Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) named its 2021 class of Emerging Leaders Awards (ELAs) on May 21. The five winners were selected from a diverse slate of rising stars, ages 25-35, who have excelled in public relations and related fields, and given back to the industry by contributing their skills and talents to innovative initiatives and projects. 

“WWPR is proud to recognize the achievements of this impressive group of women and we look forward to what these ladies will achieve in the future,” said Christina Francisco, WWPR president.

The 2021 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards winners are:

Small/Boutique Agency: Stefani Alexander, Vice President, Curley Company

As Vice President at Curley Company, Alexander helps clients implement impactful strategic communications plans and find effective ways to target and engage the people who matter most to the success of their business. She is a leader in her community and a mentor to the next generation of emerging public relations leaders. Alexander provides pro bono public relations counsel and support to Dress for Success Washington, D.C., serves as a mentor for the Public Leadership Education Network and is a member of ColorComm. 

Mid- to Large-Sized Agency: Rosemary Girard, Senior Account Supervisor, Corporate Affairs, Edelman

As a Senior Account Supervisor at Edelman in Washington, D.C., Girard strategizes and implements executive communication programs for Fortune 500 CEOs and other business leaders. Prior to her role at Edelman, she worked in corporate communications at NPR. There, she focused on corporate, executive, internal, and crisis communications to champion NPR’s journalism, programming, products and people. She began her career with internships including two years supporting public relations and organizational communication at the Library of Congress, as well as working with her university’s president on speechwriting and communications.

Government: Rachel Stephens, Press Secretary, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representative

As Press Secretary for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Stephens supports the committee members’ work  on behalf of the country and their local districts to improve the nation’s infrastructure network. She also serves as President of the Republican Communications Association where she strives to bring young communicators together for networking and mentorship opportunities. 

Non-Profit: Maggie McClain, Senior Director of Communications, Food Allergy Research & Education 

As FARE’s Senior Director of Communications, McClain oversees communications strategy, planning and tactics aimed at raising awareness and boosting visibility for the organization and the greater food allergy community. She brings more than 12 years of communications, public affairs and market research experience to her role. Prior to joining FARE, she served as a VP of Communications at Banner Public Affairs on Capitol Hill where she led communications and media strategy across clients spanning a variety of industries including cybersecurity and technology, food and beverage, and hospitality. In addition to this and several years as a consultant at H+K Strategies, McClain also served as Director of Media Relations at The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). During her time at GMA, she developed and executed communications plans relating to health and wellness, sustainability and transparency issues including ingredient labeling. 

In-House: Emily Newman, Senior Speechwriter, National Association of REALTORS®

As Senior Speechwriter, Newman manages messaging and communications strategy for multiple executives. Prior to her current role, she served on the Global Public Affairs team at FedEx and spent five years as a Communications Director on Capitol Hill. During her time on the Hill, she guided two freshmen members in developing their communications plans and ran a one-woman press shop for a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. She also has experience in the non-profit sector in both professional and volunteer roles, including five years as a Girls on the Run coach. Newman is recipient of the FedEx Rising Star and Shining Star awards, which honor team members who achieve exceptional results in marketing and communications. 

A panel of judges selected the winners based on their record of excellence and accomplishments in their careers, as well as their leadership qualities and ethical standards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.