The saying goes that when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life, and for Reggie McLeod, editor and publisher for Big River Magazine, the saying rings true. His commitment to telling engaging and informative stories about the Mississippi River since the publication’s inception in 1993 garnered praise and recognition from the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and his achievements landed him the distinguished honor as a 2023 National Achievement award winner. The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the Hall of Fame to individuals who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways.

Big River Magazine covers current events, news, and human-interest stories surrounding a 400-mile stretch of the Upper Mississippi River known as the driftless region. The publication is known to be the only independent magazine worldwide to provide this coverage of the River.

“I was surprised and very pleased to learn that my name would be added to a list that includes so many people who I deeply admire, including Captain Bowell, Chad Pregracke and John Hartford,” said McLeod. “It’s an honor that I share with the incredible crew who have given so much over the last 30 years to make Big River Magazine an interesting read and an interesting place to work.”

Prior to creating Big River Magazine, McLeod spent more than a decade as a freelance writer, and his work was featured in USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The Milwaukee Journal and St Paul Pioneer, to name a few. In addition to his role as editor and publisher at Big River, he is recognized by his colleagues as a skilled author, writer, photographer and master storyteller.  

McLeod will be honored at the 2023 Captain’s Ball held at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium on November 3.