2010 PR People Awards: Account Director/Supervisor of the Year

Winner: Maria Reitan

Senior Principal, Director of Practice Group Development and Chair of Lifestyle Marketing, Carmichael Lynch Spong

Over the past seven years at Carmichael Lynch Spong, Maria Reitan has led accounts for some of the U.S.’ most well-known and beloved brands, including American Standard, Calphalon, Gerber, Hasbro Games’ Scrabble and Rubik’s Cube, and Select Comfort. In 2009, even with the economic downturn, Reitan grew her client accounts by 17%. Successfully blending public relations, advertising and digital activities, Reitan led the repositioning of Hasbro’s legacy game, Scrabble, in time for its 60th anniversary. The campaign climaxed with a celebrity tournament in Beverly Hills tied to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital called “Scrabble Under the Stars,” hosted by talk show host and passionate Scrabble player Jimmy Kimmel.

Reitan's work for client American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning helped drive sales and build brand loyalty for products often out of sight and out of mind—consumers' HVAC systems. Reitan and her team developed a comprehensive PR campaign that incorporated third-party influencer, social media, media relations and direct-to-consumer programs. The effort generated a number of targeted placements and consumer leads, helping the client keep its brand and home comfort solutions “hot” among the public. —Scott Van Camp

Key PR lesson learned in 2010: “Integration—PR professionals need to be proficient in social, digital and advertising in order to drive business forward and continue to deliver value to clients.”

Honorable Mentions:

Eric Pehle, EVP, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis

Eric Pehle and his team reversed the trend of declining U.S. Army recruits despite an unpopular war and challenging media environment—and was able to double the PR budget from the program’s origin in 2005.

Jennifer Risi, EVP, Weber Shandwick New York

Jennifer Risi’s campaign for Siemens Corp. resulted in a 33% increase in new business orders in 2009. When not focused on B2B, Risi toured with Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper for the M.A.C. Cosmetics’ VIVA GLAM campaign.