Suzanne Hall

Suzanne Hall, chief communications officer for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, is this year’s winner of the PRSA Richmond chapter’s Thomas Jefferson Award for Excellence, which recognizes the achievement of a seasoned public relations practitioner who has made an ongoing commitment to the advancement of the profession.

Hall, left in photo, stated, “For the 30+ years I have been involved in three organizations: the Richmond Public Relations Association, the (what was the name of that earlier PRSA group that was more corporate?) and now PRSA, I have enjoyed, worked with and admired my colleagues learning together about our profession as it continually evolves.

“It’s a thrill to be the prom queen of PRSA this year, and in this museum that has been my career and my heart for the past 30 years. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been the focus of my energy and the source of countless agenda-setting opportunities for communicating the importance and value of this place to enhance lives, distinguish the Commonwealth and gain insights from timeless works of art. It is, you know, your ART.

“In a way, I feel like this award is communal. When is the last time you accomplished something totally by yourself?

“We don’t work in a vacuum. As communicators, we are constantly responding and reacting. You can call it mentoring, brainstorming, spit balling, learning, – you can even call it having coffee. You can also call it watching YouTube, listening to NPR and checking Instagram.

“The Communications Department is a lean operation at VMFA – just my inspirational colleague and sidekick Pryor Green and me, but we benefit from the engagement and support of over 200 staff and a broad community of peers, including all our colleagues in PRSA.”

Hall plans to retire from VMFA effective June 1, and has accepted a post-retirement position as the director of stewardship and development for St. James’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, her church of 35 years.

The Thomas Jefferson Award was presented at the 2015 Virginia Public Relations Awards ceremony May 21 at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, pictured above.  The award recognizes a public relations professional at the height of his or her career and is open to PR practitioners in the Greater Richmond metropolitan area. PRSA Richmond donates $1,000 to the charity of the recipient’s choice. A longtime domestic and international missioner, Hall has served on Missions Committee for more than 15 years and will donate her award to the mission fund at St. James’s Episcopal Church.

One media report described Hall as a “PR icon.”

More here.

(Richmond.com photo of award presentation)

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