Ron Schmidt: Raising our Awareness, Conscience and Commitment
The Oregonian once noted “For nearly 30 years, as an aide to [Oregon Gov. Tom] McCall then as the owner of the state’s biggest and most influential public relations firm, [Ron] Schmidt stood at the center of public policy in business, government and the arts.”
Schmidt served nationally on the President’s Commission on the Arts and the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
A recipient of the William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award, Ron Schmidt died in 1992 at the age of 56.
Former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts said, “He raised our awareness, conscience and commitment. He committed his entire life to helping Oregon become the best it could be.”
The Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award honors the outstanding use of public relations to support community improvement and important causes. Named for a man who had a regional and national impact on our profession and celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, this award may be given to an individual or an organization.
PRSA membership is not a requirement, and the award may be presented to someone and who is not a public relations practitioner but who has used public relations to better the community, engage others and further the practice and innovation of public relations.
Remembering Ron Schmidt
At the 2013 Spotlight Awards, PRSA’s Portland Metro Chapter celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award through a commemorative video. Film clips courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society.
- 2018 – Gary Withers [Award announcement]
- 2017 – Dianne Danowski-Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA [Award announcement | Video tribute]
- 2016 – Stacy Moe-Kean, APR [News Release | Video tribute]
- 2015 – Michael Duyck, TVF&R [News Release | Bio | Video tribute]
- 2014 – Frank Grady, Grady Britton [News release | Video tribute]
- 2013 – Carole Morse, Portland General Electric [Video tribute]
- 2012 – Katlin Smith, APR, Urban Words Group [Video tribute]
- 2011 – Friends of Trees
- 2010 – Ron Arp, Amplify Group
- 2009 – Sharon Harmon, Oregon Humane Society
- 2008 – No award
- 2007 – No award
- 2006 – Sue Van Brocklin, Coates Kokes
- 2005 – Mike Lindberg, Fleishman-Hillard
- 2004 – Greg Robeson, Robeson Communications
- 2003 – Kathrin Larson Youngberg, Maxwell Communications
- 2002 – Columbia River Maritime Museum
- 2001 – Legacy Emanuel Hospital
- 1993 – Ray Leary, Self Enhancement, Inc.
Note: These listings are based on our historic records. If you can provide additional information/documentation about other Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award recipients, please contact us.
The Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to multiple projects or initiatives that had a significant community impact. It honors an outstanding leader who has helped improve his or her community through public relations efforts and achievements. This award may be given to a PR professional or other individual who has used public relations to better the community, engage others and further the practice and innovation of public relations. PRSA membership is not a requirement.
- Has the candidate demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the betterment of his or her community? Examples may include:
a) Leadership positions in civic or community organizations
b) Honors or recognition from other organizations reflecting a commitment to community involvement
c) Projects or initiatives that had a significant community impact that the candidate participated in or led in a pro bono or volunteer capacity
- How has the candidate put his or her public relations knowledge to use for the good of the community? Examples may include the use of public relations strategies and tactics to:
a) Raise awareness for an important cause
b) Motivate the public to take action
c) Influence options / garner support for key community causes
Ron Schmidt photos, Oregon Historical Society, #OrHi105900 and #OrHi105902