The Award Recognizes Rising Stars in the Communications Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2022) Today, Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR), the only professional society for female communicators in the greater capital area, named its 2022 class of Emerging Leaders Awards (ELAs). The four winners were selected from a diverse and impressive slate of 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. 

“Tonight’s event honoring our 2022 Emerging Leaders Awards recognized a diverse group of women who stand out both in their careers and in their contributions to the community,” said Jacqueline Wilson, WWPR President. “The event was made even more special as it marked WWPR’s first return to an in-person event of this scale since 2019. We are so proud to honor the achievements of this impressive group of women, and we look forward to watching many more accomplishments these ladies will no doubt achieve in the future.”

The 2022 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards Winners are:

Global & Large Agency: Ashley Lewis, Senior Vice President, Edelman

As a senior vice president on the Financial Communications leadership team at Edelman, Ashley Lewis acts as a mentor to junior staff members and supports Edelman’s pro bono efforts in addition to being a trusted counselor to a range of Edelman’s financial services clients. In 2019, Ashley was named “Top 40 Under 40” by Women in Housing and Finance, Inc. of Washington DC. She currently serves on the Young Patrons Board of Arena Stage Theater, the Ambassadors Board for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Joint Center’s Host Committee for The Eddie Williams Future of Black Communities Leadership Summit.

Mid-Sized Agency: Casey Dell’Isola, Account Director, REQ

As an account director at REQ, Casey Dell’Isola leverages today’s multifaceted world of digital communications to give her clients a creative edge in their industries and amplify their visions in the media landscape. She is a tireless media professional and leads her account teams with proactive media outreach, awards and speaking engagement pitching, and creative content. She approaches B2B and B2G client opportunities with ambition and brings enormous value to clients with the many strong relationships she has cultivated with reporters over the years, including the quarterly media roundtable series that she hosts. 

Small & Boutique Agency: Cailin Jason, Senior Account Supervisor, Hager Sharp

As a senior account supervisor at Hager Sharp, Cailin Jason supports the education, labor, and economy practice. In this role, she serves as the deputy project manager to their client, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a program administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. In this role, she leads qualitative research with various education stakeholders; strategic communications planning; and recruitment and outreach materials development. She also leads Hager Sharp’s Orientation Enhancement Team, which helps provide a comprehensive and welcoming orientation process for all new employees. 

Government & Non-Profit Organization: Charmaine Riley, Communications Director, A/B Partners

Charmaine Riley is a public relations professional and mentor with years of experience in civil rights, education, and advocating for historically marginalized communities. Most recently, she worked at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and its sister organization, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, where she managed media relations for issues such as education, media and technology, and economic justice. As of June 2022, Riley is continuing her work in the movement as communications director at A–B, a Black-led, Identity Powered Design agency transforming how power works and who it works for. 

A distinguished panel of judges selected the winners based on their record of excellence and accomplishments in their careers thus far, as well as their leadership qualities and ethical standards. The 2022 judges included:

Sukhi Sahni, Senior Vice President, Head of Brand, DEI, Technology and Innovation Communications at Wells Fargo

KayAnn P. Schoeneman, President at Curley Company 

Danielle Veira, Founder and CEO at Minerva’s Legacy Consulting Group, LLC and Senior Vice President of Communications, Marketing, and Membership at Advocates for Community Health (ACH)

Susan Waldman, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Meals on Wheels America

The ELA winners were announced at a special awards reception at LiUNA’s Rooftop in Black Lives Matter Plaza on Wednesday, June 22. Laila Mokhiber, Director of Communications for UNRWA USA, gave the keynote address. Attendees also heard from WWPR’s pro bono client, New Endeavours for Women (NEW). The complete list of 2022 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards finalists can be found here:


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 connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @WWPR  and on Instagram @WWPRDC.

Erika Dyer and Stephanie Wight
WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards Co-Chairs