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Minnesota PRSA Honors Tom Jollie with Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tom Jollie, APR and senior vice president at Padilla, received the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award at the 41st annual PRSA Classic Awards on May 2. The peer-judged award, created in 1996, honors the late public relations pioneer Donald G. Padilla and recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and contributions to the profession of public relations, has contributed to the mission of PRSA and has volunteered their time and talents toward making our community better. 

Jollie has devoted his 38 years as a public relations professional to helping purpose-driven organizations communicate effectively with their audiences. Many worthy Twin Cities organizations have benefited from his pro bono and voluntary board service and communications counsel.  

As an aspiring communications student at the University of Minnesota, Jollie was an active member of PRSSA for three years before landing a position at Brum & Anderson in 1981. It was the Twin Cities’ first woman-owned public relations firm – with an all-female staff – until he set up his card-table desk in the mailroom. He had great expectations, and he wasn’t disappointed; seven years later, the firm merged with market leader Padilla & Speer.

With the winning combination of energy, eloquence and hard work, it should be no surprise that Jollie was destined to win this award. Today, he leads Padilla’s Minnesota practice – and he is one of the agency’s leading award-winners, too. His industry recognition has included numerous Silver and Bronze Anvils, Classics awards, Pinnacle awards (from the International Festivals and Events Association) and an Emmy for a Bush Foundation teacher recruitment program.

Among one of Jollie’s greatest accomplishments outside the office was with the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts. When the chapter began experiencing declining membership, he spearheaded research to uncover attitudes and behaviors. The findings – and his insights – were so influential that they informed new approaches to recruitment for the national Boy Scouts organization, eventually heralding a new day for girls – who now can become Eagle Scouts.

“Whatever your aspirations, if you want to gain something, you have to give something first – freely, and without expectations,” said Jollie. “That’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received.”

Jollie is always ready, offering his expertise and encouragement with alacrity – especially if it means providing communications counsel that can uplift or empower those who are disadvantaged or underserved in our society.

Jollie’s sheer, unflagging enthusiasm for his work is unwavering.  He strives to sustain that perspective amid the inevitable conflicts and challenges inherent in public relations, drawing inspiration from others – including his longtime mentor, Lynn Casey, chair of Padilla and a 2018 PR Week Hall of Famer.

Since 1978, the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards have recognized hundreds of organizations for excellence in public relations. The Classics are presented annually to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.



Minnesota PRSA Honors Katie Huggins with the Rising Star Award

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Starting as a student, Huggins continue to play a pivotal role in strengthening the organization’s relevance within the local PR community. 

Minnesota PRSA has awarded Katie Huggins, external communications specialist at Best Buy, with its Rising Star award. The award celebrates accomplishments of exceptional members of the chapter who have served three to seven years in the industry, post-graduation. Higgins received the award at Minnesota Public Relations society of America (PRSA) Classics on May 2. 

On a daily basis, Huggins is meeting with leaders in Best Buy to determine the PR strategy and manage potentially risky situations. At the same time, she finds ways to earn positive news coverage for the company that helps drive traffic and earn brand love. Huggins has worked hard to earn the trust of upper-level executives, becoming a reliable source of support and guidance and providing thoughtful recommendations.

“Perhaps even more remarkable are Katie’s softer skills,” said Jeff Haydock, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at Best Buy. “Since the day she joined us as an intern, she has shown an incredible ability to ask the right questions and lead a conversation in the right direction.” 

Prior to joining the external communications team at Best Buy, Huggins completed a variety of internships that laid the foundation for a successful career in public relations. As a brand ambassador at local Minneapolis agency, Periscope, she helped to advance the ‘brand love’ for client, Target. While an ambassador, Huggins engaged and educated consumers at various public venues on behalf of the agency and its client. 

“Katie embodies the term Rising Star and I look forward to witnessing the continued advancements she makes in her career,” said Keegan Shoutz, a colleague of Huggins.
 
Huggins has been a part of the Classics Committee for Minnesota PRSA for two years. While serving in this role, Huggins has helped to organize and facilitate multiple events that have showcased some of the most successful practitioners and campaigns in the profession. She also mentors through Brand Lab, a local organization which helps prepare individuals for careers within the marketing, advertising and public relations professions.

Since 1978, the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards have recognized hundreds of organizations for excellence in public relations. The Classics are presented annually to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.


Janet Swiecichowski, APR Appointed to Minnesota PRSA Board of Directors

Monday, July 9, 2018

 

In June, Janet Swiecichowski, APR, was elected by the Minnesota PRSA Board of Directors to fulfill the remainder of Kimberly Albert’s two-year term. Kimberly resigned from the board in March due to personal and work commitments. Per the chapter’s bylaws, successors will be nominated by the President and elected by the board. Janet’s term will end in December 2019.

“We were very diligent about finding the right candidate to fill the board vacancy,” said Minnesota PRSA President Eva Keiser, APR. “As we approach, the organization’s 70th year, it was extremely important that the successor has been active in the organization and was committed to helping shape Minnesota PRSA’s future.”

In her role on the board, Janet will be working closely with the chapter's executive team as it conducts extensive member and nonmember research as part of the strategic planning process.

Janet previously served on the Minnesota PRSA Board in 2001-2002 and has been actively involved in chapter or national accreditation committees since 1999. She has spent her entire career advancing the profession, having served on the boards and as president of both the Wisconsin and Minnesota School Public Relations Associations, as accreditation chair for Minnesota PRSA and National School Public Relations Association, and on the Universal Accreditation Board representing both NSPRA and PRSA (2006-2014).

With more than 20 years of experience leading public relations for public and private educational institutions, Janet is the director of public relations for the University of St. Thomas – Minnesota’s largest private, non-profit university. Prior to St. Thomas, she led an integrated marketing communications program for Minnetonka Public Schools, which helped reverse declining enrollment and yielded 38 percent enrollment growth over 15 years.

A strategic advisor to superintendents, principals and the school boards, she led Minnetonka’s strategic planning process for ten years, activated hundreds of volunteers and successfully led six school referendum campaigns across three districts and two states, earning national awards for internal communication, marketing and funding campaigns. Earlier in her career, she served in similar roles for Wayzata Public Schools and Franklin Public Schools (Wisc). She also served as an NSPRA volunteer in response to the Columbine tragedy in 1999.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Communication from Marquette University and a master's in Strategic Communication from the University of Minnesota.
 

Minnesota PRSA Names Holli Henderson Young Professional of the Year

Thursday, May 31, 2018

 

Starting as a student, Henderson continues to play a pivotal role in strengthening the organization’s relevance within the local PR community.

 

MINNEAPOLIS (May 30, 2018) – Minnesota PRSA has awarded Holli Henderson, a marketing communications manager at U.S. Bank, with its Young Professional of the Year Award.

The award celebrates the accomplishments of exceptional members of the chapter who have 
served three to seven years in the industry, post-graduation. Henderson received the award at Minnesota Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Classics on April 19.

 

Being recognized for one’s contributions to an organization is a tremendous honor,” Henderson said. “What is particularly special about the Young Professional Award is that it means that I’ve had the opportunity to work with the leaders of the Twin Cities PR community. As someone who is just a handful of years into my career, the connections I’ve made, both personally and professionally, with those who are leading agencies and the communications teams for Fortune 500 companies are invaluable.”

 

While completing her degree at the University of Minnesota, Henderson was involved with PRSSA - the student equivalent of the professional organization. Upon graduation, she elected to continue working within the Minnesota PRSA chapter while also beginning her career at Pineapple RM. While there, Rose McKinney, APR, PRSA Fellow, and 2016 Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award recipient, had a large influence on Henderson’s views on volunteering and developing a professional approach.

 

She is the one who first encouraged me to join PRSA and actually get involved in a committee,” Henderson said. “She is such a force in our community, and I am so fortunate to call her a mentor and friend.

 

Henderson has been a member of the programming committee since joining the chapter and eventually took on a leadership role as the committee’s co-chair. At the same time, Henderson was continuing to advance professionally by taking a job with Ameriprise Financial in 2013.

 


I have had the benefit of being a volunteer during an incredible series of board tenures,” Henderson said. “During the past five years, Minnesota PRSA leadership has put such thought and focus toward ensuring members and volunteers are gaining value from their involvement. From events with tangible, actionable takeaways, to a constant stream of thought leadership coming from the newsletter, blog, etc.; staying dedicated to this organization has been a no-brainer.”

Currently, Henderson is a marketing communications manager at U.S. Bank, serving as an advocate for the value a robust communications strategy can bring to an organization. She helps bring the expertise and thought leadership of her sales- and operations-oriented colleagues to the greater banking and finance industry, utilizing many of the service skills honed while working in an agency setting.

Henderson continues to contribute to Minnesota PRSA, serving as the chapter’s volunteer coordinator. She says she plans to continue to support both local, and national, tenets of the organization.
  

I’ve always tried to serve as an advocate for public relations in any of my professional roles—especially as they’ve strayed from traditional PR positions,” Henderson said. “Winning this award has certainly solidified the responsibility I feel to continue to do just that.”



Minnesota PRSA Honors Paul Maccabee with Donald G. Padilla Award

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Using 30 Years of PR Experience, Maccabee has Supported Causes that Focus on Community Improvement, Social Justice.

MINNEAPOLIS (May 16, 2018) – Paul Maccabee, president of his namesake PR firm based in Minneapolis, was awarded the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award as part of the Minnesota Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Classics on April 19. The peer-judged award, created in 1996, honors the late public relations pioneer Donald G. Padilla and recognizes an individual who has made selfless contributions to the public relations community and demonstrated exceptional professional achievement.

 

During his 30 years in the public relations industry, Maccabee has supported several organizations whose focus is to create a more inclusive and tolerant community. Supporting those who fight drug addiction, lymphedema, eye diseases, orthopedic conditions and eating disorders has been central to his public relations career, in addition to his being a champion for LGBT rights. 

“In our community, Paul is not only an icon but also a champion for our profession as well as those in-need,” said Eva Keiser, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA. “The enthusiasm and passion he exerts in every aspect of his life is infectious. He is truly an inspiration for those around him and for our extended community.” 

Before co-founding his Minneapolis agency in 1996, Maccabee began his career as PR director for the federal anti-poverty agency Community Action of New Haven. Since that time he has helped Carlson Companies publicize their efforts to fight global sex trafficking, dedicated time to helping the Padilla agency and Minnesotans Against Terrorism fight anti-Semitism, coordinated Hazelden campaigns against drug addiction, and helped organize opposition to Minnesota’s proposed same-sex marriage ban and staff cuts at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

 

With this background, one could feel that Maccabee was destined to win this award, one year. However, Maccabee accepted the award with great humility and understanding regarding the nature of the honor. He said his first reaction was ‘Surprise and Delight.’

 

“Especially because past Donald G. Padilla Award winners, such as the glorious Rose McKinney, Dave Mona and Doug Spong, have been friends, heroes and role models for me,” Maccabee said. “Throughout the Classics Banquet, speakers referred to our PRSA Minnesota ‘community’ - and it’s really true. My biggest mentors have been the men and women who run the PR agencies that compete with mine. I’ve been referred clients and employees by other PR agencies. Even when we ‘pitch’ against each other for a potential client, when the battle is over – we often gather together to solidify professional friendships. Winning the Padilla award? I accept it as a symbol of this entire community of Minnesota PR pros, who are so supportive of the growth of everyone involved in PRSA.”

With a rich professional and personal background in working to better the lives of others in the Twin Cities community and beyond, Maccabee said he has received mentorship from fellow PR professionals. Maccabee said he is aware of the important role in which these instances of advice, encouragement and motivation helped to frame his service-oriented mindset.

“Apart from my late parents, who loaned me the seed money to start the Maccabee PR agency in 1996, my guiding star and mentor has been Dave Mona, co-founder of Mona Meyer McGrath & Gavin (now Weber Shandwick- Minneapolis),” Maccabee said. “Dave’s compassion, integrity and empathy in what can be a very competitive business world continues to inspire me. I wear a figurative ‘What Would Dave Mona Do’ bracelet on my wrist, whenever I’m faced with an ethical issue for clients or my staff.”

As part of the award, $500 is donated by both Minnesota PRSA and Padilla to the charity of the recipient’s selection. Maccabee chose the organization Protect Minnesota. 

“With the mass shootings of students at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School in Parkland so fresh in our minds, it felt right to honor their courage with a donation to one of Minnesota’s brave non-profits fighting gun violence,” Maccabee said. “I love the fact that the techniques of public relations can be used for social justice. The ‘Parkland Generation’ of students have demonstrated how publicity for the public good, social media and public advocacy can be used to further the improvement of our society.”



Minnesota PRSA Honors Achievements in Local Communications During 2017

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Exponent PR Clinches Best of Show at 40th anniversary edition of Classics Awards, 45 other award-winners formally recognized 

 

MINNEAPOLIS (April 23, 2018) – Exponent PR took home Best in Show for its Wading into Uncharted Waters communications program, in conjunction with WinField United, as the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (Minnesota PRSA) held the 40th Annual Minnesota PRSA 2018 Classics Awards. The annual event held on April 19 at The Grand 1858 at Minneapolis Event Centers serves as a celebration of top communications efforts executed within the chapter territory, which includes Minnesota, the Dakotas and western Wisconsin.

 

"The Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards is a celebration of not only the exceptional work being done in our region but also vibrant communications community we have in Minnesota," said Minnesota PRSA President, Eva Keiser, APR.

 

In total, 46 awards were presented during the evening, honoring professional achievements from 2017. Awards included 37 awards highlighting strategic communication elements and communications programs, and four student awards. Holli Henderson (Young Professional Award), Paul Maccabee (Padilla Award), Jack Nachtigal (Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarship First Place) and Rachel Oehlke (Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarship Runner-up) were also recognized for their individual achievements.

 

2017 Best in Show Award

Exponent PR beat out 21 other program award winners en route to taking home the evening’s top prize. The Wading into Uncharted Waters campaign aims to educate stakeholders about the use of fresh water in agriculture and the long-range effects of not protecting this vital natural resource. Specifically, the message initiated a conversation regarding the responsible use of water in farming.

 

Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award

Minnesota PRSA recognized Paul Maccabee, of Maccabee Public Relations, as the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award recipient. The award is given to an outstanding individual who has made selfless contributions to the public relations industry and demonstrated exceptional professional achievement.

 

Young Professional of the Year Award

Holli Henderson, working for U.S. Bank, was recognized as the Minnesota PRSA Young Professional of the Year. This award is given to a rising star in the chapter who has contributed to their organization, industry and community.

 

Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarship

Jack Nachtigal, a student at the University of Minnesota, was the first-place finisher for the scholarship, netting him a $2,000 prize and complimentary PRSA membership. Rachel Oehlke, also a student at the University of Minnesota, was selected as the runner-up, earning a $1,000 prize and complimentary PRSA membership.

 

Student Awards

News/Feature Writing

A New Appreciation for the American Soldier

Leah Blom, Augustana University

 

PR Campaigns

Pole Vault Clinic PR Campaign

Maria Missurelli, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

  

Personal Branding/Portfolio

Eastern Europe: Cultural Trauma, Communications, and the Camera

Grace Fjellanger, Augustana University

 

Digital Projects

Augustana PRSSA ‘No Meth Ever’ Social Media Campaign

Augustana University PRSSA Chapter

 

Classics Awards Program Winners

Community Relations (Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

Bringing Minnesota’s Fire Community Together

Bellmont Partners

 

Community Relations (Agency/Organization with more than 25 Employees)

Stacy’s Helps Women Rise into Leadership Roles in Kitchens Across America

Carmichael Lynch Relate

 

Institutional Programs (Agency/Organization with more than 25 Employees)

Engaging Young Journalist to advance Health Equity

Padilla

 

Special Events/Observances (Less than Seven Days, Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

Getting “Up Close” with the 2017 Artability Art Show & Sale

Bellmont Partners

 

Special Events/Observances (Less than Seven Days, Agency/Organization with more than 25 Employees)

Sun Country Airlines Hometown Lakes Project

Carmichael Lynch Relate

 

Special Events/Observances (More than Seven Days)

Minnesota Wild Turns Pond Water into Hockey Gold

ICF Olson

 

Public Services

Engaging Young Journalist to Advance Health Equity

Padilla

 

Marketing Services (Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

Empowering Energy Education with Unified Branding & Messaging

Strother Communications Group

 

Marketing Services (Agency/Organization with more than 25 Employees)

The 40-Year Neighborhood Watch: Omega Property Management with Rocket55

Rocket55

 

Marketing Products (Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP Empowers Women with POP of POSITIVITY Tour

Kohnstamm Communications

 

Marketing Products (Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

Garden of Life Fuels Fitness Fanatics with #GOLSport Clean Nutrition

Carmichael Lynch Relate

 

Crisis/Issue Management

Medtronic Weather the Storm and Returns to Full Operations in Puerto Rico

Medtronic

 

Reputation/Brand Management

Everyday Life. Powered Locally.

Exponent PR

 

Internal Communications

Operation: Newsletter

Weber Shandwick

 

International/Multicultural Public Relations

Engaging Young Journalists to advance Health Equity

Padilla

 

Integrated Programs (B2B Products)          

Feeding the World – It Starts With an Acre

Exponent PR

 

Integrated Programs (B2B Services)

Living Acres: Preserving Monarch Butterflies

Padilla

 

Integrated Programs (Consumer Products)

Minnesota Wild Turns Pond Water into Hockey Gold

ICF Olson

 

Integrated Programs (Consumer Services)

Wading Into Uncharted Waters

Exponent PR

 

Integrated Programs (Government/Non-Profit)

Winning the Awareness Battle for Soldier Protection

Padilla

 

Integrated Programs (Healthcare)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota - Reverse It Prediabetes Awareness Campaign

Padilla

 

Integrated Programs (Technology)

Honeywell Goes Live to Drive Demand Worldwide

Weber Shandwick

 

Classics Awards Elements Awards

Special Purpose Publications

Minnesota State Viewbook

Neuger Communications Group

 

Multimedia

The Timberwolves Launch a #NewEra

Olson Engage

 

Annual Reports

The Future of Rural Communities Starts with You

Exponent PR

Influencer Outreach

Edwards Serves Piece on Pi(e) Day

Carmichael Lynch Relate

 

Newsletters

Operation: Newsletter

Weber Shandwick

 

Media Relations (Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

3M: Becoming the BSI thought leader

Inprela Communications

 

Media Relations (Agency/Organization with more than 25 Employees)

Garden of Life Fuels Fitness Fanatics with #GOLSport Clean Nutrition

Carmichael Lynch Relate

 

Feature, Speech and Public Relations Writing

Bringing Urgency to Trauma

Weber Shandwick

 

Digital Execution

Planting the Seed for Better Crop Health

Exponent PR

 

Brand Research and Insights

Trending Topics: Collegis Education Research

Beehive Strategic Communication

 

Social Content Series (Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

Creating Customers with IWCO Direct's Industry Leading Blog

Strother Communications Group

 

Social Content Series (Agency/Organization with more than 25 Employees)

The Timberwolves Launch a #NewEra

Olson Engage

 

Social Media Promotion (Agency/Organization with fewer than 25 Employees)

Creating Customers with IWCO Direct's Industry Leading Blog

Strother Communications Group

 

Social Media Promotion (Agency/Organization with more than 25 Employees)

Edwards Serves Piece on Pi(e) Day

Carmichael Lunch Relate

 

Creative PR Tactics

Edwards Serves Piece on Pi(e) Day

Carmichael Lunch Relate

 

Certificate in PR Sets Two Graduates Apart
Sunday, April 22, 2018

 

Jilliaen Fiebelkorn and Karen Johnson, both recent graduates of Metropolitan State University, recently earned their Certificates in Principles of Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Both women earned the honor in June 2017.

 

The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations was introduced by the Public Relations Society of America in 2014. The initiative encourages PRSSA members in their senior year – six months before or after graduation – to prove their public relations acumen through a computer-based examination. Students are tested on 13 KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities), in areas such as planning, implementation, evaluation, communications theories and ethics. The certificate gives graduates a leg up on the competition by proving their skillset and competency within the PR profession.

 

Fiebelkorn chose to pursue the certificate as a way to prove her commitment to the profession to potential employers.

 

“I think it is best to take advantage of every learning opportunity,” said Fiebelkorn. “This particular certificate, I hope, will show employers who is serious about working toward a successful career in public relations.”

 

Johnson was a returning student going after a new career path. Pursuing the certificate was a way for her to stand out and prove her knowledge.

 

“I wanted to make sure I took as much opportunity as I could to stand out and gain as much knowledge as possible. Once I passed that rigorous exam, I had more confidence in my knowledge of PR and it was exciting to add it to my resume,” said Johnson.

 

Fiebelkorn is a Minnesota native who relocated to the Seattle four months ago with her family. She attended Metropolitan State University where she focused on public relations. She has two sons, and enjoys travel, food and the outdoors.

 

Johnson graduated in December of 2016 from Metropolitan State University with a degree in Public Relations. She currently works in property management at Aeon, a nonprofit housing developer, in Minneapolis, MN. She plans to expand into a larger communications role within the company and the affordable housing industry.

 

Earning a Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is a four-step process. More information can be found on the PR Accreditation website. 


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