Power and Stride: The Nancy Burggraf Story by MSUM Communications Studies Instructor Merrie Sue Holtan, recently received first place in the National Federation of Presswomen Communications Contest in the Non-fiction, biography/autobiography category. She will be honored at the NFPW Annual Communications Contest Awards Banquet September of 2010.

Pogo Press, an imprint of Finney Company, released Power and Stride in 2009. This book tells the inspiring story of a woman from Roseau, Minnesota, who succeeded in a male-dominated world and changed the game of hockey forever.

When Nancy Burggraf whistled, players skated to attention. Big players. Players with face masks and hockey sticks. She has been called a hockey “guru” and “icon” by USA Today and was the first woman nominated to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. During five decades she touched the lives of more than 40,000 hockey players through her unique skating skills clinics.

She taught some of the best in the National Hockey League and was able to meet and connect with her players on a personal level. Those who knew Nancy treasure her for what she taught them and they continue to pass on her legacy.

Author Merrie Sue Holtan is a native of Rushford, Minnesota. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and master’s degrees in communication and writing from North Dakota State University and MSUM. She has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years and is interested in documenting “stories-gone missing.”

Her other publications include: Y Winners: Cookbook of Championships, a cookbook for young athletes, and Sink or Swim? Best Practices in Advising for Vocation, for college academic advisers. Merrie Sue and her husband, Rev. Phil Holtan, live on Big Pine Lake near Perham, Minnesota. They have three grown children.

Power & Stride, a jacketed hardcover that includes a documentary on DVD by the same name, is available through on-line and local book sellers, www.pogopress.com, or by calling Finney Company at (800) 846-7027.

The annual National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest encourages and rewards excellence in communication. Entries are judged by leaders in their fields of expertise. The National Federation of Press Women is a dynamic nationwide organization of professional women — and men — pursuing careers across the communications spectrum. They are committed to the highest ethical standards in communications by protecting First Amendment rights, working on professional growth, networking and working with the next generation.

In conjunction with the National Federation of Presswomen award, Pogo Press will be renewing its commitment to donate 5% of the proceeds from sales of Power & Stride: The Nancy Burggraff Story to the general fund of The ALS Association, Minnesota/North Dakota Chapter.

Finney Company was established in 1947 currently has more than 400 proprietary publications and distributes more than 6,000 quality products, enhancing the company’s mission to help improve the quality of lifelong learning worldwide. For additional information about Finney Company, visit www.finneyco.com or call (952) 469-6699.