Camille Olson, a partner with Seyfarth Shaw law firm and a member of the America's Newspapers board of directors, was honored with the Frank W. Mayborn Leadership Award on Monday, Oct 18. The award was presented by Alan Fisco, president and CFO of The Seattle Times and president of America's Newspapers.
The award was announced at the annual meeting in Colorado Springs, which was attended by about 190 industry executives.
In announcing the award, Fisco said: "I have had the privilege of working with Camille for a number of years, first with the Inland Press Association, at The Seattle Times and America’s Newspapers. Our industry has benefited tremendously from Camille’s participation. She is smart, passionate about our industry and so responsive to our needs.
"This has never been more true than this past year as part of our work supporting the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. Camille has provided great legal advice, as well as D.C. insights that have been invaluable. And, she has been available day and night, weekdays and weekends."
He said, "I cannot think of a better recipient of the Mayborn Leadership Award. Our entire industry is fortunate to have Camille Olson’s involvement."
Dean Ridings, CEO of America’s Newspapers, has worked closely with Olson over the past two years. He said: “Camille has worked unceasingly to assist us with critical support for the advancement of the LJSA. She and her team provided great insights into getting the definitions right as we provided input into the rewrite of the bill.”
He added: “She also provides us with great counsel in many other areas important to our members, including keeping a close eye on contract law that could impact publishers’ ability to work with independent contractors. She has been a passionate supporter of our industry.”
This was the first year that this award, named in memory of Texas newspaperman Frank Mayborn, has been presented by America's Newspapers. It previously was presented annually by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association in honor of Mayborn, whose foresight and guidance helped shape SNPA in the early 1950s and who served as president of the association from 1961 to 1962.
The award is designed to recognize an industry executive for his or her vision, community leadership and contributions to the newspaper industry. America's Newspapers is honored to continue this award going forward.
Like former recipients Walter Hussman, Derek Dunn-Rankin, Stewart Bryan, Frank Daniels, Mary Jacobus, Ashton Phelps, Jim Boone, Lissa Walls Cribb, Ogden Nutting, Gregg Jones, Steven Brandt, Andy Anderson, Jim Moroney, Charles Morris Sr., Tom Silvestri and Edward VanHorn — Olson's contributions to the newspaper industry span many years. She has been an invaluable adviser to America’s Newspapers through her service on the board of directors and as a member of the Legal Affairs and Lobbying Committee.
For nearly 30 years, she has represented newspapers and other companies nationwide in all areas of litigation, with an emphasis on employment discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour matters, and independent contractor status.
In addition to being a partner at Seyfarth, Olson is co-chair of Seyfarth’s National Complex Litigation practice group, and national chair of its Complex Discrimination Litigation practice group. She serves on the firm's National Labor and Employment Law Steering Committee and is the past national chair of the Labor & Employment practice department. Since 2013, she has served as chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Subcommittee.
Fisco noted that Olson and Seyfarth Shaw also have been most generous in sharing information at no cost with members of America’s Newspapers — including guidance about legalities concerning COVID vaccines. As just one example, she shared Seyfarth’s Vaccine Policy Playbook — an essential resource that many newspapers have used in designing, communicating and deploying vaccine policies in the workplace. Members who haven’t seen this yet, can download it from the America's Newspapers website.
Olson also has been a webinar presenter with America’s Newspapers on a variety of legal topics, keeping members up-to-date on issues involving wage-hour, equal employment opportunity law, independent contractors, union organizing demands and COVID issues that affect the workplace.
She has shared safety advice for journalists covering protests, and the information her firm shared about the Paycheck Protection Program Loans and other Small Business Administration stimulus programs has helped countless members of America’s Newspapers.