Christina Nicols, senior vice president and director of strategic planning and research at Hager Sharp in Washington, D.C., and right in photo, was named Washington Women in Public Relations’ (WWPR) 2015 Washington PR Woman of the Year in a ceremony on Nov. 13 honoring top public relations executives and celebrating women in communications.

Nicols was one of three PR professionals chosen as an honoree for the 26th annual award. The other finalists were Carrie Fox, president of C. Fox Communications, and Lisa Throckmorton, chief operations officer at SpeakerBox Communications. “The three finalists represent women who have led some of the most influential communications campaigns in the District and across the country”, stated WWPR.

“This is a phenomenal honor and I am humbled to be surrounded by such exemplary leaders in the field who are dedicated to mentoring and supporting the next generation of public relations professionals,” said Nicols. “It is a special privilege to join the ranks of previous PR Woman of the Year recipients including Hager Sharp’s own cofounders Susan Hager and Marcia Sharp, as well as our CEO Jennifer Wayman and executive vice president Debra Silimeo.”

Nicols was presented the award by Silimeo, left in photo, the 2010 PR Woman of the Year, at the ceremony.

(You can check out a Capitol Communicator Q&A session with Nichols here.)

WWPR, a professional society advancing women communicators in metropolitan Washington, established the Woman of the Year Award in 1990 to honor the most-talented women in the public relations profession.

This year’s luncheon was held at the Fairmont Hotel in D.C. and featured keynote speaker Kelly M. Parisi, vice president of communications and marketing at Lean In and alumna of The George Washington University. “I am thrilled to return to Washington for the opportunity to recognize these courageous women who are vivid examples of what it means to lean in—Carrie Fox, Christina Nicols, and Lisa Throckmorton,” said Parisi. “Thank you, WWPR, for inviting me to be part of this beautiful event and filling the room with women I consider to be peers, role models, and friends.”

Parisi’s remarks centered on bravery as she applauded all three women for their courage, ingenuity, and passion and reminded the audience that it would take a billion acts of bravery to create greater equality in the world.

“Christina Nicols embodies all the exceptional characteristics of a WWPR Washington PR Woman of the Year,” said WWPR President Avelyn Austin. “Each year we are overwhelmed by the exceptional group of nominees and finalists. This year, we are so pleased to showcase the remarkable accomplishments of Christina Nicols, Carrie Fox, and Lisa Throckmorton.”

The event also included a raffle offering a wide range of prizes from popular local businesses, from gift certificates to restaurants, hotels and salons, to highly coveted career coaching sessions. Proceeds from the raffle benefit the WWPR 2015/2016 pro bono client, Bright Beginnings, Inc. The D.C.-based organization delivers daily childcare, quality early education, and parenting support for more than 150 homeless children in the District of Columbia.

About the Washington PR Women of the Year Selection Process

Each year, candidates are nominated through an open application process.  The applications are then reviewed and evaluated based on standard criteria, which include: accomplishments in the public relations field; contributions to the community; and industry leadership.  The final selection is made by a panel of communications professionals based in the D.C., area. The judging panel included WWPR President Avelyn Austin; WWPR Vice President Mara Vandlik; Susan Apgood, News Generation; Laura Lawson-Zilai, Goodwill Industries; Emily Rasowsky, Social Driver; Kris Tremaine, ICF Corporation; and WWPR’s Past President Lauren Smith Dyer.

 

(Stay current with items of interest to communicators at Capitol Communicator, www.capitolcommunicator.com.)

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