Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) honored six talented finalists for their achievement and leadership in communications at the 2nd Annual Emerging Leaders Awards on July 26. “The finalists are clearly all on their way to their way to hall of fame status, and all by the age of 35,” commented emcee Debra Silimeo, Senior Vice President at Hager Sharp and the 2010 Washington PR Woman of the Year.

Guest speaker Jennifer Donelan, reporter, ABC7/WJLA, asked who in the audience was a former reporter or a “cross-over.” She commented that all reporters will be cross-overs eventually, and joked that she might be handing-out résumés, later. Donelan went on to compare the reporter-PR professional relationship to dating. She admitted to sometimes treating a PR person like a one-night stand. She’ll call asking for an interview within an hour, and then never call again. Other times, it’s like an arranged marriage, and she can tell the PR person doesn’t want to be calling her. But Donelan says that most of the time in Washington, DC, it is a perfect marriage. The PR pros know not to have a press conference at 4 p.m., they understand things like the need to actually provide photos for television, and in general really know what they’re doing.

2010 Emerging Leaders Awards honoree Stefanie Pidgeon offered her congratulations to all the finalists, which included: Veronica Brown, Vice President, Gibraltar Associates; Jennifer Mastin Giglio, Vice President, Specialized Communications, Ogilvy Washington; Katie Lilley, Partner, Hillenby; Amanda Miller Littlejohn, CEO, MopWater PR; Judy Lubin, President, Public Square Communications; and Tara Silver, Managing Director, SilverStrategy.
WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards

From left to right: ELA winners Tara Chantal Silver, Jennifer Mastin Giglio, WWPR President Kendra Kojcsich, ELA finalists Katie Lilley, Veronica Brown and Amanda Littlejohn, 2010 WOY Debra Silimeo and 2010 ELA honoree Stefanie Pidgeon

Silimeo and Pidgeon announced the 2011 Emerging Leaders Awards winners:  Jennifer Mastin Giglio, Judy Lubin and Tara Silver. Mastin Giglio said she felt obligated to “pay it forward” and mentor other young women. Lubin is currently studying at Stanford’s Institute in Political Psychology, so her friend Tori Whitney accepted on her behalf. Whitney expressed Lubin’s sincere thanks and regret she could not attend the event. Silver felt grateful for WWPR’s appreciation of entrepreneurship. She wants to find ways to encourage women to own businesses.

Special thanks were given to the judges Carrie Fox, Kendra Kojcsich, Jennifer Laudano, Lauren Lawson-Zilai and Adam Shapiro and Emerging Leaders Chair Margie Newman. The successful event could not have happened without the support of Gold Partners, Central Michigan University, Gibraltar Associates, Boss Ladies Mean Business, Strauss Radio Strategies and Vocus; Event Sponsors, Cobert Communications Group, Hager Sharp, The National Press Club, Ogilvy Washington, and C.Fox Communications; and Event Contributors, ABC7 and Sprinkles. ABC7/WJLA covered the event, and gave us permission to show you the story here.

WWPR Intern Networking Event As a Precursor to the 2011 Emerging Leaders Awards

A WWPR  intern committee put together an intern-centric networking event before the official Emerging Leaders Awards reception at the Cantina Pub located below the Darling House in Dupont Circle.  The event had a wonderful turnout from interns, who work at variety of different communications organizations including Ogilvy Public Relations, Amnesty International, SilverStrategy and others. 

The interns received extended drinks specials, courtesy of the Cantina Pub, and chatted about life as an intern in DC, what they’ve learned from working in the ‘real world’, and what their goals were for the future.  Attendees were able to sign up for a raffle which offered free tickets (courtesy of WWPR’s wonderful Gold Partner Central Michigan University) to attend the ELA Awards later in the evening.  Four interns won the prizes to attend the awards event and watched as powerful and inspiring women in public relations took the stage and accepted the awards- all while networking with leaders in the field,  and enjoying bruschetta and cupcakes.

Do you have a favorite memory from WWPR’s Emerging Leaders Awards event? Do you have any suggestions for next year’s event?