IBPA Names Survivor’s Obligation a Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist

(St. Paul, MN, March 19, 2020)— Award-winning independent publisher Elva Resa Publishing is honored to share the news that its book Survivor’s Obligation: Navigating an Intentional Life by Chris Stricklin and Joel Neeb has been named a finalist in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program.

The Benjamin Franklin Award™ for excellence in book publishing is regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers, presented by Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).

Survivor’s Obligation was selected as one of four finalists in the Autobiography & Memoir category. One gold winner for each category will be announced in an online awards ceremony in April. The remaining finalists will receive silver awards.

Elva Resa received a gold Benjamin Franklin Award™ last year in the Education category for Seasons of My Military Student: Practical Ideas for Parents and Teachers, as well as two silver honors in past years, for its middle-grade books Perch, Mrs. Sackets, and Crow’s Nest, and The Spy With a Wooden Leg.

About the book and its impact
In Survivor’s Obligation, Chris and Joel share the incredible survival stories that transformed their lives. Chris ejected from the F-16 he was piloting during a US Air Force Thunderbirds air show. Joel was diagnosed with a rare and often fatal cancer. The two men met years after their individual life-changing events and discovered they had a common desire to share their experiences to inspire others. They resolved to fulfill what they call survivor’s obligation—a responsibility to live an intentional life—for themselves and their families, and in honor of those who didn’t get a second chance.

“Working on this book was a healing process for both authors, their families, and our team,” says Elva Resa’s publisher Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito. “And now, the authors are connecting with other survivors as part of an initiative they call Live the Obligation, which empowers a community of survivors from all walks of life.”

Chris and Joel say that sharing their fears and trauma with their own families, and then with readers and other survivors, has brought another level of healing and purpose to their experiences.

“I wanted my near-death experience to mean something,” says Chris. “Through these growing interactions, it does. To me and to others. This motivates me daily to be more, do more, live more.”

Joel adds, “By sharing our stories in the book and through Live the Obligation, we are bringing together people who have survived all types of adversity, survivors seeking a life of post-traumatic growth. It turns what could be viewed as devastating into a positive, meaningful, hopeful life.”

Receiving national recognition for this memoir validates the power of these stories, says Karen. “What this book and these authors are doing to make a difference for all survivors, to help all of us focus on what really matters, is a great example of Elva Resa’s mission in action. And with the current state of the world and our heightened sensitivity to intentionally make the most of each day, this book’s message is one we all need.”

About the award
Each year, publishers submit their best books for consideration in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program. The judging process, involving more than 160 librarians, booksellers, and book industry experts, takes place over seven months, from September through March.

All award finalists meet a distinguished set of criteria, including exceptional content and design. These books are judged individually against publishing industry standards, as well as compared to other books published in the same year. Visit IBPA’s award page for a list of all 2020 Benjamin Franklin Award™ finalists. Read IBPA’s finalist announcement.

Survivor’s Obligation is available in hardcover and ebook from any bookseller, and by the case and ebook from MilitaryFamilyBooks.com. Trade distribution is managed by IPG.


ELVA RESA PUBLISHING LLC is an independent publisher based in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a mission to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Its primary imprint specializes in books for and about military families. ElvaResa.comMilitaryFamilyBooks.com

MEDIA: Please contact Elva Resa PR at 651-357-8770 or pr[@]elvaresa.com.

Additional resources
Survivor’s Obligation is a memoir of survival that inspires intentional living.

More information and cover images: ElvaResa.com/book/survivors-obligation/

Read more about Chris and Joel’s journey and their Live the Obligation movement in Books Make a Difference magazine:


Title: Survivor’s Obligation: Navigating an Intentional Life
Authors: Chris Stricklin and Joel Neeb
Publisher: Elva Resa Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Hardcover ISBN 978‐1‐934617‐47‐2, 128 pages, $26.95
Ebook ISBN 978-1-934617-49-6 $12.99
Kindle ISBN 978-1-934617-50-2 $12.99

#SurvivorsObligation #LivetheObligation #LiveIntentionally

Survivor’s Obligation
Facebook: /SurvivorsObligation
Press page: ElvaResa.com/book/survivors-obligation

Chris Stricklin
Web: ChrisStricklin.com
LinkedIn: /in/ChrisRStricklin
Twitter: @ChrisRStricklin
IG: @ChrisRStricklin

Joel Neeb
Web: JoelNeeb.com
LinkedIn: /in/JoelNeeb
Twitter: @JoelThorNeeb
IG: @JoelThorNeeb

Elva Resa Publishing