David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, of Morgan State University and president of the PRSA Maryland chapter, and Talisha Dunn-Square, of Bowie State University, have been nominated for HBCU Educator of the Year by PR News. The award honors HBCU teaching professionals that teach subjects in the area of communications, media, and PR. Winners of this award inspire and have positive impacts on the lives of their students. Dr. Tania Cantrell Rosas-Moreno, Loyola University Maryland, was nominated for Outstanding Educator of the Year.

Bill Schoonmaker has joined Renegade Communications in Hunt Valley where he will lead the account services team and drive business development. Renegade offers a full suite of marketing, advertising, event and sponsorship solutions and are industry leaders in Acquisition and Retention, Sentiment and Persona Marketing, Consumer Engagement and Gamification. Schoonmaker’s background includes serving as CMO with the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games and Vice President, Strategy & Business Development with US Lacrosse

Also in Hunt Valley, Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest local TV station owners in the country, is laying off approximately 5 percent of its workforce, citing the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt across all sectors of the economy, something that can have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours,” according to a statement. “From local businesses and advertisers to distributors and partners, no component of our business’s ecosystem has been fully shielded from the impact of the global pandemic. In response to this, we are currently undergoing enterprise-wide reductions across our workforce, including corporate headquarters, to ensure we are well-positioned for future success.”

Sinclair had 11,600 employees as of the end of 2020 according to its 2020 annual report, so between 550-600 employees nationwide are likely to be impacted.

Polished Nichols Public Relations & Marketing, a full-service public relations, marketing and branding firm, announced the launch of its new brand. Boasting 40 years of combined industry experience, twins Natalie Van Buskirk and Nicole Halsey created an opportunity to emerge from the national pandemic and share their talents with clients seeking marketing guidance.

Van Buskirk and Halsey, in photograph, provide tactical guidance in advertising, brand development, digital and email marketing, event management, market resource, media relations, partnership cultivation, social media, strategic planning, and web development. Clients include organizations in diverse industries, including but not limited to dining, real estate/landscaping, entertainment, health/spa, hospitality, finances, and retail.

The name was derived from the twins’ maiden name “Nichols” paired with the adjective “polished.” Clients, colleagues and vendors consistently described Van Buskirk and Halsey as skillful and bright. By combining the two, Polished Nichols was formed.

Prior to establishing Polished Nichols, Van Buskirk worked at MGH, which will move to Hunt Valley later in 2021. Most recently, Halsey served as Director of Marketing & Communications at RoundTable Strategic Solutions, a nationally recognized full-service health IT, revenue cycle and operational change management consulting firm.

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