Renowned Public Relations Executive Patrice Tanaka Keynotes 25th Annual Awards Ceremony

WWPR Woman of the Year Laura Monica

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 17, 2014) – Laura Monica, Vice President for Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI), was named the Washington Women in Public Relations’ (WWPR) 2014 Washington PR Woman of the Year yesterday in a ceremony honoring top public relations executives and celebrating women in communications.

Monica was one of three public relations professionals chosen as an honoree for the 25th annual award. The other honorees were Susan Matthews Apgood, President and Co-Founder, News Generation and Lauren Lawson-Zilai, Director of Public Relations and National Spokesperson, Goodwill Industries International. The three honorees are true representatives of the best public relations talent in the Washington area.

“This honor is a reflection of an exceptionally talented team of communications professionals working with me plus the tireless work and major investments PHI has dedicated to improving reliability and customer satisfaction,” Monica said. “I’m especially pleased to be acknowledged by WWPR knowing the important mentoring they provide young professionals and their dedication to helping women in our communities.”

WWPR, a professional society advancing women communicators in metropolitan Washington, established the Woman of the Year Award in 1990 to honor the most talented women in the public relations profession. This year’s luncheon was held at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., and featured keynote speaker Patrice Tanaka, Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist, Padilla CRT. Reflecting on the day, Patrice said, “Thank you WWPR for inviting me to participate in your 25th Annual ‘Washington PR Woman of the Year’ Award Luncheon.  I was delighted to share the stage with your three honorees – Susan Matthews Apgood, Laura Monica and Lauren Lawson-Zilai! – Who have accomplished so much because of their purpose-driven approach to business and life.  Congratulations to them and to WWPR for staging such a beautiful event to celebrate the best women leaders in our profession.”

“Laura Monica embodies all the exceptional characteristics of a WWPR Washington PR Woman of the Year,” said WWPR President Lauren Smith Dyer. “WWPR is so pleased to honor Laura, and recognize the impressive accomplishments of Lauren Lawson-Zilai and Susan Matthews Apgood, especially on the 25th anniversary of this prestigious industry award.”

Proceeds from the raffle benefit FLOW (Financial Literacy Organization for Women and Girls), a charitable organization committed to empowering young women and girls, with the knowledge and skills necessary to make good economic decisions in an increasingly complex U.S. and global financial system.

Special thanks goes to event table sponsors, raffle contributors and in-kind donors for their generous support of the event.

About the Washington PR Women of the Year Selection Process

Each year, candidates are nominated through an open application process.  The applications are then reviewed and evaluated based on standard criteria, which include: accomplishments in the public relations field; contributions to the community; and industry leadership.  The final selection is made by a panel of esteemed communications professionals based in the Washington, D.C. area. The judging panel included WWPR President Lauren Smith Dyer; WWPR Vice President Avelyn Austin; Shana Glickfield, Beekeeper Group; Ann Davison, Burson-Marsteller; Anne Woodbury, TogoRun; Heather Rosekner; and WWPR’s co-Past Presidents, Tina McCormack Beaty and Kendra Kojcisch.

About Washington Women in Public Relations

Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) is a vital resource for communications professionals in metropolitan Washington, D.C. With a thriving membership base and a slate of highly anticipated annual events, WWPR is committed to delivering outstanding professional development, networking, and marketplace positioning and leadership opportunities to area communicators. Find out more at, “Like” us on, join our group on LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter @WWPR.