PRSA Colorado Announces 2018 Special Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement, PR Person, Business Person, Rookie, Chapter Service, and PR Team of the Year announced

Special Award winners to be honored at PRSA Colorado’s annual Gold Pick Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 10

DENVER--()--The Colorado Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Colorado) announced the 2018 Gold Pick Special Award winners nominated by industry peers and awarded to outstanding professionals in the field of public relations. PRSA Colorado annually honors the achievements of individuals and organizations in public relations through recognition of best practices and high ethical standards among leaders and peers in the industry.

The Special Award winners, as well as Gold and Silver Pick award winners, will be recognized at the Gold Pick Awards ceremony scheduled for Thursday, May 10, at Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. Registration is open now at

We are pleased to recognize the following outstanding professionals and their achievements:

Swede Johnson Lifetime Achievement
Lisa Cutter, Cutter Communications

Lisa Cutter founded Cutter Communications in 1998. A 25-year PR veteran, she is well respected for her media, partnership and crisis expertise. Her programs have garnered local and national awards, including several Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Colorado Gold and Silver Picks, the organization’s small practice of the year award, and its highest honor – the Grand Gold Pick for a comprehensive PR campaign. In 2010, the Denver Business Journal recognized Lisa as the city’s Outstanding Woman in Business in the communications industry. Lisa believes in investing her time and talent in the things that make her community and profession stronger. Working to position PRSA Colorado as an advocate for strategic and ethical communications, she spearheaded partnerships with The Denver Press Club, KMGH TV and The Denver Post to hold issues forums during the 2016 elections, Visit Denver to provide PR support for the 2008 Democratic Convention and University of Denver to provide PR support for the 2012 Presidential Debates.

Public Relations Person of the Year
Jessica Berry, University of Colorado Hospital

Jessica Berry is a spokesperson for UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. She places well over 100 positive local and national stories a year for UCHealth, in addition to responding to the frequent requests for experts and handling crisis communications. She brings a rich mixture of military and journalism experience to the position. After graduating from the University of Colorado in 2000 with a degree in Communications, she traveled the country working in television news for stations in Texas, Montana, Alabama and Georgia.

Business Person of the Year
Cindy Mackin, City of Loveland

Cindy has been in marketing and destination development for over 22 years, with a start in marketing of destination events at outlet malls all over Colorado. Creating excitement in everything she did led to her earning many SASI awards within the industry. Learning from the best teachers, Gary Light and Peggy Ziglin, she took this “creative marketing” training that she received and started a career of Destination Marketing Management for the City of Loveland.

Joe Fuentes Rookie of the Year
Rookie of the Year: Kayla Roofe, RE/MAX

She may be small, but she is mighty. With national and local communications and marketing experience, Kayla Roofe has planned and executed winning campaigns for some of Colorado’s heavy-hitters, including JKD & Company, Fyn Public Relations and RE/MAX World Headquarters. Kayla started her career with PRSA as a student at Colorado State University when she joined the student PRSSA chapter where she eventually helped restart the RAM PR Agency and lead the chapter as Vice President in her senior year. Through a variety of PR and social media internships, such as JKD & Company, Colorado Avalanche and Hach Company, Kayla developed her skills as a young professional in the work field early-on. Kayla serves as Vice Chair for PRSA Colorado’s Communications Committee.

Chapter Service
Megan Ryan, CoBiz Financial

Megan Ryan has lived in Denver since 2013. She is originally from Kansas and moved to Colorado from New Mexico. She graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Public Relations and Hotel Restaurant Management in 2002 – go wildcats! Building communities and connecting people are passions for Megan. Megan has always been a passionate community volunteer from mentoring youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters to granting wishes for sick children through Make A Wish Foundation to organizing employee volunteer projects. She supports the CoBiz Cares Employee Foundation and is a member of the organizing committee for the semiannual Biz Bash, a concert fundraiser produced by CoBiz Financial. Megan chairs PRSA Colorado’s Membership Recruitment Committee and helps run the organization’s Employee Communications Group.

Public Relations Team of the Year
March on Colorado

On January 21, 2017, the Women’s March on Colorado brought more than 150,000 people together in the streets of downtown Denver to march in solidarity for social justice, human rights and equality for women and all marginalized people across the U.S. The inaugural Women’s March on Colorado was a spontaneous, grassroots effort motivated by the national Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and sister marches around the country. The March demonstrated the power of our combined voices and galvanized many to run for public office and many others to stay engaged in the political process to make change. Following the 2017 March, March on Colorado (MOC) leaders found themselves in a unique position. People were looking for leadership on how to get involved in the political process, and to March on Colorado specifically, for ways to move forward following the inaugural March. As MOC leaders came together to decide what the future of the group would look like, they knew that public relations would still need to be a key component of the movement going forward. Lisa Cutter, owner of Cutter Communications in Denver, led public relations for the 2017 March and spearheaded the effort to bring a larger PR team together to keep the momentum going. She assembled a team of local PR professionals who expressed interest in volunteering their time to the organization and its mission. Over the next few months that team took shape to include three other PR professionals, Cara Crifasi, Liz Miller and Stacey Sepp.

Past Special Award winners include:

Swede Johnson Lifetime Achievement

Amy Johnson, Amy Johnson Public Relations (2017)
Dan Hopkins, Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (2016)
Pete Webb, Webb Communications (2015)
Sharon Linhart, APR, Linhart PR (2013)

Public Relations Person of the Year

Catherine B. Lucas, APR, Metropolitan State University of Denver (2017)
Jordan Blakesley, B Public Relations (2016)
Michelle Ellis, Orapin Marketing + Public Relations (2015)
Molly Keveney, The WhiteWave Foods Company (2014)
Chris Arnold, Chipotle (2013)

Business Person of the Year

Tami Door, Downtown Denver Partnership (2017)
Nicolle Davies, Arapahoe Libraries (2016)
Meg VanderLaan, MWH Global (2015)

Joe Fuentes Rookie of the Year

Catie Mayer, B Public Relations (2017)
Taylor Prather, Eagle County Government (2016)
Amber DiGiallonardo, Linhart Public Relations (2015)
Kersten Baldwin, City of Centennial (2014)
Matthew Rodriguez, MGA Communications (2013)

Mentor of the Year

Kimberly Stern, Colorado State University (2017)
Nicole Yost, Fyn Public Relations (2016)
Kristin Yantis, Malen Yantis PR (2015)
Amy Johnson, Amy Johnson Public Relations (2014)
Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, JKD & Company (2013)

Chapter Service

Michelle Ellis, Ellis Communications (2017)
Elizabeth Jumel, APR, Jumel Public Relations (2016)
Margaret Fogarty, Farm Credit (2015)
Lisa Newkirk, DCP Midstream (2014)
Meredith Bagnulo, APR, Bagnulo Communications (2013)

Public Relations Team of the Year

Ball Corporation Communications Team (2017)
Colorado State University's External Relations Team (2016)
Denver Union Station – Sage Hospitality, Dunn Communications, Larimer Associates, Dovetail Solutions and Aiello Public Relations (2015)
CDOT – Colorado Department of Transportation (2014)
2012 PRSA Western District 2012 Conference Committee (2013)

About PRSA Colorado

The Public Relations Society of America ( is the nation’s largest association for the professional practice of public relations. The Colorado Chapter (, headquartered in Westminster, is consistently one of the largest chapters in the country. The chapter provides timely and profession-specific educational programs, information and networking opportunities to all of its members, which include professionals at all levels working at corporations, local and national public relations agencies government offices, universities, nonprofits and independent PR practitioners.


PRSA Colorado
Jennifer Shermer, 303-902-9419



PRSA Colorado
Jennifer Shermer, 303-902-9419