National Newspaper Awards seeks new Program Director

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2021 – The National Newspaper Awards is seeking a new Program Director to replace Sharon Hockin, who is stepping down at the end of the organization’s current fiscal year, next June. We are starting the search for her replacement now, with the intention that the next Program Director will work alongside Hockin as well as the organization’s outgoing and incoming Executive Directors, Paul Woods and Bev Wake, for a period of transition and knowledge transfer starting in January.

This is a part-time role with variable work requirements throughout the year. The Program Director must be fully available during the month of January when contest entries are received, reviewed and approved and the judging process begins. For the rest of the year the role is part-time, with only a modest time commitment required during summer months. In addition to January, the busiest periods are the six to eight weeks before winners are announced in early May, and early autumn.

We are seeking a highly organized, creative and personable individual with extensive experience in administration at a senior level. The role is ideally suited to someone who prefers a part-time role and/or is able to balance other professional commitments with the NNA operation and timetable. Functionality in both English and French would be an asset but is not required. A good understanding of journalism would be ideal. For administrative and logistical reasons, candidates based in the Toronto area will be given strongest consideration, but we will consider applications from any permanent resident of Canada.

The National Newspaper Awards program is committed to improving the diversity and inclusiveness of its operation, and working towards ensuring that future entrants and winners reflect Canada’s diverse nature. We strongly encourage applications from individuals of diverse backgrounds, abilities and perspectives.

Role Description

The Program Director of the National Newspaper Awards has lead responsibility for administrative and financial operations of Canada’s most prestigious and important journalism awards program.

Reporting to the Chair of the Board of Governors, and indirectly to the Executive Director, the Program Director serves as the organization’s “chief administrative officer,” with overall responsibility for ensuring all administrative and financial matters are handled properly and effectively.

The Program Director is required to maintain complete confidentiality on all aspects of the organization’s operation, and to make all reasonable efforts to maintain goodwill among all stakeholders, including individual entrants, organizations that enter the contest, sponsors, service providers, members of the Board of Governors and other individuals and organizations that interact in any way with the NNA organization.

Duties, responsibilities and accountabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Managing and operating the organization’s day-to-day finances, including billing, payments for service, monthly reconciliations, oversight of bank records/statements and the organization’s external accountant, and remitting tax payments as required under law.
  • Oversight of the entry system, including creation, preparation and testing of categories. Creation and oversight of user credentials. Creation and management of invoices arising from entries. Following up with entrants and entering organizations to ensure payments are received. Compiling data and preparing reports about entries. Troubleshooting. Other functions as required.
  • Administering financial sponsorship programs. Developing and maintaining appropriate working relationships with sponsors.
  • Working with judges, organizations and individuals to ensure they can use the entry system properly to submit entries, and to resolve technical or other issues impeding such usage.
  • Ensuring that all judges sign and return confidentiality forms. Compiling biographical information about judges. Arranging judging meetings as required.
  • Ensuring that all waivers are signed and returned by all finalists. Gathering, sorting, compiling and distributing all needed information and materials from finalists to facilitate production of videos and other public-facing information about finalists.
  • Overseeing printing, framing and distribution of certificates.
  • When applicable, undertaking all necessary requirements to stage a successful awards gala. This includes researching and recommending potential locations, arranging catering, and working with external organizations to arrange accommodations and transportation for some attendees.
  • Managing regulatory filings, including preparation of annual reports for Corporations Canada and Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Organizing quarterly Board meetings, including compilation and distribution of advance information packages. Drafting meeting Minutes.
  • Close liaison with the Chair, the Treasurer and the Executive Director. Liaison with other Board members and Officers.
  • Other duties as assigned or required.

This is the 72nd year of the awards program, which was established in 1949 to encourage excellence and reward achievement in daily newspaper work in Canada. The competition is now open to daily newspapers, news agencies and online news sites approved for entry by the Board of Governors.

Individuals interested in being considered for this position should apply before October 21 to:

Sharon Hockin, Program Director