PR practitioners gathered at Toro Toro in D.C. on Dec. 6 to celebrate the holidays at an annual holiday party hosted by the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
“It’s been a phenomenal year,” said PRSA-NCC President Sultana F. Ali, APR.
“This is a wonderful organization to volunteer for. It’s kind of like family. It’s an honor to work with such talented and wonderful people,” Ali said. “The Chapter has 20 committees and countless volunteers who I am grateful to thank today.”
After an hour of networking by attendees, the evening’s festivities continued by turning the spotlight over to the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, the chapter’s pro bono client. DCAYA is a coalition of youth-engaged organizations, youth, and concerned residents formed to ensure that all children and youth in the D.C. have access to high-quality and affordable developmental opportunities. As a way to give back to the community, PRSA-NCC is providing branding, marketing, and pubic relations expertise to DCAYA.
“We’re a staff of four that represent 200 organizations and more than 88,000 young people in the District of Columbia,” said Maggie Riden, executive director, DCAYA. “We’re policy wonks. We’re youth advocates. We’re teachers. We’re parents. We’re not PR professionals but we recognize the inherent value of leveraging your expertise to allocate for our voice and create a true ripple effect and return on investment for those 88,000-plus young people in D.C.”
“On behalf of those young people, our 15 board members, our 200 organizations, and small but committed staff, we thank you (PRSA-NCC) so much for the support and the opportunity. We can’t thank you enough,” said Riden.
Each year, PRSA-NCC honors several volunteers who have stood out throughout the year for their contributions to the organization.
The following outstanding professionals were recognized for their strong commitment to the chapter, and by extension, the profession, through their relentless and results-driven effort, ideas, and follow-through.
Diamond Award: Robert Krueger, senior director, public relations & social media, Urban Land Institute
Established in 1997, the award is in recognition of outstanding service to the chapter for one year’s extraordinary contribution.
Platinum Award: Christie Phillips, APR, principal, Blue Tree Communications
Established in 2013, the Platinum award is awarded to the most valuable chapter member, year after year.
Senior Professional Award: John Scally, APR, media relations manager, PadillaCRT
Established in 2013, this award is given to the year’s outstanding senior professional (with 25-plus years’ experience in public relations).
Dark Horse Award: Suzanne Lundin-Ross, APR, independent contractor
Established in 1997 in recognition of outstanding service to the Chapter, for one year’s extraordinary contribution.
In addition to the annual Chapter awards, two individuals were recognized by Accreditation Committee Chair Suzanne Lundin-Ross, for earning their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). The APR is a demonstration of a PR professional’s mastery of strategic communications with accreditation from PRSA. The two individuals were:
- Robert Mehal, APR, strategic communication advisory to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
- DeJuan Price, APR, director of public health, Penngood