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CONVENTION RECAP: Daily Journal’s Powell named 2022 Queen of Revenue Ideas


Lauren Powell talks about one of her revenue-generating ideas for the Daily Journal in Kankakee during the Revenue Idea Exchange session Thursday, Aug. 11, at the IPA/IPF convention. (Photo by Erin Henekl for Illinois Press Association)


For Illinois Press Association

SPRINGFIELD – The Revenue Idea Exchange has been a favorite session for years at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation annual convention.

This year’s presentation, sponsored by Advantage Newspaper Consultants, had a new twist with the selection of a “king” or “queen” of revenue ideas.

This year’s Queen of Revenue Ideas is Lauren Powell of the Daily Journal of Kankakee. She was crowned during the afternoon session Thursday, Aug. 11, at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel.

During the Revenue Idea Exchange, convention-goers submit their best money-making projects from the past year. The four top ideas win $50. The person submitting the most ideas is crowned “king” or “queen.”

Powell submitted three entries, one of which was a $50 winner. Her ideas included included the Daily Journal annual sale, a community job fair and the cash prize winner 100 Days to the Fair.

The Daily Journal annual sale was a one-week intense campaign aimed at targeting new businesses.

“This was kind of born out of the need to get new businesses. …I believe we brought in 150. Our goal was 175 so we were very close to goal,” Powell said.

Advertisements were sold at a discounted price during the campaign with price reductions for larger advertising commitments.

Powell also entered a community-based job fair that was to help fill gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had our very first job fair last year. It was a response to COVID, seeing how many people in our community were either desperate for work or were desperate for employees so we figured why not put something together that put them all in the same room,” Powell said.

The Daily Journal recently hosted its 2022 job fair and received positive feedback from the community members.

“We hosted the job fair last year at our local mall and had 23 vendors that showed up and I would guess about 150 job seekers … came in,” Powell said. “We just had our 2022 fair a couple weeks ago and had a great response to that one too so I think this will be an annual thing for us.”

Powell’s $50 winning idea was a 100 Days to the Fair campaign.

“It was 100-day countdown to the county fair. We did 100 days on social media. There was information on every single ad, …any information that the county fair had that they wanted to go into the hands of attendees, we did on social media. We also ran two strip ads with that information every single week,” Powell said.

The campaign raised about $10,000 for the paper and was billed to the advertiser over a span of four months.

“The amount of response that I saw on Facebook whenever I would see so many people sharing it and so many people talking about how excited they were that the fair was advertising all of this information, that’s better than the 50 bucks honestly,” Powell said.

Local content was a common theme among winners. Jason Hegna with Shaw Local Media also won $50 for a campaign focused on honoring teachers from each of the markets served.

“We wanted to do a project where our whole editorial department and our whole advertising department came together as one group to honor teachers. …The contest was to have people send in thank you letters. …We ended up getting more than 600 entries across all of our markets,” Hegna said.

The editorial team generated about 140 unique stories based on the thank you letters sent in by community members and generated about $190,000 from selling digital and print advertising.

“What was really cool about this was the editorial side of it — that it was hyperlocal content that people really got around,” Hegna said. “It was positive, it was uplifting, and we got a ton of great feedback from it.”

Another $50 winner was the Cass County Star-Gazette for its Cass County Guide.

“The idea itself is a way to get all of the small communities involved,” said Gary Loftus, publisher of the Cass County Star-Gazette in Beardstown. “It is a guide as you would expect a directory of things, churches, businesses, doctors, etcetera. And it’s always been a well-received guide.”

“Small communities means I’m really trying to target community focus kind of things where the community can all get behind a project,” Loftus said.

All entries were offered drink tickets or lottery tickets for participating in the idea exchange and attendees were encouraged to ask questions and discuss ideas for their organizations.


Lauren Powell of the Daily Journal in Kankakee was crowned the Queen of Revenue Ideas for bringing three different projects to the discussion during the Revenue Idea Exchange at the IPA/IPF convention on Aug. 11 in Springfield. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)



Dee Evans, vice president of sales and business for Advantage Newspaper Consultants works the room during the Revenue Idea Exchange on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. (Photos by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)



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Press Releases



September 19, 2022
Contact: Alison Maley
Phone: (217) 299-3122


Illinois Principals Association to host 'Leaders of Hope' Conference in October

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Principals Association will host its 51st Education Leaders Annual Conference and Exhibition, “Leaders of Hope,” Oct. 16-18 in Springfield. The annual conference provides an opportunity for principals and other administrators to learn from leaders in the education field and participate in sessions to better serve their schools.   

2022-2023 IPA President Raúl Gastón shared, “Although we must pause to acknowledge the realities of the past two years and the challenges we have collectively faced globally, we cannot and must not remain in that space. As leaders in our respective communities, it is our inherent obligation to do our absolute best to help our students and staff move forward. Leaders of Hope is focused on providing all who attend experiences and opportunities to bring hope back to their school through exemplary presenters and topics. Every school leader owes it to themselves to be a leader of hope, and I cannot wait to share in this journey alongside them in Springfield this October.” 

The Educational Leaders conference will begin Sunday with a golf tournament at The Rail Golf Club. The IPA Board of Directors, IPA Congress, Legislative Committee, and School Leader Networks will meet Sunday afternoon at the Abraham Lincoln Doubletree Hotel. The first day concludes with a welcome reception sponsored by Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA) at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to honor IPA Past Presidents. 

The conference will include presentations from keynote speakers Matt Mayberry, Illinois State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala, and Dr. Robyn R. Jackson.  Small group sessions at the conference include timely topics such as: leading with resilience, creating a restorative school culture, trauma-informed leadership, school leader recruitment, and social-emotional learning strategies.   

The first general session on Monday morning will feature Matt Mayberry, a former linebacker for the Chicago Bears who is now an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and leading global expert in leadership development, culture change, and organizational performance. Matt took the lessons he learned on the field and in the locker room straight to the board room. These lessons as an athlete have been instrumental in helping him build stronger leadership teams and execute high–impact cultural transformations, enhancing the performance of organizations in every sector for over a decade. Mayberry will present his keynote, “Driving Hope as a Transformational Leader” Monday morning, followed by a breakout session entitled “Winning Plays for Educational Leaders.” 

Speakers at the second general session on Monday afternoon include Dr. Carmen Ayala, Illinois State Superintendent of Schools, and Raúl Gastón, 2022-2023 IPA President. IPA Principal of the Year awards, the Reaching Out & Building Bridges Award, and the Mr. John Ourth & Dr. Fred W. Singleton Professional Development Scholarships will also be presented at this session.  

Conference attendees will gather Monday evening at “The Future is Strong with You” Gala, sponsored by Books Are Fun, at the Abraham Lincoln DoubleTree Hotel ballroom.  

Dr. Robyn Jackson, CEO of Mindsteps, Inc., will begin the conference Tuesday morning with her presentation, “How to Protect Your Confidence.” She will also host a breakout session following her presentation on setting a vision for success for 100% of students, how to make that success possible in the next 3 years and do it with the people and resources leaders already have. Dr. Jackson combines her experience as a high school English teacher and middle school administrator to help educators develop rigorous instructional programs that provide students with the support and motivation they need to reach or exceed standards.  

The conference will conclude on Tuesday with IPA’s own Brian Schwartz, Deputy Executive Director and General Legal Counsel, and Alison Maley, Government and Public Relations Director, as they provide an update on the education-related laws passed during the 2022 Illinois Legislative Session.  Schwartz and Maley will also discuss the upcoming general election, hot topics likely to be addressed in the 2023 Session, and how school leaders can stay up to date on the legal and legislative items that impact their schools. 

For more information about the IPA or to register to attend, please visit www.ilprincipals.org

The Illinois Principals Association is a leadership organization which serves over 6,100 educational leaders throughout the state of Illinois and whose mission is to develop, support, and advocate for innovative educational leaders. 





September 14, 2022
Contact: Ron Hylla
Phone: (320) 492-6411


Railroad Retiree Informational Conference
being held in Naperville

CHICAGO – The National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees, Inc (NARVRE) will hold a Railroad Retiree Informational Conference in the Chicago area. The conference will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Naperville Municipal Center, located at 400 S. Eagle St. in Naperville. The conference will inform railway workers and retirees about their pension benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act, along with information on Medicare enrollment and asbestos awareness illnesses. There is no charge for your attendance and participation. Spouses are welcome. Pick-up materials will be available.

Pensions under the Railroad Retirement Act differ from those paid under the Social Security Act, a fact not generally known by the non-railroad public. There are more than 37,000 retired railroaders and spouses receiving Railroad Retirement in the state of Illinois.

In charge of the program will be NARVRE National Vice President Ron Hylla. Also appearing will be NARVRE National President George Boatwright and NARVRE National Secretary-Treasurer Phil Stewart. Other speakers will be from TLC Insurance Group and Jones Granger law firm. The guest speaker will be the former Labor Member from the U. S. Railroad Retirement Board, Walt Barrows.

Assisting in presenting materials will be Area Four Director Gary Nelson, Area 6 Director Gary Marquart and Jeff Doerr.



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