Earlier this year we reorganized the newsroom to make groups of reporters with similar responsibilities more meaningful, and our life and culture editor overwhelmed me with one of the changes.

He would no longer work with a travel writer and editor Susan Glaser. He tried every argument he could think of to stop the change.

Susan has this influence on editors. It is a pleasure to work with her, a reporter who comes up with a dazzling variety of interesting stories and writes them with high gloss. Your new editor, Rich Exner, has repeatedly told me he wished he could clone her.

We’ve long known what a gem we have in Susan, and I suspect our readers do too. However, what I don’t think people realize is how special she is.

On Tuesday, we learned that Susan and The Plain Dealer won the Society of American Travel Writers Gold Award for Travelogue in Newspapers.

The New York Times got silver.

The Boston Globe got bronze.

Think about it. Susan is a one-person operation. She does the reporting, writing, and planning our Sunday Travel section single-handedly, with our talented design team adding visual pop to it. And she’s defeated huge institutions with teams of people doing what she does on her own.

This is what the judges said:

“While the Plain Dealer doesn’t go that far and may not have the resources of the national metros, this laser-focused section is geared towards its readers. The stories were about Ohio and any reader could experience them within a day’s drive. The writing style was personal, like a good friend who is happy to tell you about his vacation. The stories were a delight and readers could take notes and save these passages for use as the number one guide. ”

Exactly. You nailed it. Susan writes for all of us. She knows us, knows what we enjoy, and when we read her stories we want to go where she went. When she got over. wrote with her daughter for a few days in the Finger Lakes, Who wouldn’t want to jump in the car and head to Finger Lakes? When she got over. wrote spend a night in a floating tent on a riverwho wasn’t fascinated?

And her writing is so inviting. She is perhaps the most approachable writer in Cleveland. The judges took up the reason: She looks like our friend.

I should note that she doesn’t just write about sights. She is a hard news travel writer covering the Cleveland tourism and hospitality industries, the convention industry and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. In the 25 years I’ve been here, a lot of people have covered Hopkins. Even I had a piece of it back then. Nobody did better than Susan. She has the sources. She knows the story. She understands how the place works and understands which elements interest you.

And when I say she’s a hard news reporter, I mean she’s wild. She takes pride in breaking news. She’s the type of reporter who, when she has a day off, breaks news to her rhythm, drives it away quickly, and quickly gets it into the hands of an editor.

I talk a lot in this column about the journalism you endorse by subscribing to or by The Plain Dealer cleveland.com. You support the work of reporters like Susan – officially America’s best travel editor. If you enjoy what they do, let them know. You can reach them at sglaser@cleveland.com