2017 Special Award Winners

    2017 Special Award Winners

    2017 Swede Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award

    Amy Johnson | Constructive Public Relations

    Orginally a history major, she came into PR in a roundabout way and in that process found her calling to give life to concrete, construction products and processes. In her solo practice, Constructive Public Relations, Amy enjoys bringing the creative, cutting edge ideas she learns at PRSA back to her industrial and construction clients. She credits her 20-plus-years as a PRSA member, volunteer, board member and Chapter President with giving her a broad knowledge base, great leadership growth and experience, and a network of valued colleagues and friends. She is currently using all of these in her role as chair of the PRSA National Task Force on Awards.

    Amy's experience, plus her ability to assess, collaborate and seek answers has made her a respected leader in Colorado's public relations community. She brought focus and consistency to PRSA Colorado as its leader in 2008. Through her leadership, the chapter developed and executed a solid programming schedule and achieved financial stability. She engaged senior leaders in new ways and mentored new pros into some of their first leadership roles. Amy has a way of building confidence and buy-in through her collaborative leadership style whether solving a pressing issue or generating ideas for special projects. She can quickly distill a problem and identify next steps to move processes forward. This is as true of her leadership in PRSA as it is with her clients.

    Most of us hope to achieve a level of expertise and be of value to others in our chosen career field. Amy has done so; quietly rising to the role of valued strategic advisor and mentor to her peers, her mentees and to the profession. She unquestionably exemplifies the qualities that honor Swede Johnson's career through her own high standards and excellence, and also by virtue of the values she has instilled in others.

    2017 Public Relations Person of the Year

    Cathy Lucas, APR | Metropolitan State University of Denver

    Cathy has earned her reputation for leading branding campaigns; planning strategic communications programs; inspiring leadership growth; successfully guiding through transition; cultivating communities, students amd higher education; and embracing change. Her commitment to the community, her peers, future professionals, as well as her passion for communications, higher education, media and others, drive her high standards for the PR industry. Over the years, she has been recognized and awarded by her industry peers for her involvement and commitment to contributing, teaching and mentoring others in communications. Cathy has been the recipient of the Association for Women in Communications' Women of Achievement Award, the Colorado Women Leadership Coalition's Woman Leader of Excellence Award, as well as the Denver Business Journal's 40 under 40 Award. In 2012, she received MSU Denver's distinguished Service Award.

    A strong commitment to civic engagement, Cathy is involved with numerous nonprofits. She has served as a member of the Foundation Board for the Denver Public Library and is also involved with Escuela Tlatelolco and The Women's Bean project. She is a member of the Public Affairs Council for the Denver Metro Chamber, and is a graduate of the Chamber's Leadership Denver Program.

    Cathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where she majored in journalism and is an Accredited Public Relations professional.

    2017 Business Person of the Year

    Tami Door | Downtown Denver Partnership

    Under Tami's leadership, numerous place-based economic development programs have been successfully implemented, including growing Downtown's culture of innovation and entrepreneurship by co-founding both Denver Startup Week, the largest free entrepreneurial event of its kind in North America, and The Commons on Champa, a first-of-its-kind public campus for entrepreneurship. With sights set firmly on establishing Downtown Denver as the best place to live, work and visit, notable accomplishments also include creating 14th Street as Downtown's Ambassador Street, the development and launch of a comprehensive Downtown Security Action Plan, and significant development and business relocation's and expansions that has led to exceptional growth in the number of Downtown workers and residents.

    The scope of Tami's role at the Partnership also includes the management of the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, 14th Street General Improvement District, Denver Theatre District, and Downtown Denver Events, Colorado's largest producer of public events including the 9News Parade of Lights and A Taste of Colorado.

    Tami also serves as vice chair of the Auaria Higher Education Center Board of Directors, treasurer of the Urban Leadership Foundation, co-chair of the Denver Commission to End Homelessness, and is a Board member of VISIT Denver, the Denver Theatre District and a member of the Young President's Organization. She has been recognized in the Denver Business Journal's PowerBook and selected as the 9News Leader of the Year.

    2017 Joe Fuentes Rookie of the Year

    Catie Mayer | B Public Relations

    A Colorado native with a strong public relations and editorial background, Catie Mayer has a passion for blending strategy with creativity, and her results- and detail-oriented nature has led to strong media relationships, and repeated client exposure.

    Catie is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, with a B.S. in Journalism and an emphasis in Public Relations and Communication. Before joining the B Public Relations team, Catie worked for Blake Communications, assisting with public relations efforts for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. She also worked as Communications Coordinator for BOCO Fit, a Lagree Fitness studio in Boulder. Her work included media and client relations, event planning and social media management.

    She has secured placements in numerous national, regional and local media outlets, including Redbook, Men's Journal, Fitness Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Food Republic, The Daily Meal, Wine Enthusiast, the Dallas Morning News, 5280 and many more.

    Catie is a go-getter and has demonstrated leadership skills beyond her years at work and in her active involvement at PRSA Colorado. She led the Gold Pick Awards communications sub-committee in 2016 and this year serves as the Gold Pick Awards committee chair, overseeing all components of the chapter's annual awards program. Her enthusiasm for exploring Denver and its surrounding areas is unfaltering, and she is an avid traveler.

    2017 Mentor of the Year

    Kimberly Stern | Colorado State University

    With more than 10 years of experience in digital communications and stragey, Kimberly Stern leads Colorado State University's (CSU) award-winning Social and Digital Media team which is responsible for the campus-wide strategic direction and management of CSU's institutional social accounts - everything from Facebook to Snapchat. She loves the challenge of blending the art and science of creating dynamic digital content. Under Kimberly's leadership, CSU's social media presence has blossomed into an internationally recognized powerhouse.

    In the spring of 2017, the CSU Social and Digital Media team was named a Shorty Awards finalist (honoring the best in social media) and in 2015, her team won a Webby Award (aka "Oscars of the Internet") for its work with Dr. Temple Grandin on Reddit. In 2016, HubSpot named CSU's Instagram account the No. 1 College Instagram in the world, and Rival IQ ranked the CSU's Facebook page the No. 2 most engaging college Facebook page. Additionally, Kimberly was recognized as an outstanding young leader and named BizWest's 2015 40 Under Forty.

    Kimberly has been involved with PRSA since she was a college student at CSU where she earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Technical Communications and an MBA. She was involved with PRSSA all four years of her undergraduate career at CSU and served as chapter president. It was at that point her roots with PRSA were planted. For the past 10 years, Kimberly has served on PRSA Colorado's Student Outreach Committee and co-chaired the chapter's annual Shadow Day where college student's from across the state spend a day with a PR professional. As a college student herself she participated in PRSA Colorado's Shadow Day. That experience left a positive impression on her and instilled the value of PR pros donating their time to help train the next generation of practitioners. During the past decade, Kimberly has helped pair hundreds of students with PRSA Colorado chapter members for Shadow Day and it remains one of her passion projects. Kimberly had the opportunity to serve on the 2016 national PRSA Strategic Planning Committee that helped craft the framework for the future of PRSA.

    Aside from the job that she adores and her work with PRSA, Kimberly enjoys traveling the world with her husband and is excited to bring her new son with them on theri next adventure.

    2017 Chapter Service Award

    Michelle Ellis | Ellis Communications Marketing

    Michelle Ellis is the principal at Ellis Communications Marketing and a veteran communications professional with more than 18 years of experience in local, regional and national public relations programs, marketing communications, social media campaigns, strategic partnerships, and event promotion, as well as broadcast journalism.

    Michelle is a skilled communicator and brand journalist constantly seeking client stories to share and ways to elevate brands by connecting them with their audiences and influencers. She has worked with a variety of clients in a multitude of sectors, including entertainment and events, education and government, lifestyle and consumer, nonprofit, restaurant and retail, publishing and business-to-business service.

    A respected local industry leader, Michelle was named one of Denver's 2016 top 40 under 40 business leaders by the Denver Business Journal and was named the 2015 PR Person of the Year by PRSA Colorado. She has been actively involved in PRSA Colorado since rejoining the chapter in 2015, when she immediately stepped into a leadership position as the Gold Pick Awards committee chair. Her leadership has only grown since that time, she became a board member in 2016 and plays a leading role in the Gold Pick Awards and Programs committees. Michelle's commitment to growing the Chapter and furthering the industry in Colorado is evidenced by her service.

    In addition to PRSA Colorado, Michelle actively volunteers her time and talents to MOPS International, Love INC, and her children's school. She is a member of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and represents numerous clients at Visit Denver.

    Michelle earned her Bachelor of Arts in Technical Journalism and Communications from Colorado State University. A native Coloradan, she is an outdoors enthusiast and enjoys frequent weekend trips to the mountains with her husband, their three sons and dog.

    2017 Public Relations Team of the Year

    Ball Corporate Communications | Picture from left to right are Chris Chavez, Barb Farson, Renee Robinson, Kathleen Pitre, and Luiz Goncalves

    2016 was a remarkable year for Ball Corporation's small, but mighty corporate communications team. Their most significant accomplishment was managing all of the internal and external communications related to the acquisition of Ball's largest competitor, Rexam PLC. After a more than 16-month regulatory review process, the acquisition closed on June 30, 2016, and the company celebrated Day 1, a significant milestone when the two organizations and their employees would begin operating as one global team. Ball welcomed nearly 4,000 new employees for a total of 18,700 employees working in 33 countries and speaking 14 different languages. In preparation for Day 1, the team implemented a variety of strategies and tactics, including pre-close leadership workshops; a Day 1 toolkit to ensure a consistent experience at locations around the world; a special edition of Ball Line, the employee newsletter; a welcome website; executive and employee welcome videos; a global town hall meeting; and various external communications, such as news releases, social media updates, Ball.com updates and more.

    In addition to the acquisition-related communications, the team managed Ball's ongoing communications needs. A few other significant accomplishments included the successful April launch of Ball.com, which integrated the formerly separate corporate, Eurpean, Asia Pacific and Aerospace websites with a cohesive, enhanced "One Ball" experience; publishing and launching Ball's biennial leadership conference for the top 300 leaders in the company in September; and coordinating Ball's annual Who We Are Month, a global celebration of Ball's culture, people and values, in September.

    The team had an extremely exciting and productive year thanks to their work ethic, positive attitudes and "can do" mentality. The Ball executive team and their global colleagues recognized the team for their overall positive impact on the Ball organization, its stakeholders and communities.