Publisher receives the prestigious Unsung Hero Award at 39th annual Black History Month Observance Breakfast

Publisher receives the prestigious Unsung Hero Award at 39th annual Black History Month Observance Breakfast

Prominent leaders from Columbus and Phenix City were recently honored at the annual event sponsored by Congressman Sanford D. Bishop of the Second Congressional District of Georgia. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the Honorable House Democratic Leader, was the keynote speaker.


Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson and Phoenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe were among those honored. Retired Colonel Myles Caggins and his wife, Ann Caggins, received the Legacy of Leadership awards. Wane A. Hailes, president and publisher of the Courier Eco Latino newspaper, received the Unsung Hero award.


Wane Hailes’ life story weaves a rich and colorful narrative marked by unyielding resilience, fervent passion and unwavering commitment to the communities he is a part of.


Born a preacher’s kid in the historic city of Richmond, Va., Hailes’ upbringing was a nomadic journey through various corners of the United States.


After completing his education at Ottawa University in Kansas, Hailes embarked on a remarkable career spanning over four decades as a community servant leader, an on-air radio personality, editor and publisher of a weekly newspaper and a fighter for social justice for all citizens.


His tenure as the CEO of the A.J. McClung YMCA in Columbus from 1990-1995 was a testament to his visionary leadership. During this time, he revitalized the YMCA and pioneered initiatives that would leave a lasting impact on the community.


However, his most enduring legacy was co-founding the Midnight Basketball League, a program that provided a safe and constructive outlet for at-risk youth.


In 2005, Hailes embarked on a new chapter in his career with the founding of the Courier Eco Latino newspaper, a groundbreaking publication serving African American, Hispanic and other minority communities. Through its bilingual approach and comprehensive coverage, the Courier Eco Latino has become an indispensable voice for marginalized groups in the Tri-City area.


Hailes’ dedication to community service and media advocacy has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, he has been honored with numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious Georgia Small Business Champion of the Year award in 2007.


In addition to his professional endeavors, Hailes is a beloved figure on the airwaves of Columbus, where he hosts two radio shows on AM1340 and FM 94.1, captivating audiences with his warm personality and timeless selection of R&B classics.

By Wane A. Hailes



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