22 May 2011

2011 PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards to Honor Best In Public Relations

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Political Strategist and Former Presidential Adviser Recognized as Public Relations Professional of the Year; Girl Scouts CEO Honored as Executive of the Year; Harris Bank Communications Manager Awarded Young Public Relations Professional of the Year

CHICAGO, May 18, 2011 – The Public Relations Society of America Chicago Chapter will honor the best communications practitioners, campaigns and tactics in the Chicago area and celebrate three individuals with prominent public relations achievements in 2010 at the 2011 PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards Celebration on May 25.

David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama and senior strategist to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, will be recognized as Public Relations Professional of the Year. During his time at the White House, Axelrod helped to craft and communicate the President’s message, and was the Administration’s most frequent presence on the influential Sunday talk shows. Axelrod is currently a senior strategist on Obama’s re-election campaign.

Maria E. Wynne, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, the largest Girl Scouts council in the country, will be named Executive of the Year. Wynne was selected for using components of public relations to successfully lead and energize the organization’s members. She is the first CEO to head the council following an unprecedented merger of seven independent councils in 2008. Under Wynne’s leadership, the council defied a national trend of decreased membership for first-year merged Girl Scouts councils and experienced a one percent membership increase.

Rachel Gerds, communications manager for Harris Bank, will receive the Young Public Relations Professional of the Year award. Gerds is focused on using her industry knowledge and strategic internal and external communications skills to achieve winning results. Since joining Harris Bank in September 2009, Gerds has played a key role in developing and executing communications for important business initiatives, including Harris’ $2.5 billion FDIC-assisted acquisition of AMCORE Bank.

“We are truly honored to recognize these three individuals for their significant contributions to the public relations industry,” said Amy Littleton, PRSA Chicago president and vice president at KemperLesnik.

PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals that have successfully addressed contemporary issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. This year, finalists were selected from a record 125 entries. More than 50 awards will be conferred on May 25.

PRSA Chicago Skyline Award Celebration
May 25, 2011 
6-9 p.m.
Hilton Chicago, Continental Ballroom 
720 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Member: $100 
Non-Member: $120 
Table of 10 Member: $925 
Table of 10 Non-Member: $1,100

To purchase tickets, click here.

The event is being sponsored by Synaptic Digital.  Synaptic Digital connects brands with their audiences across an evolving media landscape through the power of video. It is the premier content creation and multichannel distribution platform for brands, organizations and their agencies.

About PRSA Chicago
PRSA Chicago is the fourth largest chapter in the country. The chapter was founded in 1948 to provide professionals with programs and activities designed to meet their needs for professional development and networking. Today, it’s almost 500 members represent a cross-section of industries, with a diverse mix of Fortune 100 corporations, public relations agencies, associations and non-profit organizations. The goal of PRSA Chicago is to advance the profession of public relations, promote high professional and ethical standards and build the reputation of the profession in the Chicago area.

As part of PRSA Chicago, members have access to the national Public Relations Society of America, the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals. The Society has nearly 32,000 professional and student members. PRSA is organized into more than 100 Chapters nationwide, 19 Professional Interest Sections and Affinity Groups, which represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has nearly 300 Chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

For more information, visit www.prsachicago.com.

Stephanie Krol,stephanie@skprmedia.com, 773.580.9726