In 2002, Jon K. Rust, joined the board of the Local Media Association. He went on to become chairman of the board and was instrumental in the organization’s well documented transformation to an umbrella organization serving all local media.

Rust, Co-President of Rust Communications and Publisher of the Southeast Missourian, then went on to serve with the Local Media Foundation board of directors and just finished two years as chairman of that board. His board leadership spanned a sixteen-year period, the most by anyone in LMA’s 47-year history.

In recognition of Rust’s incredible commitment to LMA and LMF, the association announced the creation of an award in his honor. The Jon K. Rust LMA Service Award will be presented each year to someone who goes above and beyond in their service to LMA and/or LMF. Rust, the first recipient of the award, was honored during Media Transformation 2018 in Kansas City on September 27.

“No one knows our organizations better or has served longer,” said LMA President Nancy Lane when presenting the award, “Jon’s contributions have been game-changing. Anyone who has ever served on a board with Jon knows how thoughtful he is in his approach to everything. Never one to shy away from a tough subject, he handles every situation with grace and professionalism. We will greatly miss him at the board level.”

In a heartfelt speech, Rust encouraged conference attendees to get more involved with LMA and work together on business models to sustain local journalism. “I’m humbled and honored,” said Rust, “And grateful for the experience. I look forward to remaining involved with LMA as these are exciting times for the organization.”