJ Founders Day event last week at the River Club.

Cambern, who was given a Lifetime Achievement award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her career achievements, was the night’s keynote speaker, highlighting an evening of chapter awards and scholarships. A silent auction also raised about $900 to support the chapter’s scholarships.

Among the night’s awards:

Outgoing president Julanne Hohbach and departing board member Sarah Mills Bacha received the chapter’s Distinguished Service award. Hohbach is editor of Columbus C.E.O. and Bacha runs her own communications firm, SMB Communications Ltd. This is the second time Bacha has been tapped for the award. She recently completed her sixth three-year term and rotates off the board of directors due to term limits.

Sharon Crook West received chapter’s Appreciation Award, presented to an individual or organization that has made a notable contribution to journalism in Central Ohio. West is retiring from Ohio State University where she teaches journalism.

The chapter’s First Amendment Award went to Dan Gearino of The Columbus Dispatch, who exposed problems in America Electric Power’s rate structure.

No Brick Wall award was given this year.

Three college students were awarded $2,000 scholarships. Alexis Preskar of Ohio State won the chapter’s Jacob A. Meckstroth scholarship, named for one of OSU’s first journalism graduates and a founding member of the chapter. Sandhya Kambhampati of Ohio University won the Norman H. Dohn scholarship, given annually to an OU student in memory of the longtime Columbus journalist, OU journalism professor and founding chapter member. And Ally Marotti of Ohio State was awarded the James W. Faulkner scholarship, named for the Cincinnati Enquirer Statehouse reporter and founder of the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association.

Two Upper Arlington High School students also were honored by the chapter. Cassie Lowery and Olivia Miltner received The Marty, named for Marty Rozenman, journalist and longtime SPJ member. Nancy Richison presented the award in memory of her late husband.

Another high-school student, Scott Rember of Beachwood High School, was recognized as the Ohio winner for the SPJ National High School Essay Contest, which the chapter judged.

The night’s silent auction was a big success, generating nearly $900 for the chapter’s scholarship fund. Former chapter president Brian Ball was the night’s top bidder in the silent auction, taking home a package of sports tickets, CAPA Summer Movie tickets and photo of the Columbus skyline.

The evening was sponsored by WBNS-10TV and Columbus C.E.O.