Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, Maryland’s largest writer of workers’ compensation insurance, won “Best in Show,” Dec. 11, at the Public Relations Society of America, Maryland chapter’s annual Best in Maryland awards gala in Baltimore. The program, “Let’s Work to Reduce Opioid Addiction Now,” is part of the company’s efforts to combat opioid overdose and abuse in Maryland.

The company’s 7-member communications team worked with Weber Shandwick to plan a year-long campaign to educate Maryland employers and their employees about the dangers of Rx opioid overuse, misuse and addiction. The campaign included radio and TV PSAs, billboards, social media messaging, public speaking events, thought leadership articles, as well as print and digital education materials for employers.

Pictured left to right, Chuck Fitzgibbon, Weber Shandwick, and members of Chesapeake Employers Insurance’s Communications team:  Jim Taylor; Claudia Ciolfi; Dianna Fornaro, APR; Donna Wilson; Meaghan Yurek; Carolyn Gutermuth; and Archie Johnson.

The  team was among several hundred attendees at PRSA Maryland’s annual event, held this year at Martin’s West. Emcees were WBAL-TV’s Kate Amara, reporter, and Barry Simms, I-Team reporter, who handed out 44 “Best in Maryland” and Professional Awards.

In addition to Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, organizations receiving multiple awards included:

  • BGE, Maryland Auto Insurance and Devaney & Associates, each with five awards;
  • Van Eperen, a Capitol Communicator sponsor, with three awards;
  • Crosby Marketing Communications, a Capitol Communicator sponsor, Clapp Communications, The Nature Conservancy and Planit, each with two awards. For a complete list of winners and categories visit the chapter’s website.

Professional and leadership awards were also given and include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Pattie Yu, nationally recognized communications counselor and founder of Maryland PR agency The Yu Crew;
  • Educator of the Year Award – Tania Rosas-Moreno, Ph.D., associate professor of Communication at Loyola University Maryland;
  • Rising Star Award – Catherine Gordon, associate, client experience, Weber Shandwick, Baltimore;
  • PR Team of the Year Award – Lisa Brusio Coster, president of Coster Communications, and Dorothy Fuchs-Yeager, president of Purple Dot PR;
  • Partner of the Year Award – Mariner Management & Marketing in Columbia, MD, an association management firm that has been servicing PRSA Maryland for 13 years

Gala sponsors were Coster Communications, Purple Dot PR, Coyle Studios, Lisa Fargnoli, and In Tandem Design.

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