South Sound Business walked away with a gold medal-winning entry last week in the annual Alliance of Area Business Publishers’ Editorial Excellence competition.

The magazine won “Best Personality Profile” in the category of small magazines for its October 2019 cover story on Ted Sadtler, owner of the Mattress Ranch furniture empire and local TV pitchman known throughout Washington and Alaska for his zany antics. The story was titled “Down on the Ranch,” and written by staff writer Todd Matthews.

“Ted Sadtler’s life story had everything a compelling work of journalism needs,” Editor in Chief Jeff Burlingame said. “Todd recognized that early on, and used his talents to relay it to our readers in a way that was seamless and engaging. I’m grateful to the judges for recognizing and honoring this work.”

Said the judges: “A wild, rollicking entrepreneurial journey, this story is a rich and inspiring portrait of Ted Sadtler, the larger-than-life salesman known as the ‘The Mattress King,’ who miraculously remakes himself over and again before ultimately building a solid empire. In this writer’s capable hands, Sadtler’s life is not just a rags-to-riches story, but a cautionary tale of how hubris and bad timing nearly doomed a great career.”

Judging was conducted by 24 faculty members from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. Winners were announced at the conclusion of the AABP’s four-day annual national conference, which was held virtually this year. The nonprofit organization received a total of 448 entries from 34 publications across the U.S., Canada, and Australia.