Spotlight Awards Program

There are dozens of awards programs for public relations and integrated communications, both locally and internationally. We all know the ones that are for show. The Spotlight Awards, along with our cousins, PRSA’s Silver and Bronze Anvils, are focused on the same criteria used to determine a candidate’s readiness to go through the Accreditation program: research, planning, implementation and evaluation. Entering in our awards program is a great way to benchmark your organization’s communications programs against best practice methodologies around the country. Our judges provide written feedback, in addition to scores, and you can use this insight to enhance your strengths and address your opportunities for improvement.

Awards of Distinction

New Professional Award of Excellence

The New Professional Award of Excellence honors a chapter member who has entered the field of public relations within the past five years. The award is presented to a professional who has demonstrated his or her commitment to advancing public relations through career achievements, volunteerism, and the highest standards of professionalism.

  • 2019 – Eric Johnson
  • 2018 – Nicole Shaddy
  • 2017 – Nicole Early
  • 2016 – Megan Donaldson
  • 2015 – Prapat “Jojoe” Nujoy
  • 2014 – Colby Reade, APR
  • 2013 – Taylor Long
  • 2012 – Julie Williams
  • 2011 – Kate Pitchlynn
  • 2010 – Jamie Godfrey
  • 2009 – No award issued
  • 2008 – Stefanie Stockton Week
  • 2007 – Taraneh Fultz & Laura Herbert
  • 2006 – Martina Kostow
  • 2005 – Vanessa Skillern
  • 2004 – Amy Winans
  • 2003 – Jen Scott

Established in 2003, this award was originally known as the Young Professional Award.

Note: These listings are based on the chapter’s historic records.  If you can provide additional information/documentation about other New Professional Award of Excellence recipients, please contact us.

Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award

This award reflects our chapter’s dedication to supporting members at every stage of their careers and lives. A legendary figure in Portland public relations, Haley’s background included leadership roles at Gerber and Leopold Ketel, where she spent most of her career before forming her own firm, Power Public Relations. A longtime member of the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter and accredited in public relations, Haley served as president in 2003. Throughout her career, she was committed to supporting PRSA and the public relations profession, serving as a mentor to countless chapter members. She was widely respected not only by her clients, colleagues and fellow chapter members, but also by Portland’s journalism community. Haley passed away in March of 2014 at the age of 69, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy of mentorship, excellence and professionalism.

  • 2019 – John C. Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2018 – Donna Z. Davis, Ph.D.
  • 2017 – Taraneh Fultz, APR
  • 2015 – Tom Unger, APR, ABC, CTM, Fellow PRSA
  • 2014 – Patti Atkins, APR, Chuck Williams, APR, and Mara Woloshin, APR, Fellow PRSA

Finally, at the 2014 Spotlight Awards, Dr. Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., APR and Chair of the Universal Accreditation Board extended her congratulations to the 2014 Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award honorees in a video tribute.

Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award

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
  • 2017 – Dianne Danowski-Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2016 – Stacy Moe-Kean, APR
  • 2015 – Michael Duyck, TVF&R
  • 2014 – Frank Grady, Grady Britton
  • 2013 – Carole Morse, Portland General Electric
  • 2012 – Katlin Smith, APR, Urban Words Group
  • 2011 – Friends of Trees
  • 2010 – Ron Arp, Amplify Group
  • 2009 – Sharon Harmon, Oregon Humane Society
  • 2008 – No award issued
  • 2007 – No award issued
  • 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

William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award

For nearly four decades, William W. Marsh was a towering figure in public relations in Oregon. A charter member of the Portland Metro Chapter, which was merged into the PRSA Oregon Chapter in 2017, Marsh served as president in 1963. After 28 years in the profession, Marsh joined Marylhurst University, where he taught from 1986 to 1993, establishing a public relations certificate program.

William Marsh died in 1996 at the age of 81. He was the first recipient of the award named in his honor.

  • 2019 – Sally Ridenour, APR
  • 2018 – Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, CAE
  • 2017 –  John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2016 – Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA 
  • 2015 – Dave Thompson, APR
  • 2014 – Kathryn Hubbell, APR, M.S., Fellow PRSA 
  • 2013 – Darcie Meihoff, APR
  • 2012 – Michael J. Riley, APR, PRC
  • 2011 – Tom Unger, APR, ABC, Fellow PRSA
  • 2010 – Lisa Donoughe
  • 2009 – Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2008 – Gail Dundas, APR
  • 2007 – Martha Crawford Richmond, APR
  • 2006 – Timm Locke, APR
  • 2005 – Doug Babb
  • 2004 – Olga Haley, APR
  • 2003 – Mara Woloshin, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2002 – Carol Dillin, APR
  • 2001 – Patty Farrell, APR
  • 2000 – Chuck Williams, APR
  • 1999 – Pat McCormick
  • 1998 – Lucy Martin, APR
  • 1997 – Vicky Hastings, APR
  • 1996 – Brian Bell, APR
  • 1995 – Sharon Van Sickle, APR
  • 1994 – Mary Ann Lockwood
  • 1993 – Barbara Peeples, APR
  • 1992 – Rolf Glerum, APR
  • 1991 – Liz Cawood, APR
  • 1990 – Vernor Schenck, APR
  • 1989 – Barbara Stallcup Miller, APR
  • 1988 – Jean Bradley, APR
  • 1987 – Ron Schmidt
  • 1986 – William W. Marsh, APR

Recent Awards Program News

Why submitting your work for an award is a good idea
As someone who has entered many awards competitions and judged many, many …
Congratulations 2020 PRSA Oregon Spotlight Award and Award of Distinction Honorees
Last night, PRSA Oregon celebrated the best campaigns and tactics our local …
PRSA Oregon Awards Top Honors to Three Emerging PR Professionals
For two decades, the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism …
Congrats! 2019 Spotlight Awards & Awards of Distinction Honorees
We are proud to share the achievements of an exceptional group of …
PRSA Oregon honors aspiring PR pre-professionals
For nearly two decades, the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and …
2018 Awards of Distinction Honorees
PRSA Oregon recognized our four distinguished professionals with Awards of Distinction at …
Congrats 2018 Spotlight Award Winners & Awards of Distinction Honorees!
by Madeline Turnock, APR Chair, PRSA Oregon Spotlight Awards & Past President, …