Local PR Pros Win Big at the PRism awards

While Star Wars fans across the world celebrated “May the 4th be you” day, public relations professionals from across the Dayton region celebrated big wins at a Star Wars themed PRisms award banquet last night at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. The PRism awards, hosted by the Dayton Area Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA),  are held each May and recognize the best talent in public relations throughout the Miami Valley. 

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a talented PR community in Dayton,” says Susan Kaiser, Dayton Area Chapter president. “The PRisms are a chance to showcase that talent and award the best of the best with well-deserved recognition.” 

Businesses and individuals submit nominations for their hard work for the PRisms each year. The nominations are then judged by a group of PR professionals in the Green Bay, Wisconsin chapter of PRSA who determine who should receive a PRism award or an Award of Merit. 

Along with recognizing businesses in a variety of categories from special events to creative writing, the PRisms also recognized four individuals for their outstanding achievements. 

Beth Ling, Director for Corporate Communications and PR at CareSource was recognized as theCommunicator of the Year. This award recognizes someone at the top of their professional game. They are seen as someone who establishes public relations as a critical component of organizational success and are enhancing the understanding and appreciation for the profession. Beth has served the Dayton community in the PR field for 20 years. She has held roles on the agency side at Edward Howard & Company and Interbrand Design Forum and served as spokesperson and lead in communications for the Dayton area Red Cross.  Two years ago she moved into a high-profile role with CareSource where she has managed media relations and internal communications through a period of extreme growth and significant media attention. Beth’s nominator shared “Beth leads leaders. She is a truly transformational leader who leads by example.”

Michaela Eames, social media strategist at the University of Dayton, was recognized as the Young Professional of the Year/Up and Comer. This award is given to someone with less than five years of experience and who is seen as someone who is advancing the future of the public relations profession. Michaela is the first person to hold this position at UD and during her time in the role she has greatly enhanced UD’s social media presence including proposing and launching the official university Snapchat page. Michaela has also hired and managed a number of student social media workers and she is seen as a fixture at all UD events. She is seen by her peers as a “priceless resource.” 

Tristan Navera, reporter for the Dayton Business Journal, was recognized as the Media Friend of the Year. This award recognizes someone in the media who has been  instrumental, cooperative and professional in communicating messages and building a trusting relationship.  As senior reporter, Tristan focuses on business and development news in the Miami Valley. A graduate of Springboro High School, then Ohio University, he has worked at the business journal for three and a half years after stints as a freelance writer and covering politics for the Columbus Dispatch. Areas of interest include downtown Dayton, economic development, education, healthcare and technology. Tristan is seen by many PR professionals throughout the community as a trusted partner when it comes to reporting the news. 

And lastly, Grace Norman, Cedarville University student and paralympian gold medalist, was chosen as the inauguralNewsmaker of the Year. This award was created to to honor a Dayton area person who is not a professional communicator but who has frequently been in the news because of their role in advancing our community in a positive way.  Grace Norman made news both locally and nationally last summer as she won the first women’s gold medal in the Paralympics Para triathlon. Not only did she win, she was also the youngest athlete in the field. Grace has overcome many obstacles after having her leg amputated as a young age, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing great things. With her cheetah foot in tow, Grace is faster than most with two legs! Finishing her freshman year at Cedarville University, Grace is sure to go on to do great thing. 

Along with these four individual awards, 15 local businesses were recognized in 10 categories for their superior work in public relations. 25 PRisms and eight awards of merit were given out during the evening. 

The Best in Show award was given to Dayton Children’s Hospital in the community relations category for the launch of The Family Resource Connection, a program that screens children while at their pediatrician’s office for unmet social needs. The judges commented “This project was well-planned from start to finish and it shows in the overall success in reaching all your objectives! More importantly, you are making a positive impact within your organization and community with an extremely valuable program. Excellent work!” 

“It is truly inspiring to hear about all the incredible accomplishments of my PR peers,” said Kaiser. “Every year I leave the PRisms with new ideas and a renewed excitement for the year ahead!” 

PRism award winners included:

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Children's Garden

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Dayton Asthma Alliance

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Family Resource Connection

  • CareSource: City Center Announcement

  • Better Business Bureau: Marketplace Insights Video

  • The Dayton Foundation: 2015-2016 Report to the Community

  • Dayton Children’s Hospital: Miracles Matter

  • Fahlgren Mortine with Emers: Grand opening

  • myCUmortgage and Kenny Consulting Group: Partner conference

  • CareSource: Month of Thanks

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Brand Launch

  • Dayton Children's Hospital and Fahlgren Mortine: VIP Specialty Care Center Opening

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Brand Ambassador Program

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Compensation Study

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Logowear Swaps

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Transforming Care Video Mailer

  • CareSource: Brand Book

  • Dayton Children's Hospital:  Brand Book

  • Kettering Health Network: Annual Report: Hand in Hand

  • Kettering Health Network and Coffey Communications: Health Connection for Better Living Magazine

  • Shook Construction: 90th Anniversary Documentary

  • TriComB2B: E360 Outlook Magazine

  • CareSource: Cookin with Chris and Katherine

  • Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services: Iron Man

  • Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services: The “Ripple Effect” from the Gift of Life  


Award of Merit winners included: 

  • City of Fairborn: Rebrand launch

  • Dayton Children's Hospital: Topping Off Ceremony

  • Five Rivers MetroParks: Website

  • Dayton Power and Light: Lineman Rescue Child from Traffic

  • Kenny Consulting Group: AmTrim News

  • TriComB2B: E360 2016 Integrated

  • University of Dayton School of Engineering: Enrollment Campaign

  • TriComB2B: NatRefs Article

About the Public Relations Society of America Dayton Area Chapter

The Dayton Area Chapter of PRSA consists of public relations professionals representing all facets of the industry, including corporate, non-profit, agency and independent practitioners. The chapter offers numerous benefits to its members including monthly meetings featuring local and national speakers addressing both strategic and tactical public relations topics. The Public Relations Society of America, headquartered in New York City, is the world's largest professional organization for public relations professionals, with nearly 20,000 members, organized into 117 Chapters nationwide, who represent business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. Learn more at 

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