I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to attend the 2016 Big Apple PR Awards Gala on June 2nd at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the Upper West Side. The Awards celebrated some of the nation’s and the New York City area’s best public relations work within the last year and the people who made it happen.
Being in a room filled with PR professionals that I could potentially be working with in the future, made me feel so inspired. I got to hear from dedicated PRSA members who have made valuable contributions and have become excellent ambassadors in our industry. The three recognized for their dedication to excellence, integrity and ethical standards and mentoring within the industry were Joe Cohen, senior vice president of communications for KIND healthy snacks, Art Stevens, Managing Partner of the Stevens Group and Grace Leong, the CEO and Partner of Hunter PR as well as our professional adviser! We also heard from Bill Doescher, the president of PRSA-NY and CEO of The Doescher Group and Olga Gonzalez, President-Elect PRSA-NY, 2016 Big Apple Awards Chair and CEO and Founder of Pietra PR.
Aside from hearing from these awesome individuals, I also met other PRSSA members from chapters in NYC schools such as St. John’s University, NYU, and City College of New York. Together, we got to see the many successful campaigns of the year, from campaigns targeted to men and women to specific campaigns such as animal care or business-to-business. I sat next to Troy Blackwell, the recipient of the PRSA-NY/CCNY Art Stevens Scholarship, presented by Lynn Appelbaum, a PRSA member actively involved in PRSSA chapters whom actually extended the invitation to me. Troy will be interning for the White House in the Fall and it was amazing to see all of the political PR organizations that came by our table to talk. It really showed how important it is to be a part of the PRSA/PRSSA network and organization.
I feel so lucky to be in a professional organization that motivates and encourages me to be like the professionals I was surrounded by. Within one night, I spoke to founders and partners of large PR agencies, I met students in similar stages of their lives, and I was exposed to a whole world of possibilities within our field. I anxiously await the chance to be on that stage, accepting an award for my team, inspiring future PRSSA students.