Lee Enterprises Leadership Team
When the University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business came to Mary Junck, chairman and CEO of Lee Enterprises, about being the recipient of the 2005 Oscar C. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award, she didn't say yes. In what is typical fashion for this corporate executive, she said that she didn't deserve the award. The success of Lee Enterprises, she said, was the result of many people at all levels throughout the company.
After reflection, the leadership of the Tippie College felt that this was an opportunity to illustrate to its students, alumni, and donors the importance of teamwork in the world of business. What better way to draw their attention to this than to present the award, not to an individual, but to a team of professionals who together have built this 115-year-old newspaper company into the fourth largest in the country.
Founded in 1890 in Ottumwa, Iowa, by A.W. Lee, most of Lee's newspapers trace their beginnings to the mid-1800s. Over the last three years, Lee has grown rapidly with the purchase of 15 newspapers from Howard Publications in 1992 and the acquisition of Pulitzer Inc. and its 14 daily newspapers in 2005. Its Iowa newspapers are the Muscatine Journal, Quad-City Times, Waterloo Courier, Mason City Globe Gazetter, and the Sioux City Journal. Lee stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE.
Junck joined Lee in 1999 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. She became president in 2000, CEO in 2001, and chairman in January 2002. She is chairman of the Executive Committee of Lee's board of directors.
She previously held several senior executive positions at Times Mirror Company and served in leadership roles at such publications as The Baltimore Sun, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Miami Herald, and Knight Ridder. She began her career at the Charlotte Observer.
Her history of community sercie includes her current roles on the board of directors of the Associated Press, the Newspaper Association of America, and DavenportOne. She also is a member of the board of trustees of the Putnam Museum in Davenport.
Junck is a native of Ogden, Iowa. She received a B.A. degree in English from Valparaiso University in Indiana and a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She and her husband, Ralph Gibson, have a son and a daughter.