Fred Gorman - 2015 Bill Draayer Award

(Presented June 2015, at the Annual AGM by Past President Murray Elliott)

It gives me great pleasure to announce this year’s recipient of the Bill Draayer Award. 

The criteria: A member who has a record of reliability in performance of volunteer or assigned association projects vital to its present or future successes during a period of months or years.

Fred Gorman has fulfilled the requirements in spades. He joined the board in 2008, when the economy, national advertising and associations were strong. A few months later a perfect storm: Wall Street collapsed, advertising plunged and on-line advertising gained a foothold.

Fred’s been at the table during this mercurial ride and we’ve relied on his common sense, and strong business mind to help navigate newspaper’s choppy waters. He’s served on numerous committees, was active on the Alberta Press Council, sat on the AdWest board, including a brief stint as president, went through the AWNA chairs, and contrary to original plans, willingly served two terms as president.

He’s made tough, sometimes unpopular decisions, always with the association’s best interests in mind. During his presidency he’s deftly handled many calls from disgruntled, discouraged, and disenchanted members. He listens, responds and finds solutions.

Fred served as publisher of the Red Deer Advocate, and president of Black Press Group Ltd.’s Prairie Newspaper Group, since his arrival in Alberta. He’s served on many local boards including the Central Alberta and District Community Foundation, Red Deer Rotary Club, Central Alberta Economic Development Agency and the Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to his move to Alberta, Fred was publisher of the Black Press community newspaper in White Rock, B.C., and was the first recipient of the White Rock/South Surrey Chamber of Commerce Apollo Award as businessman of the year. 

Fred earned a degree in economics from McMaster University, is a Certified General Accountant, mediocre golfer, sports enthusiast, poker fan, resides in Red Deer, is married to Dinah and has two children: Simon and Sydney. 

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