PARKER, CO, August 20, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Alan J. Kania with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Kania celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Supported by years of professional experience and an impressive educational background, Alan has excelled in careers in photojournalism, nonprofit administration, and a lifetime of voluntary service to communities throughout the world. He even found novel ways to finance his diverse and colorful portfolio of career contributions and underwrite his community volunteerism.
Drawing from a natural curiosity for journalism Alan created, wrote, and published a grammar-school newspaper while in the fourth-grade at the Brown School in North Beverly, Massachusetts in 1957. The newspaper utilized "beat reporters" from each of the six grades and was sold to students and teachers for two cents a copy The North Beverly Star was printed on a purple-gel hectograph duplication plate. He raised enough money to purchase a set of children's encyclopedia and several other books to start a library at the grammar school. Approximately the time Alan graduated from college, the school was converted into condominiums and The North Beverly Star finally ceased publication.
In 1963, his seventh-grade gym class was approached by the school's football coach. "Is there anyone who would like to write sports stories for The Beverly Evening Times?" Alan jumped in and offered his "vast" journalism experience and photography as a sports free-lancer for the local newspaper. He received $3 for each story and each picture that was published. The Beverly Evening Times (later to drop the "Evening" moniker when it switched to a morning newspaper), was the same newspaper where Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee got his start in 1937.
Alan couldn't let his sports writing get in the way of his homework or study-hall time, and negotiated his first contract with the gym instructor/coach. Alan wrote his stories during gym class, thus maintaining the American journalism tradition of avoiding exercise at all cost in order to file a story – a tradition that he maintains to this day.
Now a high-school student, Alan became known at the news room and the editors provided him with his initial journalism training. The paper published an abbreviated edition on Saturday, enabling editors to provide time to go over his copy, showing Alan how to improve his work. When the newsroom was empty, he was hired to clean the news-ink smudges off the reporters' desks and file single-column zinc-plate portraits for use in future obituaries.
As the composing room emptied out, Alan shoveled broken-down galleys of lead type and melted them into lead pigs. After they cooled, he stacked them next to the type-setting Linotype machines.
When the Saturday edition was ready to roll, he grabbed the papers as they came off the press – straightening the 25-count kick sheet and stacked them so the bundlers could tie them for the newspaper boys.
Once the presses stopped rolling, he returned upstairs to finish whatever project was incomplete and swept the sawdusted floor of the composing room. All the while, he kept an ear tuned to the teletype bells and the police scanner. If a story broke within bicycling distance of the downtown newspaper office, he'd lock the newspaper office and peddle to the story. Alan then returned to the paper to "soup" and print the pictures, write the story, and have them on the editor's desk when he showed up Monday morning.
One of his freelance beats at the Beverly Times was to cover the horse community on the North Shore of Boston where, allegedly, there were more horses per capita than anywhere else in the country. He fell in love with horses while becoming the official photographer for the Myopia Hunt Club (the oldest hunt club in the U.S.) and the Myopia Polo Club. He also became one of two official photographers on the Three-Day Event circuit in New England that included riders with the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team. A side benefit was the opportunity to become Steve McQueen's personal photographer during the filming of The Thomas Crown Affair at the Myopia Polo Field.
Following in the Masonic footsteps of his parents and brother, Alan was awarded the highest earned award of Chevalier by the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay in 1967. The Degree of Chevalier is an unsolicited citation for outstanding-and-marked DeMolay activity, labor, and meritorious service on behalf of the Order. Alan served as organist for both Fidelity chapter in Beverly, and also for the Massachusetts Installation Team. During a week-long DeMolay fund-raising, five-activity marathon to raise money for the fledgling Boston PBS station, WGBH-TV, Alan convinced Parker Brothers Games to design an underwater Monopoly set and provided his fellow DeMolay members to conduct an 11-hour Monopoly game at the bottom of a pool at New England Divers in their hometown of Beverly, Massachusetts as one of the five marathon events.
When he graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Speech (because the Mass Communications department was a year from being officially recognized by the school and the motion-picture department was just becoming established), he learned the new owners of the Beverly Times were no longer using free-lancers. Even the Boston newspapers were in a hiring freeze. Radio stations were scaling back their newsrooms, corporations were eliminating film departments and television stations were retraining their cinematographers to the new technology of video.
He even tried a summer stint as the volunteer host and producer of the WMLO Comedy Corner on a 500-watt radio station in Danversport, Massachusetts, playing comedy records for a half hour.
While at Emerson College, Alan began researching the Western United States controversy pertaining to wild horses roaming the public lands. After graduating in 1971, Alan took a break for two months and made a 10,000 mile road trip through the American West to learn more about the new Wild Horse and Burro Act. He spent his time researching the wild horses, photographing them (and wild burros) and meeting people including Mrs. Velma B. "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston who was responsible for the passage of the two federal laws. Their friendship lasted for the last seven years of her life. During that time, Alan became a prominent photo-journalist on wild horse and burro issues for many national magazines in the U.S., Canada, and Germany. He also used his investigative journalism training to help Annie investigate several illegal wild-horse roundups. Some of his investigative research found its way into U. S. Senate Sub-Committee hearings where Alan testified on behalf of the horses and burros.
The career opportunities in New England had not improved, so Alan decided to move to Grand Junction in 1973 to camp in the Little Bookcliff Wild Horse Area in a 6x6 tent for six months – studying and photographing the wild horses that lived around his campsite. His knowledge of the wild horse and burro situation put him in line for a career change but his association with Wild Horse Annie kept him from employment with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Fascinated by the history of the 1911 eccentric founder of the nearby Colorado National Monument, Alan wrote a series of books including the biography John Otto: Trials and Trails (originally published by the University Press of Colorado and reprinted by Xlibris). Alan's book-tour lecture was broadcast on C-Span's American History TV (https://www.c-span.org/video/?311466-1/john-otto-trials-trails) as it was recorded at History Colorado Center in Denver.
Journalism careers in the Boston area were still stagnant, especially without new training in video-tape technology. Alan took a gamble and moved back to Grand Junction, Colorado with the idea of developing a public relations business to meet the growing needs of the boom town during the height of oil-shale development. After riding the downward slide of that industry, he moved to the Denver area in 1978.
There were two things he intended to do upon moving to Denver – get a season ticket to the Denver Symphony Orchestra and join the Denver Press Club. He did both.
In Denver, he went back to school to earn a Masters in Public Administration in nonprofit administration and public management from the University of Colorado in Denver in 1985.
In addition to volunteering on many community boards of directors, he spent ten years in health-care marketing at St. Anthony Hospital Systems and Bethesda PsycHealth System.
Despite a long and award-winning career in journalism and marketing, Alan is probably best known among his friends for his 23-year alternative avocation as a horse-drawn carriage driver in downtown Denver – a self-described "stress-management program" that developed while researching an award-winning article he wrote and photographed for the now-defunct Denver Magazine. On several occasions he provided hard-to-reach CEOs and their spouses with a half-hour carriage ride in exchange for the opportunity to interview them for an article during the half-hour ride.
Moving to Parker after marrying Terry Grazi, he returned to his community newspaper roots by writing several columns for the Douglas County News-Press. He later became a news-beat reporter and columnist, earning a wall-full of Society of Professional Journalists and Colorado Press Association awards as the Parker-beat reporter.
The Kanias have traveled to over 50 different countries and territories where Alan developed a growing admiration and respect for journalists in many countries. When one such journalist in Nepal informed Alan that the Maoist Rebels targeted the journalist for public execution by decapitation, Alan successfully helped get political asylum for Purushattom Sigdel and his entire family.
When the British-based International Communications Forum held a conference in Denver, Alan attended. He became familiar with a prominent array of international journalists dedicated to raising the quality of journalism and re-establishing credibility and trust for reporters.
Alan's long background in photojournalism caught the attention of the London-based organization. Founder Bill Porter and organizational president Bernard Margueritte invited Alan to be their guest at the 2003 "Changing Media in Changing Societies" forum held in Cape Town, South Africa. Networking with ICF board members and forum presenters provided the opportunity to become a founding board member of the American chapter of ICF.
Serendipity followed Alan while he worked with the African journalists he met in Cape Town. Crosbey Mwanza, executive director of SIMACOM – The Swaziland Institute of Mass Communications, asked Alan to become the "patron" or co-director of a joint partnership between American and Sub-Saharan journalists in 14 countries. The organization broadened to include Southern Africa and the name changed to become the Southern Africa Media Alliance (SAMA) as they developed a ten-year partnership until Mr. Mwanza's passing in 2016.
In addition to writing and photographing for various newspapers and magazines, Alan has written and published eight nonfiction books on topics of western U.S. history. His biography of Velma B. "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston earned him the 2013 Caroline Bancroft History Honor Book award from the Denver Public Library, which also is the repository for Mrs. Johnston's work with the preservation of Wild Horses throughout the West. In 1989 the library honored Alan with the "Customer of the Year" for his patronage to the Western History Department.
At his leisure since 2014, Alan continues to volunteer as an adoption assistant for the Dumb Friends League's Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, Colorado. The 168-acre Center is a private rehabilitation and adoption facility for abused and neglected equines removed from their owners by law-enforcement authorities since 2012.
He culminated his 50 years of photojournalism with his eighth book, The Denver Press Club: 150 Years of Printer's Devils, Bohemians, and Ghosts. He also brought his respect for a free press as an adjunct professor in journalism at Metropolitan State College (now Metropolitan State University of Denver) and Denver University.
In 2019, the publishers of Who's Who in America since 1899, presented their highest award to Alan J. Kania. The Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded each year, to one individual from among the 1.2 million biographees who have demonstrated leadership, excellence, and longevity within their respective industries and professions. Alan has previously been recognized in Who's Who in Finance and Industry (1992-1993), Who's Who in the West (1992-1993, 1994-1995), Who's Who in the World (1991-1992), and Who's Who Top Executives in 2019.
Alan J. Kania and Terry L. Grazi were engaged after hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and married in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area in Boulder County, Colorado in 1987. They reside in Parker, Colorado with their three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Mr. Kania has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
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