Long-time U.S. publisher Michael Phelps was presented the INMA Silver Shovel Award today in New York for volunteer service and lifetime achievements in the media industry.

The award was presented at the closing dinner of the 83rd-Annual INMA World Congress at the Marriott Marquis in New York.

A past president of INMA, Phelps is publisher, president, and chief executive officer of the Washington Examiner, a free home-delivered daily newspaper in Washington, D.C.

Phelps was cited by 2012 Silver Shovel Award recipient Paulo Mira of PHD Mobi for a “career of excellence that has advanced the causes of journalism, finding new ways to pay for journalism, and positioning INMA in the middle of that great debate.”

The Silver Shovel Award represents INMA’s highest individual honour for unselfish dedication to the association.

Phelps first became involved with INMA in the 1990s as a volunteer conference moderator, later joining the association’s Board of Directors in 2003. He served as INMA president from 2009 to 2011 and will soon step down from the INMA Board.

During his time with INMA, Phelps helped guide INMA toward being a repository of revenue best practices to help fund great journalism disrupted by technological change.

With his news publishing career including time as a journalist and editor, as well as time as a publisher and an advertising sales executive, Mira said that Phelps “has an advertising sales brain with a journalist’s heart.”

Phelps has been CEO of the Washington Examiner since 2006, and he was the launch publisher for the Baltimore Examiner, the first of Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media newspapers to be started from scratch.

He joined Clarity Media in 2005 after nearly six years with Lee Enterprises, where he was vice president, publishing for newspapers and their Web sites in Iowa, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, as well as publisher of Lee’s flagship newspaper, The Quad-City Times, in Davenport, Iowa.

Previously, Phelps worked as a reporter, news editor, managing editor, newspaper owner, and consultant to newspaper publishers.