Three 21 WFMJ employees will be recognized for their accomplishments during the Youngstown Press Club’s Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner this Fall.

Recently retired WFMJ News Director Mona Alexander will be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.

The press club will award WFMJ News anchor and reporter Madison Tromler with its Excellence in Media Award, and WFMJ account executive, JoAnn Kolarik will be awarded the club’s Medal of Merit.

The press club’s Hall of Fame commemorates those who have had long and distinguished careers in the media.

The Excellence in Media Award honors those doing exemplary work in one of the mass communication fields.

The Medal of Merit recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the Youngstown Press Club.

Mona Alexander

Mona Marie Alexander’s interest in journalism dates back to weekly trips to the corner newsstand with her dad to pick up the “ten pounds of paper” her family would spend Sundays reading. She grew up in Chicago, in a family keenly interested in current events and a city where politics is a spectator sport.

After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Mona took her newly minted journalism degree and moved to Youngstown. She started her career at WKBN, reporting on the economic impact of the closing of the valley’s steel mills, city and county government, politics, and public corruption.

In 1997, Mona was offered the position of news director at WFMJ. There she rebuilt the news department from the bottom up, emphasizing hard news and in-depth reporting. In addition to adding new newscasts, Mona started an investigative unit and launched “Feed Our Valley,” which raises money and food donations for Second Harvest Food Bank each year.

Mona also increased the footprint of news coverage by adding WFMJ Today, WFMJ Weekend Today, 21 News 5 pm, expanding WFMJ Midday to an hour, and 101 West, WFMJ's investigative news program.

Mona believes in objective, in-depth, hard news reporting, serving the community by empowering its citizens with trusted information.

Mona and her husband of many years, Joe Henderson, enjoy traveling and spending time with their “pet babies.”

Madison Tromler


Madison Tromler


Madison Tromler started working in Youngstown in 2020 after graduating from Kent State University. Tromler was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and is from North Ridgeville, a city near Cleveland.

Tromler was hired as a reporter for WFMJ and then eight months into her career, she was promoted to WFMJ's evening news anchor. In addition to anchoring the 6 o'clock news, she writes, shoots, and edits reports for the newscast.

During the first four years of Tromler's career, highlights include working with WFMJ's Watchdog Team doing in-depth investigations, and holding those in power accountable about local issues. This has led to conducting high-profile interviews, including an assignment in Washington D.C. to interview the head of the National Transportation Safety Board on federal rail safety, following the East Palestine train derailment.

Another momentous assignment for Tromler was about three months into her career, in 2020, when she interviewed President Joe Biden one-on-one while Biden was on the campaign trail.

Before graduation, Tromler's first time working in a professional newsroom was during an internship for the Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria. She then worked as a part-time assignment editor for WKYC in Cleveland.

Tromler enjoys a challenge and loves doing work that can make an impact.

 JoAnn Kolarik

JoAnn Kolarik served as the first president of the re-established Youngstown Press Club from 2018 to 2021. She currently sits on the YPC Board of Governors.

JoAnn is an account executive for WFMJ-TV, where she uses a palette of advertising elements and years of experience to help her clients achieve their business goals. She has served on the Panerathon Committee since its inception and serves on the public relations committee for Potential Development’s School for Students with Autism.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and economics, and a master’s degree in English, all at Youngstown State University.

She lives with her husband in Cortland, where she helps restore and maintain their fleet of historic vehicles.

Her son, Foster, earned his degree in landscape design and returned to the Valley to become the fourth generation in the family business.

She became a Peloton addict in 2020.

Other Hall of Fame inductees include photographers William D. Lewis and Nick Rich, News Anchor Len Rome, and the late
late radio pioneer William Fleckenstein.

The press club's Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave.

Tickets are required to attend the dinner and may be purchased at