Portland, OR. The Spotlight Award Ceremony on October 20th honored achievements and milestones in the field of public relations. Sue Van Brocklin, VP of PR at Coates Kokes posed for a photo with Dianne Danowski Smith. Smith was presented with three prestigious awards including: Pacific District PR Practitioner of the year, Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service and the Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award. The Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award honors the outstanding use of public relations to support community improvement and important causes. (Photo credit, Mahoney McKeon)

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is in the midst of a major celebration as it caps off a banner year in the state of Oregon. The nonprofit professional organization dedicated to the growth and advancement of the practice of public relations opted to merge Oregon’s three chapters – Portland, Oregon Capitol and Greater Oregon – into a unified, statewide chapter.

“By merging our chapters from three regional groups into one, statewide organization, it becomes much easier for us to connect and network,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “It also opens up vast opportunities for our organization to offer a much wider range of professional development and skill-building resources to our members.”

The merger is the result of several years of deliberation and collaboration by members from all three chapters. The decision appears to be a success as the organization is enjoying a substantial membership increase year-over-year. The transition was celebrated during the annual the PRSA Spotlight Awards ceremony at the Willamette Valley Country Club.

Additional awards of excellence in the field of public relations including: Taraneh Fultz, APR, Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award. John Mitchell, APR, Fellow, Lifetime Achievement Award. Dianne Danowski Smith and Nicole Early, New Professional Award of Excellence.

CMD captured the most honors of the night for strategic public relations and social media campaigns.

Nicole Early, New Pro award recipient, Mark Mohammadpour, APR, Past President

Celebrating the 2017 Spotlight Awards

Here’s a video about the Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award:

From PRSA Oregon:

The PRSA Oregon chapter, which serves approximately 300 public relations professionals in Oregon and Southwest Washington, supports lifelong professional development and honors excellence in public relations. More than one-fifth of chapter members have earned Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. The Oregon chapter is led by an all-volunteer board of professionals from across the state. Signature events include the annual Spotlight Awards, honoring excellence in public relations, and the Communicator’s Conference, a professional development event held once a year. The Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of 109 PRSA chapters across the country.

Founding Board Members of PRSA Oregon:

President: Colby Reade, APR,

President-Elect: Julie Williams, APR,

Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer: Dave Thompson, APR,

Secretary and Chief Operations Officer: Tracey Lam, APR,

Leadership Assembly Delegate: Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA,

Leadership Assembly Delegate: John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA,

Communications Director: Beverly Brooks,

Director of Student Affairs: Megan Donaldson,

Director of Service: Taylor Long,

Director of Events: Olivia MacKenzie,

Sponsorship Director: Amy Ruddy,

Director of Membership: Siobhan Taylor,

Immediate Past President: Mark Mohammadpour, APR,

Immediate Past President: Jill Peters, APR,

Immediate Past President: Loralyn Spiro, APR,