The 2013 Best In Maryland Committee and the 2013 PRSA-MD Board of Directors are proud to announce the 2013 Educator of the Year recipient: Lester R. Potter.
Accredited Business Communicator Lester R. Potter, an MBA, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies at Towson University, Maryland. He is “ABD” (all but dissertation) for a doctorate in Instructional Technology at Towson. At Towson, Potter teaches Public Relations Writing, Organizational Communication, Strategic Public Relations Planning and Management, and Public Relations for Nonprofit Organizations. He has served as Faculty Advisor to the PRSSA chapter for ten years.
Prior to beginning his academic career, Potter was President of Les Potter Incorporated, an international consultancy he founded in 1998. His firm helped organizations worldwide use communication as a strategic management tool to boost organizational effectiveness. For over 30 years, Les Potter has improved business operation with innovative, results-oriented interventions. To solve clients’ problems, Potter draws on successful experience in organizational communication, strategic and marketing planning, and human resources and project management gained from work with a wide variety of organizations and industries.
Les Potter’s background includes many different and enriching business situations that prepared him for successful client service. Potter was Chairman of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) during 1991-92. He was named an IABC Fellow in 1997, IABC’s highest honor. He served on IABC’s executive board, accreditation board, and as a trustee of the IABC Research Foundation. He earned IABC accreditation (the ABC designation) in 1978.
Les is also a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the invitation-only professional association for educators, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
Les will be honored at the Best In Maryland Awards Gala on December 5 at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore. We will also honor the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award, reveal the New PR Professional of The Year, and present awards for excellence in public relations campaigns in 24 categories. The evening will include a keynote address from Gerry Sandusky, voice of the Baltimore Ravens and sports director of WBAL TV. Former FOX morning anchor Jennifer Gladstone will emcee the event.
Please join us in honoring Les Potter. Follow @LesPotter on Twitter and on his blog More With Les.
For more information on the Gala including nominees and ticket information, click here.
PRSA-MD would like to offer our most sincere congratulations to the following companies who have been nominated for a 2013 Best in Maryland (BIM) Award of Excellence:
A. Bright Idea, LLC
American Urological Association
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company
Bonnie Heneson Communications, Inc.
Crosby Marketing Communications, Inc.
Department of Juvenile Services
Devaney & Associates, Inc.
Harford County Public Schools
Impact Marketing & Public Relations, LLC
Johns Hopkins HealthCare, LLC
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins University Press
Maryland Port Administration
Maryland State Highway Administration
Mayes Communications, Inc. & Strategic Design Studio
National Association for Catering and Events/Harrison Communications
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
Rose Communications, Inc.
The Bryn Mawr School
The Coordinating Center
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Want to find out who the winners are? Satisfy your curiosity during an elegant evening at the absolutely exquisite Hotel Monaco to celebrate the best and brightest in Baltimore!
Group tickets (5+) are just $95 per person. Make it your agency/department holiday party, and make sure to take a group picture on the huge, historic marble staircase!
Limited number of seats available. Secure yours today!
Jack Felton, APR, Fellow PRSA
Written by: Judy Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA
Throughout his life and career, Jack Felton made a significant and positive impact on our Society, our profession, and our Maryland Chapter. Jack’s first public relations job was in the military as an information officer in the USAF Strategic Air Command and he later worked as a public relations executive with U.S. Steel and Interstate Brands. However, we in the Maryland Chapter came to appreciate his dedication and leadership during the many years he served as corporate vice president of communications at McCormick Spice.
Jack was a great role model for those of us who aspired to have a “seat at the table.” He exemplified the importance of personal and professional integrity, and of giving back. Jack and his wife Ann were active volunteers for numerous charitable causes in the community, and Jack was a tireless PRSA volunteer and leader, advocate for the profession, and mentor to students and other professionals.
On a personal note, Jack got me involved in PRSA and the Maryland chapter. I’d met Jack and his team at McCormick when I worked for another corporation in Hunt Valley. I was a newcomer to the state, and Jack and my boss encouraged me to attend a few PRSA meetings. Shortly thereafter Jack became chapter president and recruited me to chair the Education Committee. Of course, I was hooked. I had also found a lifelong mentor and friend, whose advice and support was always valued.
Jack never did get to complete his term as our chapter president. The national president resigned early in his term in 1985, and Jack was asked to take over. He completed that term and then served another full year as national president in 1986. He was, I think, the only PRSA president ever to serve two terms – not an easy task, but he did it beautifully.
Public relations education and research were always strong interests for Jack, so when he retired from McCormick in 1995, he embarked on a new career as a professor at the University of Florida and established the Institute for Public Relations Research on the Gainesville campus. After retiring again in 2004, Jack and Ann traveled around the world, but he always found time for PRSA.
Jack said that it was his ability to write that opened doors for him early in his career. He used his writing skills in other ways, too. He loved theater, and he wrote and produced many plays — while holding one of the most demanding jobs in town. He was a man with considerable energy and talent – along with great charm, and a wonderful sense of humor.
Two years ago, Jack lost Ann, who was a true partner in all aspects of his life and who attended almost every PRSA conference with him. This past October was the first time in many years that Jack was unable to attend the Annual Conference – the trip to San Francisco was too much. He was missed, but we thought he’d be back this year. Now there will be a seat at the table of PRSA leadership that no one can fill. We remember and miss him – and we are grateful for all the contributions he made to take our profession to new levels.
For the first time (in recent history or that anyone can recall), the PRSA Maryland, National Capital, and Central Chesapeake Chapters have teamed up to put on a regional conference! After a bit of a rough (and late!) start, we finally got the 2011 PRSA Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Conference Planning Committee going.
Representatives from all three chapters have worked tirelessly all year to brainstorm session topics, locate relevant speakers, find sponsorships, develop conference collateral, and then promote the darned thing! All the while, we have had great fun forming relationships, networking, gaining valuable experience, and bonding in an energetic, collegial environment.
It has been a really wonderful time working with all three chapters. We’re looking forward to enjoying the conference next week!
There’s still time to register for this year’s conference. Go to https://prsamd.org/news/events2011/nov11program.htm. Seating is limited and tickets are going fast, so hurry!
And we’re going to keep building on this momentum. If you would like to get in on this synergistic, collaborative effort to plan next year’s conference, please don’t hesitate to e-mail Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s Best In Maryland reception was held at the 1840s Ballroom, a beautiful venue with outstanding service. Guest entered through a gated courtyard where staff directed them upstairs to the 1840s Carroll Salon. The evening started off with a chance to networking and dig into some delicious food and drink catered by Hunt Valley Catering.
The Best in Maryland awards portion was opened with a few words from Katie Mercado, our vice president and Best In Maryland co-chair, who welcomed everyone reminding us that this is the 50th anniversary of Best In Maryland. She gave us a quick recap of what Best In Maryland means to our chapter, and thanked the board of directors and the BIM committee for their hard work in planning this year’s reception. She also acknowledged Dave Imre of IMRE for his continuing support of PRSA Maryland, and our go-to photographer Bob Stockfield of Stockfield Photography. (Check out our photos of who came at Gallery of faces and who won at Gallery of awards photos.)
The awards were presented by Reagan Warfield of the Mix 106.5 Morning Show, who did a great job announcing the winners while delighting the crowd with his charm, and Katie Mercado, who handed out the awards to each winner (Katie got her picture taken quite a bit that night!). During the ceremony, Reagan pointed out that this year we added new categories and streamlined others making the competition tougher—and more interesting—than ever. Several of our categories had a large number of entries with Story Placement leading in number received. For a detailed list of all winners, go to 2011 Best In Maryland Award Winners!.
We then turned to the New Professional of the Year award. Eleni Polites from Weber Shandwick took this honor, a complete surprise for Eleni who had no idea she was even nominated. It was fun watching her realize she was the recipient as Reagan read her bio. And it was even better when she discovered we had been hiding her family in the corner where they waited eagerly for her chance to shine.
The Lifetime Achievement award was presented by Gene Bracken (the 2010 recipient) to Jacqueline Lampell of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Jacqui was nominated by her co-workers for her professionalism and dedication to excellence within her field. Her nomination was lauded by other seasoned professionals, especially Gene who was honored to present her with the award.
The final two awards of the evening were announced last. The Best Representation of Theme is presented to the entry that best exemplifies the current theme, and this year’s went to Baltimore Gas and Electric’s for BGE Smart Energy Savers Program Marketing.
The Best In Show is presented to the most outstanding entry in the Program category. This year, the honor went to Catholic Relief Services for their The Haiti Earthquake: Catholic Relief Services Responds to a Major Disaster. The crowd erupted into cheers when the announcement was made. John Rivera accepted the award on behalf of his staff, lauding their continuing dedication to the CRS mission.
After the awards presentation, the evening continued with an array of yummy desserts and the chance to continue the celebration.
Finally, we’d be negligent if we didn’t thank our judges—the Rochester Chapter of PRSA—who said they were impressed by quality of the entries. We thank them sincerely for their hard work.
Winners: Additional awards may be ordered by clicking here. All orders must be received by COB Wednesday July 6, 2011.