Special Honors

The PRSA Buffalo Niagara Chapter awards program is not just about great work, but also great people.

Congratulations to our 2017 Special Honors winners!
Board of Directors' Distinguished Service Award: Jacqueline Ghosen, APR | University at Buffalo School of Management
May C. Randazzo Outstanding Practitioner: Emily Perryman, APR | Trocaire College
Outstanding Executive: William Gisel | Rich Products
Rising Star: Matthew Biddle | University at Buffalo School of Management

The Rising Star Award honors an outstanding newcomer to the public relations field. The nominee must have demonstrated leadership potential through service to PRSA and/or the community during his/her initial years in the profession. He or she must have five or fewer years in the field, excluding internships or part-time employment while working on a degree, and must also be a PRSA member for at least one year.

The Outstanding Executive Award honors a Western New York business executive (CEO, Senior Director or Executive) who recognizes and supports the role of public relations in his/her organization and throughout the community. The nominee must be from outside the communications industry. He or she must show a dedicated commitment to the value of public relations, and have a proven track record of the advancement of strategic communications as part of a business’s overall operating philosophy. Members and non-members of PRSA are eligible.

The May C. Randazzo Outstanding Practitioner Award is given to a Western New York public relations professional who, like May, has achieved exceptional professional success, displays the highest ethics, and is dedicated to serving the community and our profession. The recipient must demonstrate excellence in achievement, application, reputation, ethics, service to PRSA and community service.

Recent Winners

Rising Star Award

  • 2016: Devon Slobodzian
  • 2015: Justina Fetterly
  • 2014: Phillip Weiss
  • 2013: Beth Silverman
  • 2012: Kate LaBrake
  • 2011: Jennifer Gallardo


Outstanding Executive Award

  • 2016: Majed Dawood-Farah
  • 2015: Tara A. Ellis
  • 2014: Kenneth P. Houseknecht, APR
  • 2013: Art Wingerter
  • 2012: J. Efrain Martinez
  • 2011: Arjang A. Assad, Ph.D.


May C. Randazzo Outstanding Practitioner Award

  • 2016: Michael P. Hughes
  • 2015: John DellaContrada
  • 2014: Rose Caldwell
  • 2013: Jacqueline Molik Ghosen, APR
  • 2012: Frank Sava
  • 2011: Michael Barone


Questions? Email us at awards@prsabuffaloniagara.org.