Woman of the Year recognizes the leading women who have been visionaries in our field paving the way for the future of our profession

WASHINGTON, D.C.   Today, Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) named Susan Waldman, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Meals on Wheels America, the 2021 Woman of the Year. Established in 1990, this award program recognizes individuals who have raised the bar in the communications field and paved the way for the future of the profession.

Throughout her communications career, Waldman has been at the center of transformational decision making on behalf of her consulting clients and in her client-side roles. She has led strategic communications planning, branding, advertising, marketing and public relations initiatives for organizations like Discovery, Disney, Verizon, Northwest Airlines, NASA, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

In her current role, Waldman has driven national campaigns that forged significant increases in brand attributes and awareness; turned a federal budget threat into one of the largest budget increases ever awarded; recruited nearly 250,000 new volunteers and supporters; and most recently, raised unprecedented emergency relief funding in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. 

“We are thrilled to honor Susan for her dynamic and strong leadership, professionally and personally, amidst the challenging past year.” said Christina Francisco, WWPR President. “WWPR is proud to recognize the achievements of Susan and the other finalists and we look forward to what they will achieve in the future.”

Brenda Foster, Senior Vice President of Vanguard Communications, and Carrie Fox, Founder and CEO of Mission Partners, Benefit LLC, were also honored as 2021 Woman of the Year finalists.

A distinguished panel of judges selected the winner based on her record of excellence and accomplishments in her careers thus far, as well leadership qualities and ethical standards. The 2021 judges included Lauren Lawson-Zilai, Pattie Yu, Jennifer Curley and Stephenie Fu.

The Woman of the Year winner was announced at a virtual awards reception today, Thursday, November 18. Shantel Goodman-Luckett, Chief Experience Officer for the National Association for College Admission Counseling, gave the inspiring keynote address.



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.