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Presenting our 2017 Professional Awards Honorees!

Congratulations to all! 


Daniel Dunne, APR

Director of External Communications, Erickson Living
About Dan Dunne

Throughout Dan’s storied private sector and federal government communication careers there has been one constant – serving a lead role in the management of national, regional, and local crisis situations. As the national spokesperson for Erickson Living (the nation’s 3rd largest independent living provider for seniors), Dan manages a team of five regional communication managers. His team’s crisis communication plan won a PRSA “Best in Maryland” award in 2014, and Dan remains at the forefront in helping Erickson’s 19 communities attain successful communication outcomes, including in difficult circumstances.

Prior to working for Erickson Living, Dan had a distinguished 28 year Federal civil service career with the U.S. Justice Department, where he served the majority of his tenure as a national spokesman in Washington, D.C. As a senior communicator in the government, Dan played a key part in the development of national crisis communication policies and guidelines, as well as successfully managed a myriad of critical incident situations. For example, he served as a Justice Department spokesperson during the 1991 hostage crisis at the Federal Correctional Institution, Talladega, Alabama, and received the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Myrl E. Alexander Award (a national award named after the agency’s 3rd Director) for his leadership in helping coordinate the largest media event in the agency’s history – the execution of Timothy McVeigh (1,600 media onsite).

One of Dan’s greatest joys is being able to share his firsthand crisis communications lessons-learned to help today’s communication professionals be better prepared, regardless of the type of crisis. He believes that by embracing the the power of public relations, building partnerships, and making investments in being prepared, communicators can achieve success in today’s dynamic media landscape.


Nancy Sherman

Director of Communications & Marketing, Caroline Center
About Nancy Sherman

Nancy Sherman’s career history spans 18 years in the public relations, communication, and marketing fields working for education and nonprofit organizations in the Baltimore area. Her professional skills include writing, internal and external communications, special event planning, media relations, fundraising, mentoring, community outreach, and partnership building.

Nancy had a distinguished career at Bryn Mawr School from 1999-2011. For a brief stint, she shared her talents with St. Timothy’s School and was the Director of Communication and Public Relations from 2011 to 2012.

She then assumed the role of Communication and Marketing Director at Caroline Center, a nonprofit organization that provides tuition-free education to unemployed and underemployed women in Baltimore City.

In addition to her professional communications skills, Nancy possesses strong interpersonal communication skills, empathy, and compassion for women and children. She is an avid supporter of women who seek a path out of poverty through education. Her devotion to the students at Caroline Center is commendable. As many who work in the nonprofit arena, Nancy works tirelessly to communicate Caroline Center’s mission throughout Baltimore. She writes letters to the Sun’s editor, blog posts, and other publications capable of spreading the organization’s messages.


Dana Vickers Shelley, MPA

Lecturer, Department of Strategic Communication and Faculty Advisor PRSSA Chapter, Morgan State University

About Dana Vickers Shelley

In the midst of a 25-year career leading public relations in the public, private, philanthropic, and social-impact sectors, Vickers Shelley was recruited to Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communications to educate new and emerging multi-platform  journalists, producers, and communicators, and expand diversity of people and consciousness in organizations worldwide.

In addition to teaching Introduction to Strategic Communications, Strategic Communications Writing, and the Senior Media Experience (Capstone) courses, she directed the school’s on• campus agency, The Strategy Shop. Here students learn the business model of a professional services firm by promoting campus organizations and community projects in East Baltimore. Student participants competed, and were then selected by Google, to help organize one of its recruitment  visits to our campus.

A highlight of Vicker Shelley’s commitment to her students has involved bringing PRSSA to Morgan State University for the first time. Already, 22 public relations and strategic communications majors are now official paid members, and others have asked to join next semester.

We’ll be celebrating all our honorees at the 2017 Best in Maryland Gala in the beautiful Royal Sonesta Harbor Court. Click here for details and registration information.

–Industry News