NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America hosted its 32nd annual Big Apple Awards Gala on Monday to recognize and honor the communications industry’s leading professionals and the exceptional work they do.
The sold-out crowd of more than 325 professionals from agencies, in-house teams, and nonprofits, as well as independent practitioners, enjoyed the dramatic backdrop of Central Park from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. A key part of the evening was a keynote address by well-known entertainment publicist Yvette Noel-Schure, who spoke positively about the ability of the public relations profession to shape a broader narrative on diversity and inclusion.
Said Leslie Gottlieb, PRSA-NY President: “Our Big Apple Awards program shines a spotlight on the leading practices in our profession, which are set by the combination of passion for the profession, a commitment to ethical conduct, a confidence in our work, and ultimately, the creation of value for clients and colleagues. We are pleased to honor so many campaigns and individuals who have worked hard to set those leading practices.”
Beyond the extensive list of recipients of the 2019 Big Apple Awards, the Chapter’s awards program for campaign work, PRSA-NY announced the winners of three other awards programs: its Exceptionals Under 35 Awards, which recognizes younger practitioners; its Leadership in Diversity Award, which identifies groundbreaking diversity and inclusion efforts; and its Individual Chapter Awards, which acknowledges prominent industry professionals for their achievements, mentoring, and service to the Chapter, respectively.
Twenty-three professionals 35 years of age or younger were named to the Exceptionals Under 35 listing, which this year had a record number of nominees. Finn Partners and Weber Shandwick won the 2019 Big Apple Leadership in Diversity Award.
Andy Polansky, CEO of Weber Shandwick, won the John W. Hill Award; Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA, President + Founder of Germinder + Associates, won the Makovsky Award for Mentorship; and Henry Feintuch, President of Feintuch Communications, received the 2019 PRSA-NY President’s Award.
“The Big Apple Awards represent the Chapter’s annual event, showcasing the best in the PR industry. It was an evening of celebration, recognizing our profession’s brightest leaders, where we honored excellence, innovation, and diversity. The Big Apple committee worked tirelessly for over six months and executed a truly successful and inspiring event for all in attendance, setting the bar high for years to come. Everyone in the room represented the top of our field in the media capital of the world. It was an honor to lead the charge and be part of a memorable night of huge accomplishments and wins,” said Kellie Jelencovich, PRSA-NY President-Elect and Chair of the 2019 Big Apple Awards Gala.
The Chapter wishes to recognize the many people and companies that dedicated either time or money to the 2019 Big Apple Awards. The evening’s entertainment was provided by award-winning vocalist, Lauren Jelencovich, an accomplished singer who is currently touring with Yanni in the U.S. and abroad, and Matthew Whitaker, a 17-year-old, award-winning jazz pianist who is touring internationally. The special guest presenters were Rachel Strauss-Muniz and Jamie Fernandez, hosts of the award-winning podcast Latinos Out Loud. D S Simon Media provided video and production support. Other sponsors are listed below.
“Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Big Apple Awards. The fierce level of competition for our awards is evidence that the state of our profession is strong,” Gottlieb said.
2019 Big Apple Awards Sponsors
● 15 Under 35 Table Sponsor: HUNTER
● Gold Sponsors: Cision, D S Simon Media, GCI Health
● Silver Sponsors: Business Wire, Butler Associates, Edelman
● Bronze Sponsors: Sharp Communications, Stanton
● Benefactor Sponsors: 360PR+, Berk Communications, MWWPR, YouGov
● PRSSA Champions: Germinder + Associates, Heath Unlimited, Y&R PR
● PRSA-NY Ambassadors: William Doescher, Lea-Ann Germinder, Art Stevens
● John W. Hill Award Sponsor: Hill + Knowlton Strategies
● Makovsky Excellence in Mentoring Award Sponsor: Makovsky + Company, Inc.
● Best Use of Research Award Sponsor: Institute For Public Relations
● In-Kind Sponsors: Ketchum; Anchin, Block, and Anchin; Remy Goza; PIMS; Yamaha; Lyft; New Era
About the Big Apple Awards and PRSA-NY
PRSA-NY established the Big Apple Awards in 1987 to celebrate excellence in public relations. Widely regarded as one of the industry’s most prestigious accolades, the Big Apple Awards honor innovative and strategic PR campaigns and projects.
The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of the oldest, largest, and most prominent public relations Chapters in the country. Located in the media capital of the world, it offers top-level professional development, networking, mentoring, and awards. PRSA-NY serves communications professionals in agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government, as well as independent practitioners.