ELAs Recognizes Rising Stars in the Communications Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 19, 2019) Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR), the oldest professional society for female communicators in the greater capital area, named the 2019 Emerging Leaders Awards (ELAs) honorees Tuesday. The 10th annual ELAs honored rising stars, ages 25-35, who have excelled in public relations and related fields, and given back to the industry by contributing their skills and talents to innovative initiatives and projects. Six winners from different sectors within the communications field were announced at the ceremony to recognize the diverse group of up-and-coming communications professionals.

“The 2019 Emerging Leaders Awards honorees are a diverse group of women who all stand out for their impressive talents, record of achievement and commitment to their communities,” said Amanda Cate, WWPR President. “As change-makers and leaders, these women are a fitting tribute to celebrate the event’s 10th year anniversary. WWPR is proud to recognize their excellence and congratulates all the finalists for their accomplishments.”   

The 2019 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards Honorees are:

Small/Boutique Agency: Thy-Ann Nguyen, CURA Strategies

Thy-Ann Nguyen is the Managing Director and Senior Vice President at CURA Strategies, an integrated strategic communications agency focused exclusively on health and wellness, where she is responsible for managing company operations and leading multiple client accounts at any given time. Thy-Ann has over eight years of experience planning and implementing successful strategic communications programs for clients across the health care spectrum—from large global medical device and pharmaceutical corporations to associations and small non-profits.

Mid-Sized Agency: Jennifer Heilman, Stratacomm

Jennifer Heilman is a vice president at Stratacomm. In her role, Jennifer provides integrated marketing and communication strategy and program management to the firm’s growing roster of government, association and corporate clients within the transportation, energy and environment, and infrastructure sectors.

Global & Large Agency: Jackeline Stewart, Edelman

Jackeline Stewart is a senior brand storyteller at Edelman with experience in creating and disseminating transformative narratives to help organizations advance multicultural engagement. She has invaluable experience working with foundations, national nonprofits, corporations, and thought leaders to develop and execute dynamic strategies that not only reach but engage and activate diverse audiences to create change.

Government: Courtney Cochran, Deputy Chief of Staff for Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman

Courtney Cochran serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), where she manages all forms of communications and outreach and supports the legislative and policy agenda for one Congress’s most progressive members.

Non-Profit: Jackie Marks, Marine Stewardship Council

Jackie Marks is a jack-of-all-trades non-profit communications professional who has dedicated her career to messaging important sustainability, conservation, and natural resources issues. She leads US, Caribbean and Latin America public relations and communications efforts for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international non-profit focused on making sure seafood is available for generations to come.

In-House: Laura Ransone, Interel US- Women in Government Relations

Laura currently serves Women in Government Relations (WGR) as Associate Director. Through the creation and delivery of innovative engagement initiatives in education, leadership and networking opportunities Laura works to further the organization’s mission, to advance and empower women in the field of government relations.

A distinguished panel of judges selected the honorees based on their record of excellence and accomplishments in their careers thus far, as well as their leadership qualities and ethical standards. The 2019 judges included:

Jennifer Curley, President and CEO, Curley Company

Carrie Fox, Founder and CEO, Mission Partners

Danielle Hagen, Senior Vice President, Communications, Nahigian Strategies

Lauren Lawson-Zilai, Senior Director of Public Relations, Goodwill

Dani Veira, Director of Communications and Engagement, A Better Chicago

The ELA winners were announced at a cocktail reception on Tuesday, June 18. Kathy Baird, Managing Director at Ogilvy gave the keynote address. The complete list of 2019 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards finalists can be found here: https://wwpr.org/2019-ela-finalists/





Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) is a member-based professional society cultivating and inspiring female communicators to reach their full potential in the DC market and beyond. The organization is committed to providing leadership opportunities, professional development, mentorship, and industry networking. Visit us at wwpr.org connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @WWPR  and on Instagram @WWPRDC.

Elynsey Price
WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards Co-Chair