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PRSA Maryland Recognizes Excellence in Communications with 32 Awards at Diamond Anniversary ‘Best in Maryland’ Gala

BALTIMORE, Dec. 10, 2021 — The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter bestowed 32 Best in Maryland and Award of Excellence awards in 16 categories, as well as two professional awards, during a virtual gala and awards show held on December 9, 2021.

The Best in Show award was presented to The Hatcher Group for its Student African American Brotherhood work to refresh SAAB’s visual brand and redesign their website. SAAB is dedicated to ensuring men of color have the support needed to excel academically, socially, and professionally while pursuing higher education.

Crosby Marketing Communications won the most awards with five, followed by Montgomery Parks (four) and MDOT SHA, Devaney and BGE, each bringing home three awards.

Entries were reviewed by a panel of judges made up of public relations professionals from PRSA’s Phoenix Chapter and carefully evaluated based on the following criteria: planning/content, creativity/quality, technical excellence and overall results.

This year’s gala, recognizing the Maryland chapter’s 60th anniversary, was emceed by Dr. David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, Professor and Chair, Department of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University and 2021 Maryland chapter president; Jeffrey Davis, APR, three-time chapter president and head of J. Davis Public Relations; and Dianna Fornaro, M.A, APR, Senior Communications Specialist, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company and the chapter’s accreditation/APR chair.

Following is a list of all awardees:

Professional Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Anita Brightman, APR, PRSA Fellow, A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR
  • Rising Star Award, recognizing an up-and-coming professional in public relations – Jamie Abell, A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR

This year’s Best in Maryland Awards Signature sponsor is Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, supporting the chapter along with JukeStrat, Maryland Marketing Partnership, BGE, Fovndry, Maryland Lottery and TheYuCrew.

Best in Maryland Award Winners



BEST IN MARYLAND – Boost Bmore, Abel Communications


BEST IN MARYLAND – Helping Marylanders Protect Themselves Against COVID-19, University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs & Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – COVID-19 Employee and Customer Communications and Media Engagement, BGE Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Promoting Public Health and Safety During COVID-19, Crosby Marketing Communications


BEST IN MARYLAND – BGE ConnectedRewards, BGE/Honeywell

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Fairy Tale COVID Campaign, Baltimore Gas & Electric


BEST IN MARYLAND – Re the We Relationships Initiative, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Lead Boldly B2B Campaign, Crosby Marketing Communications


BEST IN MARYLAND  – Support More Victories for Veterans PSAs, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – The Financial Education Initiative Maryland Auto Insurance


BEST IN MARYLAND – REALTOR® Fest 2020, Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS (GCAAR)

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Financial Education Initiative, Maryland Auto Insurance

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – THB Bagelry & Deli Columbia Grand Opening, Planit


BEST IN MARYLAND – Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), The Hatcher Group


AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Open Parkways, Montgomery Parks



BEST IN MARYLAND – Adventist HealthCare and You Magazine, Adventist HealthCare

CREATIVE TACTICS – Assoc/Nonprofit-Govt

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Flooding Maryland with Safety: State of Maryland Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Virtual Room, AECOM


BEST IN MARYLAND – Virtual Meeting Toolkit, Chesapeake Employers Insurance Co.


AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – COVID-19 Construction Safety Banners, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance


BEST IN MARYLAND – MyMOS Mobile App, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Montgomery Parks Online Programs, Montgomery Parks


AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Heartstrings Fund Brochure, Devaney & Associates/Baltimore Medical System


BEST IN MARYLAND – The Year in Review, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Making a Masterpiece 2020 Annual Report, Devaney & Associates/Carroll Hospital


BEST IN MARYLAND – U=U Maryland Testimonial Video, Devaney & Associates/Chase Brexton Health Care/Baltimore City Health Department


AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Private Sector Voice on Challenges of Today, Greater Baltimore Committee


AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – 2020 Board Installation Promotional Video, Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS (GCAAR)


BEST IN MARYLAND 2021 Scholarly Journals Subscription Catalog, Johns Hopkins University Press


BEST IN MARYLAND – Year in Review for the State Legislature, MDOT SHA

MEDIA RELATIONS-Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – A Highway to History: MDOT SHA Archaeologists Discover Home of Harriet Tubman’s Father, MDOT SHA

SOCIAL MEDIA – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – Highway Workers Nearly Struck and Killed, MDOT SHA

CREATIVE TACTICS – Assoc/Nonprofit-Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – Trails Less Traveled, Montgomery Parks


AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Explore From Home Newsletter, Montgomery Parks

MEDIA RELATIONS – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Tobacco Free Kids Media Relations, The Hatcher Group

About PRSA Maryland
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources, and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication. For more information, visit www.prsamd.org.

PRSA MD Announces 2022 Leadership


BALTIMORE, MD (November 29, 2021) – The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA MD) today announced its incoming leaders for 2022. Elected by the members, the 2022 Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and financial oversight of the organization.

The 2022 board will be led by Emily McDermott, senior account director at Abel Communications. She is a public relations practitioner with more than 16 years of experience. Emily is the chapter’s current vice president and has served in a variety of roles on the board during her tenure including chair of the chapter’s successful programming committee. 

Among her other community-centered activities, Emily is a member of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with Thread, Inc. in Baltimore.

“I am very excited about leading our board in the new year,” said McDermott. I believe the chapter is poised for growth if we continue to offer high-quality programming to help our members succeed professionally.”

The 2022 PRSA MD Board of Directors members are:


Emily McDermott
Senior Account Director, Abel Communications

Jana Duckett, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University
Renata Allen, MBA
Director of Strategic Events, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Directors at Large:

Tyanna Collins, MBA
Marketing Communications Manager, Christiana Care Health System
Laurie Farrell
President and Owner, Mission Street Communications

Teri O’Neal, APR
Director of Public Relations, A. Bright Idea Advertising and Public Relations

Anthony Naglieri, M.P.A.
Chief of Staff & Co-Founder, JukeStrat
Andre Riley, MA, APR
Director Of Communications, Baltimore City Public Schools

May Robinson, M.A.
Lecturer, College of Communication and Fine Arts, Towson University
Kelly Stoll, APR
Senior Consultant, Stakeholder Engagement & Public Involvement, AECOM

Danita Terry, MSA
Director of Marketing and Communications at Girl Scouts of Central Maryland


The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources, and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication.

Lend Your Talents to PRSA MD. Join The PRSA MD Board. We Need You!

Dear PRSA MD Members:

The application process is now open for the 2022 PRSA MD Chapter Board of Directors. These positions will provide leadership to our chapter starting January 2022.

Click here to access the application link:


Serving our local chapter as a board member is a great opportunity to make a difference in this profession that we all love while at the same time highlighting your leadership skills.

As a board member, you will help guide the professional development events for the year for our members and work to ensure that the chapter enjoys successful operations.

Recruitment for the 2022 Board is open to all PRSA MD Chapter members. If you are interested in board service and are not currently a PRSA member, you are allowed to join PRSA national and the local chapter to be eligible.

No prior board experience is required.

We just need people who love the profession, who are ethically centered, and who want to see our members succeed in the world of work.

You can find more information about the positions and roles here:


Application deadline: Friday, September 24, 2021.  

If you have any questions about the board positions, requirements, and/or the selection process, please contact 2021 PRSA MD President David Marshall at david.marshall@morgan.edu

We thank you in advance for your interest in this service opportunity to the profession and hope you will consider applying to become a member of the PRSA MD  Board of Directors.

PRSA MD Nominating Committee

PRSA MD Sponsorship Opportunities

For nearly 60 years, PRSA Maryland has taken great pride in helping our 300+ members stay connected professionally and personally, providing training, resources, support and access to the latest industry trends as well as an annual professional development conference and Best in Maryland awards gala.

To support our members’ continual growth in their field, PRSA MD provides multiple sponsorship opportunities that allow businesses and organizations to connect with Maryland’s PR and communications influencers and decision makers. Our sponsorship opportunities are fully customizable, giving you the freedom to interact with our members in a way that best aligns with your business goals.

Review all of our current sponsorship opportunities here.

Don’t see a sponsorship level that meets your unique needs? Contact PRSA MD board member Laurie Farrell at laurie.farrell2715@gmail.com – she’ll be happy to work with you to develop a package that best showcases your brand!

–Industry News