Press Club Partners with PRSA for Jan. 26 “Meet the Press” Event

Join the Press Club of Toledo and PRSA – Northwest Ohio Chapter for a “Meet the Press” lunch and learn event.

The organizations are partnering to provide a glimpse into the real worlds of both media and public relations. The panel of media representatives and PR professionals will explore the challenges and triumphs they face on a day-to-day basis and share tips for how to work together more effectively.

This joint event will take place 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26 in the Fred H. McDonald Community Room of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library Main Library, 325 Michigan St. in downtown Toledo.

Attendees are encouraged to get their ticket in advance. Lunch is $10.

Press Club Selects New Leadership

Lauren Weppler-Geissler, news director at WTOL-TV and WUPW in Toledo, has been selected to serve as president of the Press Club of Toledo.

Lauren Weppler-Geissler

The Board of Directors voted Jan. 18 for Weppler-Geissler to lead the organization. Stephanie Elton, president of Blue Water Communications, will serve as president-elect.

In accepting the role, Weppler-Geissler thanked Candice Harrison, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for SSOE Group, for her strong leadership during the past year.

A broadcast journalism graduate from West Liberty University in Wheeling, W.V., Weppler-Geissler came to WTOL after a stint at WMBF-TV, Channel 32, the NBC affiliate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., as a reporter and executive producer of the station’s morning newscasts. She also previously served as the evening anchor of a station in Beckly, W.V.

Blue Water Communications Announces New President

Cultural public relations firm Blue Water Communications announced a change of leadership in the new year.

On Jan. 1, 2023, Stephanie Elton, a board member with the Toledo Press Club, will assume the role of president of Blue Water after previously serving as the organization’s vice president and director of client services. She will lead the agency’s dedicated team that specializes in strategic communications for museums, architecture and destinations.

Lynnette Werning, APR, SPP, Blue Water’s current president, will continue in her pivotal role as founder, spearheading key projects focused on client service, strategy and new business development.

Stephanie Elton, a board member of the Toledo Press Club, will assume the role of president of Blue Water Communications on Jan. 1, 2023.

“Stephanie is an exceptionally talented public relations expert. From the moment we met 10 years ago, I knew I wanted her to be part of Blue Water’s future,” said Werning. “I wouldn’t make this transition without being 100% certain of the team’s readiness, and with Stephanie at the helm I have full confidence that our clients will be in excellent hands. I can’t wait to see how she reimagines this next chapter for Blue Water.”

“Blue Water has an incredible roster of museum and architecture clients stretching from Hawai‘i to Virginia with inspiring stories to tell,” said Elton. “We’re grateful for the trust they place in us as their communications partner, and I look forward to carrying on the legacy of Blue Water that Lynnette has built with such care.”

Read more from the official announcement from Blue Water Communications:

Blue Water Communications announces new president

The Juice Celebrates 25 Years On Air

The Toledo community celebrated 25 years of “The Juice,” WJUC-FM 107.3, in November with a dinner and a program.

The event featured on-air talent from the past along with a toast and video that chronicled 25 years of being the leading source for urban music in the Toledo community.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur took the stage and presented a flag that was flown over the Capitol and gave remarks in recognition of The Juice, which prides itself on being the “People’s Station.”

W. Charles “Charlie Chuck” Welch began his pursuit of owning the station long before it went on air. It was also not an easy road. With his late wife Marjorie Welch by his side, they persevered through years of litigation that included denials and appeals as he worked to establish the station. Welch refused to give up on his dream.

His vision for WJUC was to create a platform that would give the African American community a voice. His responsibility has always been to serve the community and to provide opportunity to those who also want to be part of serving. 

In 1997, The Juice made history by becoming the first African American in the region to build, own, and operate a radio station. 

Charlie Chuck retired from broadcasting six years ago. He was confident that his children, which includes his namesake and Toledo Press Club board member Charles “Charlie Mack” Welch, had learned enough over the years to maintain and nurture his legacy.

Throughout the years, the Welch family has experienced the blood, sweat and tears that kept WJUC going. They believe it is still their duty to continue to be a broadcasting leader to further strengthen the community using their platform.  

Press Club of Toledo Announces Touchstone Award Winners

The Press Club of Toledo is pleased to announce the 2022 Touchstone Award Winners.

In front of a sold-out crowd at the Valentine Theatre on Oct. 4, the Press Club of Toledo celebrated its 50th anniversary by recognizing community leaders, journalists, and public relations professionals.

Emcee Shaun Hegarty started the night with a moment of silence for Jeff McKinnis, stating, “We honor Jeff McGinnis, assignment editor of the Toledo City Paper, who passed away one week ago tonight. He was a nominee and winner of the Touchstone Awards, and he will be sorely missed.”

Candice Harrison, president of the Press Club of Toledo, shared the organization’s legacy and how she made history as the first Black president, stating, “The Press Club of Toledo has been honoring journalistic and community achievements since 1999. Tonight, we add a distinguished set of honorees to our terrific list.”

The Press Club of Toledo’s Board of Directors selects the Community Awards winners, and the recipients are as follows:


The award that recognizes a lifetime’s worth of outstanding contributions to the community in all aspects, including business, public service, and philanthropy, was awarded to Mary Fedderke, vice president of development at the United Way of Greater Toledo, for her incomparable service to the Toledo non-profit community.


This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the community, specifically someone who’s significantly impacted the quality of life in Northwest Ohio over the past year. It was awarded to Will Lucas, community champion and owner of Creadio and TolHouse, and Moussa Salloukh, community champion and owner of Souk Mediterranean Restaurant, for their contributions to the growth and development of the Toledo region and media impact in 2022.


Named after a founding member of the Press Club of Toledo, this award honors outstanding efforts to promote the press club’s principles. It was awarded to Kurt Franck, president, general manager, and executive editor of The Blade.


Winners for this year’s award categories were judged by journalists and media professionals from San Diego, and the winners are as follows:


  • Hard News – Luke Ramseth of The Blade
  • Feature – Nicki Gorny of The Blade
  • Sports – Mark Monroe of The Blade
  • Arts & Entertainment – Jason Webber of The Blade

Print Non-Daily

  • Hard News – Lila Waterfield of Toledo City Paper
  • Feature – Mary Rose Kulczak of Toledo Area Parent
  • Sports – Nathaniel Light of Toledo City Paper
  • Arts & Entertainment – Dave Kubacki of Toledo City Paper


  • Videography – Mary Bilyeu and Phillip L. Kaplan of The Blade
  • Print – Rebecca Benson of the Blade


  • Hard News – Brian Dugger, Kalie Marantette, Silas Tsang, and Eric Rerucha of WTOL 11
  • Feature – Tiffany Tarpley of WTOL 11
  • Sports – Justin Feldkamp of BCSN
  • Arts & Entertainment – Allie Ray of BCAN


  • Single report – Brad Cresswell of WGTE Public Media
  • Show/Series – Brad Cresswell of WGTE Public Media
  • Podcast – Qarie Marshall of WGTE Public Media

Best Use of Social Media

  • Tim McMahon of BCAN

Best Use of Digital Media

  • Kaitlin Durbin and Joe Landsberger of The Blade

Student Television

  • Tiara Medley of The University of Toledo

Student Print

  • BG Falcon Media

Student Social or Digital Media

  • Falcon Radio and Music Industry Club

Best Public Relations Campaign

  • Mallory Crooks of the Ability Center

Bernard F. Judy Scholarship

  • Tiara Medley, The University of Toledo
  • Nia Lambdin, Bowling Green State University

The Press Club of Toledo thanks its generous sponsors for supporting the Touchstone Awards and the future of journalism through the annual scholarship program that recognizes student journalists at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.

Touchstone Awards sponsors included: Buckeye Broadband/BCSN/BCAN, Chrys Peterson Consulting, Communica, WTOL 11, Imagination Station and SSOE.

About Press Club of Toledo
The Press Club of Toledo exists to promote the advancement of ethical journalism and to foster fellowship among representatives of the media and those they cover. The Press Club of Toledo has a diverse membership including journalists, reporters, anchors, writers, editors, media managers and public relations professionals. The Press Club of Toledo offers professional development opportunities, industry leaders and influencers access, in-person and online networking and members-only events. For more information or to donate, visit