Two Herald Democrat newsroom staffers were recently selected for individual awards as part of the 2017 Best of GateHouse contest, which is held annually by the Herald Democrat’s parent company GateHouse Media among all of its publications nationwide.

Creative Director Rebecca Jones won second place in Division B of the Features Designer of the Year category, while Managing Editor William C. Wadsack took third place in Division B of the Columnist of the Year category.

“I’m really proud of Rebecca and Billy, but I also want to point out that they are part of a team which works really hard everyday on every single one of the publications we put out,” Associate Publisher and Executive Editor Jonathan Cannon said. “It’s a small staff but one that works really well together. These two are an integral part of our success.”

Jones joined the Herald Democrat in August 2016 and has overseen the layout and design of multiple new magazines and and publications including Grayson Magazine and Lake Texoma Life magazine, during that time.

“For me, design is about delivering a product to our readers,” Jones said. “Whether that is news and community information in our daily and weekly newspapers or fun and entertainment opportunities in our magazines and special sections, my main contribution is graphic design that engages. The best part of my job by far is that I get to be creative everyday.”

Wadsack’s award was for his weekly column “Adventures in Parenting,” which he began writing a month after his son was born in March 2016. It appears every Sunday in the Lifestyle section of the Herald Democrat. Wadsack has been in the news industry since getting his first journalism job in 1999. After working at the Herald Democrat for the majority of 2012 and 2013, he returned to the paper in August 2015 as its managing editor.

“Being a father is the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life and I greatly appreciate this recognition from GateHouse and the outpouring of support I receive from readers throughout Texoma on a regular basis,” Wadsack said. “I greatly appreciate having the opportunity to share my parenting experiences and stories about my son, but it means the world to me that people enjoy reading what I have to say.”