Lifetime Achievement award recipient is Raymond Serati, Springfield. He is a Herrin native and a 1959 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he was named “Outstanding Journalism Graduate.”
His parents were Charles and Caroline Serati and he had one brother, Frank. All are deceased. He attended our Lady of Mt. Carmel Grade School. He was active at Herrin Township High School where he graduated in 1955, worked for the school newspaper and yearbook and was elected senior class president.
At SIU he majored in journalism and wrote for the student newspaper, “The Egyptian.” He worked part time for the Southern Illinoisan newspaper. He joined the Southern Illinoisan staff fulltime and began his active U. S. Army Reserve duties in 1959 and continued until 1965.
In 1960 he joined United Press International in Springfield and was transferred to South Dakota as the state news manager. He won the Bell Ringer Award in a Copley News Writing Contest and was recognized for his coverage of the birth of the Fisher quintuplets in South Dakota while working for United Press International.
He joined the Copley News Service bureau in 1965 as bureau chief at the Illinois State Capitol and held that post until his retirement in 1998. His duties included covering daily operations of state government including the legislature and courts. He reported on the Illinois delegations to the national presidential nominating conventions. Ray also wrote a news analysis column in newspapers in Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Springfield, Waukegan and other newspapers in the state.
In retirement he served as a deputy press secretary for Gov. George Ryan and worked in public relations for the state and the City of Springfield. He works part time for the State Capitol Information service, a legislative bill tracking company.
He is a past president of the Illinois Legislative Correspondents Association. The association named a scholarship in his honor at the SIU Communications and Media Arts Department.
He is a life member of the SIU Alumni Association. He has served as president and vice-president. He has served as a board member since 2004.
He served on local school boards in Springfield and is a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 364 and is a Fourth Degree Knight, Bishop Griffin Assembly. Ray and his wife, Margaret, have three daughters, Carrie Marcy, Cindee Fassero and Jennifer Stout and five grandchildren. He will be honored at The HerrinFesta Honoree Banquet May 19 at the Herrin Elks Club.