2016 Special Award Winners

    2016 Special Award Winners

    2016 Swede Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award

    Dan Hopkins | Scientific and Cultural Facilities District

    Over his 45 year career, Hopkins has served as a trusted advisor to governors, state agencies, and elected officials and continues his public service as chairman of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Board of Directors. He has built his reputation for honesty and truthful dialogue in a variety of crisis and high visibility news situations and has advised a number of statewide election initiatives and strategic communications and public affairs agencies. In nominating Hopkins, Pete Webb of Webb Strategic Communications said, “Public relations professionals would do well to emulate Dan’s ability to skillfully convey empathetic and important messages in time of high stress.”

    Dan Hopkins

    2016 PR Person of the Year Award

    Jordan Blakesley | B Public Relations

    As a principal partner at B Public Relations, Blakesley has helped build one of the top travel and tourism PR firms in Denver, in partnership with co-founder, BrieAnn Fast. She’s involved in PRSA, a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and on the Board of Directors of MaxFund No-Kill Animal Shelter & Adoption Center, an organization to which she and her coworkers also contribute pro-bono PR services. In nominating Blakesley, Michelle Ellis of Orapin Marketing + PR, said, “Jordan is a PR tour de force in Denver…an incredible example and mentor to her team and colleagues in the industry.”

    Jordan Blakesley

    2016 Joe Fuentes Rookie of the Year Award

    Taylor Prather | Eagle County Government

    Taylor Prather embodies the qualities, values and attitude expected of those honored with the Joe Fuentes Rookie of the Year award. Prather played an integral role at Malen Yantis Public Relations and last year took on a new position for Eagle County where she develops and executes social strategies, manages the website, and oversees a variety of media and marketing responsibilities. The same year, she stepped up to lead two committees with PRSA Colorado. In nominating Prather, Kristin Yantis of Malen Yantis Public Relations, said “[Taylor] has an amazing work ethic that elevates those around her.”

    Taylor Prather

    2016 PR Team of the Year Award

    Colorado State University's External Relations Team

    Colorado State University is one of the nation’s top public research universities and has emerged nationally as an institution on the rise. The Division of External Relations has helped position the university through strong storytelling and design, and telling those stories across multiple platforms. In the last year, the team has launched a new digital media platform called Source; pursued corporate/ organizational partnerships demonstrating outreach and service to the community; and established an internal communications team to focus on strategic messaging. Among its accolades, CSU’s Division of External Relations has earned a prestigious Webby award, a Bronze Anvil award from the national Public Relations Society of America, two Telly Awards, and five Gold and four Silver Picks from the Colorado Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. These recent awards and more illustrate that the Division of External Relations is consistently turning out high quality work that connects with the CSU community and the public in Colorado and the nation.

    CSU Logo

    2016 Chapter Service Award

    Elizabeth Jumel, APR | Jumel Public Relations

    Jumel is a strong voice in support of programs and efforts to recruit new members and partners. She has exhibited leadership time and again across a number of committees over the years including APR, Gold Pick, Chapter Retreat and, most recently, at the board level where she was instrumental in the creation of the Communications Committee and in her role as an Assembly Delegate. In recommending Elizabeth for this award, PRSA Colorado Chapter Board President Nicole Yost said, “Elizabeth recognizes how important it is for the chapter to represent the best interests of our membership and she inspires other board members and committee members to do the same.”

    Elizabeth Jumel

    2016 Mentor of the Year Award

    Nicole Yost | Fyn Public Relations

    Yost invests time, effort and passion into helping students further their public relations careers. Whether it is advising Colorado State University’s student-run PR firm, hiring and mentors at her company, or through focusing on student relations as current president of PRSA Colorado, Yost has influenced the success of many young professional in Colorado. In endorsing Yost, PRSA President-Elect Jane Dvorak said, “The first time I met Nicole she was a rising star…she is always a willing ear for young aspiring professions and her peers.”

    Nicole Yost

    2016 Business Person of the Year Award

    Nicolle Davies | Arapahoe Libraries

    As Executive Director of Arapahoe Libraries and Library Journal’s 2016 Librarian of the Year, Davies is an undisputed leader in her field. Since her appointment in 2012, she has transformed Arapahoe Libraries by developing a new strategic plan and rebranding the system with a patron-focused model to have libraries evolve into community centers. It is Davies’ leadership style and background that define the new age of both public relations and libraries. Of her nomination, Arapahoe Library Director of Communications Jessica Sidener said, “[Nicole has] implemented a forward-thinking strategic plan to move the library from ‘nice to essential.’”

    Nicolle Davies