Each fall, the INBA names an Illinoisan of the Year, someone who has made a significant contribution to Illinois, its citizens, the news profession and public information. INBA Past Presidents make the nominations and then cast votes.
These guidelines are used:
- Residency: Nominee must have lived in Illinois at one time
- Qualifications – Nominee must have performed:
- actions/work which have contributed to the benefit of Illinois citizens or a group thereof, or
- actions/work which have brought recognition or prestige to the state, or
- actions/work which have contributed to the news profession and/or broadened access to public information
- Please note that political figures/office holders are eligible only in years in which they have not announced a candidacy or are not campaigning for an elected office
- Candidates for Illinoisan of the Year may be nominated more than once. However, winners of Illinoisan of the Year may only win again if they are nominated for a reason different from their original win. Posthumous nominations are allowed. The late Judge Abner Mikva was the 2016 winner. Nominations of groups are also allowed. The 2017 winner was the Media Coordinators for Illinois Judicial Circuits.
- To suggest a nominee, contact any INBA Past President. The Immediate Past President is Sue Stephens; she will handle nominations and voting..