Star Tribune business columnist Lee Schafer won a first-place award in commentary and opinion Thursday from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

It was the second time in three years that Schafer has won the award for best commentary in a medium-sized publication, defined as one with 51 to 300 newsroom staffers. The judges said Schafer’s work “blends smart business insight and an enjoyable writing style into incisive commentary on some of the nation’s most important companies.”

The Star Tribune’s Jeffrey Meitrodt won honorable mention in small business/management/career coverage for his account of a family rift at Twin City Fan Companies. Fortune magazine received the top award in that category.

Top winners for general excellence were the New York Times among large publications and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel among medium-sized ones. The Star Tribune had won general excellence for 2014 and 2016, while the Journal Sentinel also won in 2015.