The Press Club of Southeast Texas has announced the finalists for Newsmaker of Year, who will be honored at the club’s annual scholarship fund-raiser June 5. 

The Press Club will salute Keith Carter; the team of Jamey Harrison, Kirk Roccaforte and Carl Thibodeaux; Anne Huff; the team of Joe Worley and David Deslatte; and Bob Wortham.

Carter is an internationally renowned photographer and an educator at Lamar University, where he holds the Walles Chair in Art. His many achievements in 2008 included publication of his 10th book and acquisition of three of his portraits by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Harrison is Bridge City school superintendent; Roccaforte, the Bridge City mayor; and Thibodeaux, the Orange County judge. They are being honored as leaders in Bridge City’s response to Hurricane Ike.

Huff is Beaumont fire chief, the first woman to hold that position and one of only 36 female fire chiefs in the United States.  She is being recognized for the positive changes implemented since her appointment in March of 2008.

Worley is pastor of First Baptist Church in Groves, and Deslatte is a member of the church, who proposed the idea of  “Mid-County Kindness.” Together, they and other church members organized a clean-up and support effort benefitting the Bridge City residents impacted by Hurricane Ike.

Wortham, judge of Jefferson County 58th District Court, played a key role in citizens’ response to damage caused by Hurricane Ike on the Bolivar Peninsula.

The banquet will be in the University Reception Center on the eighth floor of the Mary and John Gray Library at Lamar University. Activities begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., preceding the dinner and awards banquet at 7:30 p.m. Now in its 18th year, the banquet is the major fund-raiser for the Press Club Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to a communication student at Lamar.

Press Club members select the five finalists (or teams of finalists) and the top recipient of the Newsmaker of the Year award, honoring the Southeast Texan who had the most significant positive impact on issues and events during the year 2008. The program also will feature presentation of the club’s 2009 Excellence in the Media Awards, selected from almost 600 entries submitted by area professionals in the fields of newspapers, television, radio, magazines and public relations.

Banquet reservations are $35 per person. Additional information is available from Louise Wood, vice president for public relations, at (409) 880-8415.

Underwriting opportunities are available at levels ranging from $250 to $5,000. Sponsorship information is available from Brian Sattler, vice president for development, at (409) 880-8396.