PR News to Celebrate 2018 Rising PR Stars & PR People Awards Winners in DC

Each year, PR News benchmarks the top established PR professionals over the last year, as well as naming a shortlist of rising luminaries in the field. These accomplished communicators are celebrated at PR News' PR People luncheon, which this year will be held Dec. 4 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

So what does it take to bring home a PR People or Rising Star award?

This year’s PR People Awards entrants were judged on their achievements, campaigns, leadership, application of PR tenets, creativity and flexibility over the last year. Judges also looked at demonstration of sound judgement, volunteer efforts and academic achievements for each contender.

Meanwhile, Rising Star candidates were evaluated based on their impact around the office, mentorship, innovation, contributions to specific campaigns and overall hustle.

Award-winning international speaker, author, coach, and entrepreneur, Cheryl Wood will be giving the opening keynote at the luncheon. Her confidence-building and leadership expertise has been featured on ABC, in Essence, on Dr. Oz, Fox and Black Enterprise.

Below, the list of PR News' 2018 PR People finalists and Rising Stars honorees.

PR News 2018 PR People Finalists:

Account Director

  • Michael Brown, Vicarious PR
  • Kellyn Curtis, Havas PR North America

Agency Account Manager

  • Jess Clifton, Agency Ten22
  • Lauren Pozmanter, Vested
  • Ania Treszczotko, Sage Communications

Community Relations 

  • Edward Harris, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
  • Georjann Morriseau, Resolute Forest Products
  • Kate Murphy, Bank of America
  • Sebastien Reyes, U-Haul International

Crisis Manager

  • Jamie Buranich, Citrix
  • Catherine Canniff, Bank of America
  • Sarah Fitzgerald, Minnesota Department of Corrections
  • Kristen Kauffman, SPM Communications

Government Communicator

  • Chris Floore, Macon-Bibb County
  • John Guilfoil, John Guilfoil Public Relations
  • Deidre Stalnaker, City of Tuscaloosa

Internal Communicator of Year

  • Kelly Lang, Cisco
  • Maria Abyeta Moreta, Cisco
  • Holly Stanley, Bank of America

Marketer of Year

  • Marian Daniells, Vested
  • Craig Greiwe, Rogers & Cowan
  • Mark Nardone, PAN Communications
  • Melody Pleasure, Peraton
  • Jillian Sullivan, Bank of America
  • Sheryl Vieira, Caldwell Trust Company

Measurement Expert of Year

  • Tracy Bell, Bank of America
  • Brett Care, Spectrum Science

Media Relations Professional of the Year

  • William Borden, KPMG
  • Victoria Garrod, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Ella Nevill, Cisco
  • Rachel Newman, Spectrum
  • SuJin Oh, Havas PR
  • Rachel Riley, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
  • Curtis Sparrer, Bospar

PR Intern of Year

  • Ellen Converse, The Newseum
  • Ashley Shahid, Vested
  • Elana Shaulova, EvolveMKD

PR Professional of the Year: Agency

  • Lisa Astor, PAN Communications
  • Linda Descano, Havas PR
  • Eric Hazard, Vested Ventures, a unit of Vested
  • Larry Krutchik, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • Neil Mortine, Fahlgren Mortine
  • Courtney Myers, Havas PR
  • Durée Ross, Durée & Company, Inc.
  • Michelle Schafer, Merritt Group

PR Professional of the Year: Corporate

  • Liza Burnett Fefferman, MTV, VH1 and Logo
  • Ann-Tyler Connell, Bank of America
  • Krys Grondorf, Verizon Connect
  • Clint Patterson, T-Mobile
  • Michael "Mike" Waldron, LyondellBasell

PR Professional of the Year: Nonprofit/Association

  • Brian Frederick, The ALS Association
  • Matisse Hamel-Nelis, CNIB
  • Susan McCarthy, World Wildlife Fund

PR Team Leader

  • Liza Burnett Fefferman, MTV, VH1 and Logo
  • Matthew McQueen, Peraton
  • Selena Morris, Bank of America
  • Courtney Myers, Havas PR
  • Ryan Wallace, PAN Communications 

Publicist/Spokesperson of Year

  • Ron Berkowitz, Berk Communications
  • Lacey Haines, HP
  • Alisa Hughley, MPH, enBloom Media, LLC
  • Donald McLean, MMS Holdings Inc.
  • Curtis Sparrer, Bospar

Social Media/Digital Professional of the Year

  • Julianne Bardele, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
  • Carmen Collins, Cisco
  • Ibby Hussain, Vested
  • Ryan Matheson, Volunteers of America
  • Chris Smith, Bank of America

Student of Year

  • Ashleigh Kathryn White, University of Florida-Master's in Mass Communications
  • Katrina Sletten, Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Volunteer of Year

  • Amanda Piccirilli-Hall, Devine + Partners
  • Marissa Spivak, Spectrum

2018 PR News Rising Stars:

  • Courtney Allen, Rogers & Cowan
  • Audrey Arbogast, Havas PR North America
  • Teresa Bigelow, Spiral5 Media
  • Kaylea Bowers, Porter Novelli
  • Brianna Broad, kglobal
  • Michael Brown, Vicarious PR
  • Crystal Campbell, Florida Public Utilities Company
  • Danyelle Carter, Her Communications Agency
  • Courtney Chennells, Vested
  • Joanna Coker, COX ENTERPRISES
  • Kevin Deane, Northeastern University
  • Amy Dietz, Gagen MacDonald
  • Melissa England, Finn Partners
  • Lauren English, Fahlgren Mortine
  • Grace Fenstermaker, Qorvis Communications
  • Stacey Goodman, Weber Shandwick
  • Eva Gurfein, RF Binder
  • Dominic Hawkins, SKDKnickerbocker
  • Natalie Hernandez, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC
  • Nichole Hetchkop, Allison+Partners
  • Ali Howard, Hilton
  • Chris Huppertz, Bob Gold & Associates
  • Ben Ingham, Peraton
  • Carol Issa, MSL
  • Whitney Jones, Porter Novelli
  • Lauren Kaufman, PAN Communications
  • Sarah Kettenburg, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • Keith King, Volkswagen
  • Lauren Kita, J Public Relations
  • Paige Knapp, Devine + Partners
  • Javier Lacayo, SKDKnickerbocker
  • Michelle LoGuercio, BML Public Relations
  • Erin Mackey, PayPal
  • Amanda Marzullo, Northwell Health
  • Jordan Mayblum, John Guilfoil Public Relations
  • Natalie Medved, Pace Public Relations
  • Molly Mita, ESPN
  • Christina Monteleone, EvolveMKD
  • William Moore, CLS Strategies
  • Rachel Nelson, InkHouse
  • Maha Neouchy, HP Inc.
  • Cailin O'Brien, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates
  • Natalie Pavlatos, CLS Strategies
  • Cassandra (Cassy) Perkins, Bank of America
  • Adam Pollack, Joele Frank
  • Shannon Quinn, Qorvis Communications
  • Liz Reilly, SSPR
  • Maricela Rios, Havas PR
  • Lindsay Schwimer, PAN Communications
  • Eric Sherman, IPG Mediabrands
  • Ashley Simms, FleishmanHillard
  • Justin Siraj, Consumer Technology Association
  • Liz Skrbkova, Novo Nordisk Inc.
  • Lauren Song, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Blakeley Thress, Bell
  • Erika Scholz Van, ARPR
  • Maria Violette, Weber Shandwick
  • Melanie Wadden, Berk Communications
  • Laura Walton, Edelman
  • Karolina Wasiniewska, Global Strategy Group
  • Katie Wilson, Belle Communication

Julia Woislaw, Association of International Certified Professional Account