2019 Special Award Winners

    2019 Special Award Winners

    2019 Public Relations Person of the Year


      Nicole Yost | Founder and Chief Communicator, Fyn Public Relations

    Nicole doesn’t miss a beat. Whether it’s driving successful campaigns for clients or lecturing about digital storytelling and media relations at Colorado State University, Nicole is on top of local and national industry trends and knows exactly where her clients will be successful. Yost found her knack and passion for public relations while working for various public relations agencies in Denver, representing international innovators such as Namco, Polycom, Private Escapes Destination Clubs, to name a few. Nicole founded Fyn Public Relations, an award-winning agency, in 2011, representing places, issues and ideas by providing strategic communications, media relations, digital storytelling, community relations and marketing communications to clients in Colorado and beyond.

    In 2012, Nicole was chosen as one of only 30 PR professionals to coordinate media at the 2012 Presidential Debate at the University of Denver. In addition, she was recognized as the 2012 Loveland Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year, the 2016 Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Colorado chapter Mentor of the Year and has served as the 2016 president of PRSA Colorado. She has also helped companies all over the globe achieve real public relations results – all from the beautiful state of Colorado. Yost has worked in various industries such as travel and tourism, government, entertainment and events, education, healthcare, real estate, B2B and B2C technology, nonprofit and business. This expertise supports her wealth of PR and marketing knowledge and a diverse approach to client results. Her work has supported real change for clients. On the media relations side, she has placed clients in national top-tier media such as BusinessWeek, MSNBC, Yahoo.com, USA Today, The Today Show, New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning, Fox & Friends, Redbook, Travel & Leisure, The Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, among countless others. Nicole received a Bachelor’s of Art, Technical Journalism, Emphasis in Public Relations from Colorado State University.

    2019 Mentor of the year


      Dawn Doty, APR | Instructor, University of Colorado Boulder

    Dawn Doty joined College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) at University of Colorado Boulder as a full-time public relations instructor in 2016. She also serves as the adviser to the Public Relations Student Society of America. 

    Before joining CU Boulder, she worked as partner and vice president at Denver-based Linhart Public Relations where she earned a reputation as an energizing, creative and no-nonsense leader who cares deeply for her team and clients. Her clients included Chipotle, Crocs, GOED, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, Rudi’s Bakery, Southwest Airlines and the U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few.

    During her extensive professional career, she had a track record of achieving results in corporate, agency and non-profit work environments including management positions in Chicago and San Francisco for several global public relations and ad firms—Ketchum, Burson-Marsteller and FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding).

    She has served for many years as a judge for one of the PR industry’s most distinguished honors, the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil Award. Dawn also judged the PRSSA Bateman student competition and PR Week’s Outstanding Student award. In addition, she has served on several boards including the Women’s Wilderness Institute, PRSA Western District and PRSA Chicago and Colorado chapters.

    Dawn has been a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities throughout her career and also taught Introduction to PR at Columbia College in Chicago. That classroom experience ignited her interest in becoming a full-time instructor and led her to attend graduate school. Dawn graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a master’s degree in communication in 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree in communication with a marketing minor from the University of Dayton.

    Dawn and her better half, Matt Vawter, live in Boulder and love to escape the bubble and travel the world when time allows.

    2019 Public Relations Team of the Year


      MSU Denver Strategy, Marketing and Communications Team

    The Strategy, Marketing and Communications team at Metropolitan State University of Denver tells the story of a forward-thinking public University that is redefining what is possible in higher education and advancing the lives of students in Colorado. 

    The team is responsible for communicating the institution’s evolution from a local safety school known as Metro to the leading public urban university in the region – MSU Denver, whose innovative undergraduate programs and seven workforce-focused graduate programs are making it a first-choice school for many of Colorado’s students. In other words: this is not your grandparent’s Metro. And the MSU Denver PR team is making sure people know it.

    In 2018, the team generated more than 1,000 stories in its daily employee-engagement email, The Early Bird. Team members designed and launched a brand journalism platform called RED, which had a 20 percent increase in readership compared to its predecessor. They scored nearly 3,500 media placements with a reach of over 1.8 billion.

    The team redesigned the University’s admission website, launched a Spanish-language admission site and redesigned 40 academic department pages. Team members also hosted a weeklong, nine-event inauguration celebration for their president Janine Davidson, Ph.D., that drew more than 2,000 people.

    Recently, the team has won 10 awards for its work and saw the University surpass its brand-recognition goal with 84 percent of external respondents rating MSU Denver as “good” to “excellent.” And the SMC team is just getting started!  

    MSU Denver’s Strategy, Marketing and Communications team includes 26 members across areas such as strategic communications, employee engagement, brand journalism, digital strategy, government relations, events, marketing and client services. Under the leadership of Vice President of Strategy and Chief of Staff Cathy Lucas, the team will continue to innovate in higher education public relations, marketing and communications. This year, the team will launch a new brand campaign and brand evangelist program, host a TEDx event on campus and ramp up to the creation and launch of a new strategic plan.

    2019 Chapter Service


      Teresa Dougherty, APR | Founder, TND Strategic Communications

    Teresa Dougherty has worked in public relations, marketing communications and thought leadership for more than 20 years serving clients in finance, government, healthcare and advocacy. She uses her background in journalism and corporate communication, along with her passion for storytelling, to create content, build relationships and develop strategies that help clients engage purposefully with audiences.

    At Wells Fargo Advisors and its predecessor firm Wachovia Securities, Teresa served as vice president and corporate communications manager directing proactive and reactive public relations while supervising merger communication strategy, content creation and media relations. Prior to Wells Fargo, Teresa held account management positions with marketing, PR and advertising agencies.

    Teresa left the corporate world in 2011 when she returned to her native Colorado and launched her independent consulting career.

    In 2018, Teresa founded TND Strategic Communications to focus on helping public, private and nonprofit clients tell their stories and manage their communications. She specializes in close, collaborative work with client leadership to conceptualize communications that advance strategic and business goals.

    Teresa earned degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She serves as a board member, ethics officer and assembly delegate for the Colorado Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), from which she earned her Accreditation  in Public Relations (APR) in 2013.  In 2017, Teresa, along with PR colleagues representing Cutter Communications, earned a Gold Pick Award from PRSA Colorado in the category of  Reputation Management. 

    Teresa lives with her husband and two kittens, and enjoys exercise, spending time outdoors, traveling, and talking politics.