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The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences-Upper Midwest Chapter recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to television well above and beyond that required by their job. That contribution can be in service to the industry, to NATAS, to the community, or to people training for a career in the field.
The Gold & Silver Circle is not an award; it’s a society of honor. It is recognition of eligible individuals who have made a significant contribution to television well above and beyond that required by their job. That contribution can be in service to the industry, to NATAS, to the community, or to people training for a career in the field. Nominees answer to the highest standards of integrity and honor in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.
Nominations are accepted from the performing, creative, technical or administrative roles within the industry or in peripheral areas directly related to television such as commercial production, journalism or education. Neither nominators nor nominees need to be members of NATAS.
The Gold & Silver Award Committee reviews all nominees past and present to make a recommendation to the NATAS-Upper Midwest Board of Governors. This year, our Board of Governor’s voted and approved the following honorees.
The Gold Circle Honor
recognizes people with
50+ years in the industry
The Silver Circle Honor
recognizes people with
25+ years in the industry
Chuck Sibley started his career in broadcasting running a studio camera for then-KROC-TV in Rochester, Minnesota in 1972. It was the same year he graduated from Lourdes High School, also in Rochester. In 1977, he started as a news photographer; a job he’s held for the last 45 years.
Chuck has covered it all. His passion, and some of his best memories, are tied to sports.
He’s covered the Super Bowl, U.S. Open, Final Four, and the World Series twice. There hasn’t been a significant high school sports tournament or championship that Chuck hasn’t been on the sidelines. Among his top moments behind the lens, and the one story he shows every new employee, is on the Viola Gopher Count. In the early 2000s, Chuck and reporter Jason Wenisch profiled an 85-year-old man who had trapped more than 15,000 gophers for the annual count. He was known as the “King of Gophers”.
Over nearly five decades, Chuck has worked with countless journalists just starting out in their careers. Many keep in touch with him regularly and attribute some of their skill as journalists to him. Chuck has won numerous awards for his work from the Minnesota Associated Press Broadcasters, the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association and has been nominated for a REGIONAL EMMY from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Northern News Now Meteorologist Dave Anderson is the longest-serving meteorologist in the Northland. A native of Ely, he grew up watching CBS3. Anderson began his broadcasting career during college as a custodian at CBS3 in 1986. In 1987, he also took a technician job at KBJR and spent the next three years putting on the news at Channel 6 and then cleaning the building at Channel 3.
One of his first jobs at KBJR was drawing weather maps for meteorologist Jack McKenna. That inspired an interest in the weather that led Dave back to school to earn his own meteorology degree with tutelage from the station’s other meteorologists. While working on the technical crew and assisting the weather department, Dave also served as a commercial production grip, news photographer, sports reporter, and human interest reporter.
Away from CBS3, Anderson has been an adjunct meteorology instructor for Lake Superior College since 2003. He has been an adjunct instructor for Northland College since 2004 and teaches the broadcast meteorology practicum. He is proud that several of his students have gone on to become broadcast meteorologists themselves. Around the United States, those meteorologists have included Adam Young, Bryce Henry, Brandon Boswell, Kevin Haas, Mike Stevens, Joey Norton, Adam Lorch, Austin Haskins, and Sarah Gannon.
Always community-minded, Dave served on the board of the Marine Museum in Duluth and as a Cub Scout leader for several years in the past. For more than 20 years, he has been a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist and has served as flotilla commander, weather instructor, and public affairs officer. Right now, he serves on the USCG Auxiliary National Staff in the marketing department.
Steve Betchkal is the longest-tenured Video journalist in the history of the Eau Claire Market. Steve graduated from the University of Eau Claire, Wisconsin with a degree in Biology. In 1987 he needed a job, so he walked into the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, and was hired as a part-time videographer. A year later, he began working full-time.
After 14 years at WEAU, he took a job with Northland Adventures, an outdoors program, produced at Eau Claire’s ABC affiliate, WQOW. He returned to news in 2004, as a Video journalist, where he began writing his own stories. While working for WQOW, Steve received his first Regional Emmy® in 2013, for a video essay on glassblowing. In 2014 he received 6 nominations, and Emmys in Health – for a series on dyslexia – and for Video journalist. In 2015 he received his 4th Regional Emmy®, in Science/Environment, for a series detailing the plight of migratory songbirds. In 2018, Steve received Regional Emmy® number 5 for a series based on his seven weeks on a boat with Lindblad-National Geographic in the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador.
Now “semi-retired,” he currently teams with Micah Davis of Eau Claire to produce Storytime with Steve & Micah, a humble journalistic venue that features two guys producing feature stories - on Facebook. In 2020, Storytime with Steve & Micah was nominated for four Regional Emmys including Science/Environment, News Writing, and Editing. In 2022 Story Time with Steve & Micah received their first Regional Emmy® for “Champion Trees,” entered in – what else? –Science/Environment.
Steve served on the Upper Midwest Emmy Board of Governors as Awards Committee Chair and as Regional Vice President for Wisconsin.
His entire career Steve has told the “small market” story of Western Wisconsin, the place he calls home, and he is proud of his creativity in telling those stories. Hired with no experience or training in journalism, he progressed from part-time videographer to accomplished news writer. His innovative and daring approach to TV storytelling has earned him more than 80 awards for excellence, including multiple state of Wisconsin bests in news writing and video, and a Regional Edward R. Murrow for News Writing.
Sioux Falls, SD
Mark is a Boston native (Curt Gowdy was his first next door neighbor) who recently attended his 50th class reunion at Dover Sherborn HS. He attended The University of Richmond (VA) where he was Sports Editor of the Collegian. But it was his gift of gab that led to a career in broadcasting. He started his TV career as WTVR's first weekend sports anchor his senior year in college.
WIFR in Rockford, IL was his first stop as Sports Director and he eventually made it to Sioux Falls where his first broadcast was September 11, 1978. While at KSFY the station gained rights to televise the boys and girls state basketball tournaments. Mark was also radio voice of the Augustana Vikings upon his arrival in Sioux Falls and eventually did USD football where the Coyotes made it to the DII title game in Florence, AL his final season in 1986.
In 1987 he started an advertising agency (Ovenden-Wheeler) in addition to continuing his TV career at KELO where calling State HS Football and Basketball games was a highlight.
Mark moved to KDLT in 1996 as Sports Director and remained in that capacity for 24 years before the creation of Dakota News Now when KDLT and KSFY merged. He has covered numerous NCAA tournaments and National Championships for local colleges in a variety of sports and even ventured west to Oregon back in 1999 with the Roosevelt girls basketball when they beat the best teams in the country to win a prestigious holiday tournament out of season.
On May 3, 2010 Mark and Mike Henriksen launched Calling All Sports, a daily radio show in 3 states that features local, regional and national guests, not limited to just sports. "George McGovern might be our all-time favorite guest on CAS."
With 45 years in the state, Ovenden has become the most recognizable face of sports in South Dakota. He has hosted more TV sportscasts in the state than anyone in history. Also, Mark’s love of golf is well-known so reporting from the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine was among his favorite sporting events to cover!
Mark has won numerous awards for sportscasts over the years at all 3 stations and was recently inducted into the SD Sports Hall of Fame. He was also recipient of the Tom Brokaw Award for excellence in broadcasting. However Mark is most proud of his involvement with non profits like Make-A-Wish and Junior Achievement and several others during his 45 years in South Dakota.
Des Moines, IA
KCCI Chief Photographer Donna Smith celebrated 38 years with KCCI in September of 2021. Not only was Donna a great photojournalist and Chief Photographer at KCCI, but she also lived out her purpose every day of her entire career. She has told many people that she knew in grade school she wanted to be a photographer. A great uncle gave her his old still camera and it lit the fire that’s been burning ever since.
Donna decided that after carrying around gear for the better part of four decades, it was time to put it down and to pick up something more relaxing. Donna retired at the end of 2021. Donna joined KCCI after working as a temporary photographer for the competing ABC affiliate station in Des Moines in 1983. In 1987 she was promoted to Chief.
In her time at KCCI she contributed her heart and soul into making the station, Iowa’s News Leader. And while giving her all, she gave Central Iowans some compelling visual stories. She covered and met every President. She traveled to Sydney with the Hearst team that covered the 2000 Olympics as the technical lead. She was gone for a month doing this gig and worked from 5 a.m. to midnight many or all days. Donna covered floods, and fires, presidents and mayors and regular Iowans in her 38 years. Always with the attitude and fire that was in that little girl who was given her first camera.
It’s not an over-statement to say that Donna was one of the rocks in the KCCI news department. Being a Chief Photographer is a tough gig. In addition to having to be a highly skilled photojournalist, you also manage the fleet of news cars and all the gear. Donna was a champion for her team, ensuring the KCCI photojournalists had an advocate to get them the best tools possible to do their jobs.
Brad grew up on a farm near Early, Iowa, and is one of the many native Siouxlanders who work at “Siouxland’s News Channel”.
Brad has won several awards at KTIV, including “Best Sportscast” in 2004, 2012 and 2013 from the Iowa Broadcast News Association and 1st place for “Sports Reporting” in 2007 from the IBNA for his series on the Crestland Cadets football team. He won best sports “Play by Play” from the IBNA in 2004, 2009 and 2010.
In 2018 Brad was honored by the Siouxland Officials Association for his dedication to high school and youth athletics. He has also received several nominations from the Upper Midwest Emmy Chapter.
Brad graduated from Crestland High School in Early, Iowa, in 1984. While attending Iowa State University, he got his first initiation into the broadcasting field, working as a news and sports reporter at KASI radio.
Brad’s wife Sally is an Art Teacher in Sioux City, and they are the parents of a Joseph, Mary and Reggie. In his spare time, Brad likes to play baseball and basketball.
In March 2021, Brad was driving to work and extreme head pain had him stop at a clinic. He was then rushed to the hospital. His doctors discovered a rare brain tumor that had grown in less than 6 weeks.
Brad underwent surgery right way and is currently on a journey to get well and recover. He has a long road ahead of him but longs to be back on the sports anchor desk and cover the Siouxland teams that he knows so very well.
Brad has set a high standard covering Siouxland athletes. He has gone great distances and traveled many miles to capture the action while maintaining the dedication and commitment Siouxland viewers have seen from him over the last 30 years.
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