2012 PR People Awards: PR Professional of the Year — Agency

Co-Winner: Michael Kempner

Founder, President & CEO, MWW

Since founding MWW in 1986, Michael Kempner’s strong leadership has kept the agency’s year-over-year growth at 14% to date. In 2012, MWW has gained a total of 48 new clients to date, with client retention close to 90% year over year. This year, Kempner invested significantly in the growth of a number of practice areas with key new hires and expansion of service offerings, which has contributed to significant growth in 2011-2012.

Among the growth highlights was expansion of MWW’s Sustainability, Health & Wellness, Digital, and Research & Measurement groups, and the acquisition of Enso Communications in Los Angeles. In addition, MWW Venture was launched, which focuses on incubating start-ups that advance the media, marketing and public relations industries.

Lastly, Kempner created a partnership with Kevin Liles, founder and CEO of KWL Management and EVP of Warner Music Group, to launch MWW Entertainment, which leverages both teams' combined expertise in strategic communications to create the public relations industry's leading entertainment team.

Co-Winner: Jenny Moede

President, North America Region, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

In nearly 20 years at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Jenny Moede has climbed the ladder from the Microsoft Corporate team to overseeing the company’s six specialty practices in North America, including healthcare, technology, consumer, public affairs, corporate and social innovation. 

In addition, Moede manages the agency’s Studio D division, which includes Insight & Analytics and Content & Newsroom client services. Under Moede’s leadership, Waggener Edstrom’s year-over-year revenue increased by 18% and pre-rent profit by nearly 45% across the six practices. In addition, the Healthcare practice enjoyed an annual growth rate of 30% through a healthy combination of new business and organic growth.

Moede’s achievements include developing and launching Microsoft's "Able to Work" initiative in the '90s to connect technology accessibility with a workforce outcome, founding WE's Healthcare Practice, and creating an environment practice that was later folded into WE's Social Innovation practice.

Moede’s success has come as a result of setting these simple goals: match the right people with the right jobs; empower them to unleash their creative, strategic selves to grow the client portfolio; create durable, efficient processes that promote quality service without burden; engage leaders in a clear business vision; and foster collaboration that allows for scale in both capability and volume. —Jamar Hudson

Honorable Mentions:

Scott Baradell, Owner/President, Idea Grove
Janene Ferrara, SVP, Havas PR
Ed James, Founder/President, Cornerstone Agency
Annette Maggiacomo, Vice President, Public Relations, Duffy & Shanley
Ken Makovsky , President, Makovsky + Company
Elizabeth Zaborowska, Founder and CEO, Bhava Communications

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