For their support of the organization’s mission and its Fellows for more than a decade, Pat and Janna Stueve received the inaugural President’s Award from Alfred Friendly Press Partners.
President Randy Smith called their leadership “extraordinary” and said the Stueves have been inspirational to journalists in the fellowship program. That includes the Fellows they sponsored last year and this year — Binita Dahal, a correspondent for BBC’s Burma Service, and Juan Luis Garcia, a reporter for Sin Embargo, an online news outlet in Mexico.
“They are friends to fellows – not only when they are here, but after they are back home,” Smith said.
Pat Stueve, who is treasurer of the Alfred Friendly Foundation board and a partner in the Stueve Siegel Hanson law firm in Kansas City, said he and Janna were honored to receive the award during the annual gala at the National Press Club on Sept. 7.
“A president needs wise counsel,” Smith said. “Pat and Janna Stueve have more than filled that role for me. The foundation would simply not exist without them.”
The Stueves hosted a luncheon for the Fellows at the law firm in each of the past two summers, and have provided significant financial contributions to individual Fellows and for the nonprofit organization’s operations.
Pat Stueve said the mission of the organization directly aligns with their passion for promoting the importance of a free and vigorous press.
“As we have seen over the last couple of years, it is not only important to emerging democracies — it is equally important to established democracy like the United States,” Pat Stueve said during the law firm luncheon.
“One of the reasons for my involvement is, I came of age during the Watergate era and I got to see firsthand what an impact a free press had, and that made a huge impression on me.”
“Janna and I became financially invested after getting to know the Fellows,” Pat said. They had many conversations with the international journalists during program events in Washington, D.C., and at the Missouri School of Journalism as well as in their hometown. “Their courage, their professional skills … motivated Janna and I to increase our involvement.”
The importance of supporting this pillar of democracy, he said, “is more important than ever before. I have been a part of many foundations … as a board member, donor and friend.
“There is no nonprofit that I have ever been involved with that has the results and the impact that this foundation has had. Think about it: over 300 journalists in 90 countries have been impacted by this foundation.”