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Minnesota PRSA Honors Jim Lukaszewski with Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award

Friday, April 4, 2014   (0 Comments)
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The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) recognized Jim Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, with the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner award at the 36th annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards banquet. Created in 1996 to honor the late public relations pioneer Donald G. Padilla, the award salutes an individual who is judged to have made selfless contributions to the Public Relations community and who has demonstrated exceptional professional achievement.


“Easily half of my career has been devoted to sharing what I am learning with my colleagues, educational institutions and the leaders whose careers are almost always at stake. Recognition for this by my hometown peers is especially gratifying,” Lukaszewski said.


For 40 years, Lukaszewski, who has taught, lectured or consulted in all 50 states and much of Canada and South America has advised, coached, and counseled the men and women who run significant corporations and organizations through extraordinary problems and critical high-profile circumstances. He is considered one of America’s foremost crisis communication experts; Lukaszewski is a counselor, educator, best-selling author and ambassador for the public relations industry. He currently is president of the Lukaszewski Group Division of Risdall Marketing.


“Being next door to Jim in the office is like having an advanced course in Public Relations and Leadership Communications nearly every day,” said Joel Swanson, APR, president of Risdall Public Relations, who presented Lukaszewski with the award at the banquet. “He is more than an educator and a counselor; he exemplifies everything our profession does to enhance our communities. It's an honor to give the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award to such a deserving individual.”


Since 1979, Lukaszewski has published 12 books, including his 2008 release Why Should the Boss Listen to You, currently being incorporated into leadership training for U.S. naval officers. His latest book, published in 2013, Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication, What Your CEO Needs to know about Reputation Risk and Crisis Management, is also a MOOC, a globally available free mass open, on-line academic  course involving thirteen hours  of televised lecture. He travels the country to speak with various chapters of the PRSA and other professional organizations. He teaches and lectures frequently at universities recently including New York University, Columbia, Penn State, and the University of Minnesota. His writings and teachings are routinely used as course material for college crisis communication courses around the world. Content from more than 200 of his webinars and the content of his lectures and speeches are available on his website


Lukaszewski also shares his knowledge through pro-bono consulting to the Boy Scouts of America Northern Star Council, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the military services, universities and colleges all across America. He also served as a civilian advisor to the United States Marine Corps from 1988 to 2009. His writings and teaching are used extensively by all military services through the Defense Information School DINFOS at Fort Meade, Maryland.


Actively involved in the communication industry, Lukaszewski serves as an ethics thought leader.  He has spent more than 20 years on the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS), 10 of those as co-chair. Over his career, Lukaszewski has received recognition for his volunteer work and his contribution to the advancement of the profession. Major awards include PR News Lifetime Achievement Award (2005), being named one of Trust Across America’s “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” (2013, 2014), The Pat Jackson Award for service to PRSA,  Rowan University Public Relations Hall of Fame and various Who’s Who volumes (30 times since 1989). His biography was added to Wikipedia in 2013.


A Minnesota native, Lukaszewski launched his public relations career after serving as an adult intern through Metropolitan State University in the press office of former Governor Wendell R. Anderson in 1974. That year, he first met and worked with Donald Padilla, working on the Midwestern Governor’s Conference in Minneapolis. Upon graduation, Lukaszewski was hired as an Assistant Press Secretary in the Governor’s office. Two years later, he was named Director of Publicity and Publications and later Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Economic Development.  


Prior to founding the New York-based Lukaszewski Group Inc. in 1989 he was senior vice president and director of Executive Communication Programs for Georgeson & Company and a partner with Chester Burger Company, both in New York City. He returned to Minnesota in 2011 joining Risdall Marketing as president of its Lukaszewski Group Division. 

Minnesota PRSA 1660 Highway 100 South, Suite 500-309 Minneapolis MN 55416 Phone: 952-237-9258 Email:

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