SOURCE: PRSA - New York Chapter

PRSA - New York Chapter

April 28, 2016 08:00 ET

PRSA-NY to Honor #PRPros Leong, Cohen and Stevens as the 2016 Recipients of Top Awards for Achievement and Leadership in PR

Honorees to Be Celebrated During June 2nd Big Apple Awards Gala in New York City #BigApplePR

NEW YORK, NY --(Marketwired - April 28, 2016) - The Public Relations Society of America-New York Chapter (PRSA-NY) proudly announced today the 2016 recipients of its top awards for individual achievement by public relations practitioners:

  • Grace Leong, APR, CEO + Partner, Hunter Public Relations, will receive the John W. Hill award for outstanding lifetime achievements in public relations;
  • Joe Cohen, APR, Senior Vice President of Communications for KIND Healthy Snacks, will receive the Philip Dorf for leadership and mentorship; and
  • Art Stevens, APR, Fellow PRSA, Managing Partner of The Stevens Group, will receive the President's Award for ethical conduct and outstanding service to PRSA and PRSA-NY.

Following a public nomination period, a committee of esteemed PR industry executives presented its unanimous recommendations to the chapter's leadership for confirmation and endorsement.

"These are simply outstanding choices," said Bill Doescher, PRSA-NY President and President and CEO of Doescher Group. "The chapter is pleased to honor these individuals, celebrate their professional accomplishments, and showcase their leadership, integrity and achievements. We extend our congratulations on behalf of the New York metro area PR community."

John W. Hill Award
Presented annually since 1977, the John W. Hill Award is named for the founder of one of the world's preeminent PR firms; recipients exemplify Mr. Hill's beliefs that experience, quality, integrity and judgement are the cornerstones upon which the public relations profession has been built. The award is sponsored by Hill + Knowlton Strategies.

The 2016 Hill Award honoree is Grace Leong, APR, CEO + Partner of Hunter PR, a marketing communications firm based in New York City with offices and talent across North America and in London. A founding employee of Hunter PR, over the past 27 years Ms. Leong has built an award-winning communications firm that trains and encourages entrepreneurial professionals to imagine and execute best-in-class campaigns in the food, wine, healthcare, beauty and consumer products industries. She is active in PRSA and PRSA-NY, her local Hoboken, NJ community, and her undergraduate alma mater, the University of Delaware.

Philip Dorf Award
The Philip Dorf Award honors individuals who lead, guide and selflessly counsel and stimulate the careers of PR professionals. Presented annually since its creation in 1995, the award is sponsored by the Dorf family in memory of Philip Dorf who was an inspiration and mentor to many young public relations practitioners.

The 2016 Dorf Award recipient is Joe Cohen, APR, senior vice president of communications for KIND Healthy Snacks and a past (2014) National Chair of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Prior to joining KIND in 2014, Mr. Cohen spent 15 years at MWW where as a member of the agency's senior management team, he worked in both the consumer and corporate marketing practices and led many of the firm's flagship food and restaurant, health and wellness and sports marketing clients. A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Mr. Cohen is an executive board member of the prestigious Newhouse 44, an alumni group dedicated to fostering mentorship relationships between past and present students. He also serves on the advisory board of the Global Retail Marketing Association (GRMA).

PRSA-NY President's Award
Established in 2003, the PRSA-NY President's Award recognizes a past or present member who demonstrates high standards of ethical conduct and who provides outstanding service to both the chapter and PRSA.

The 2016 President's Award recipient is Art Stevens, APR, Fellow PRSA, Managing Partner of The Stevens Group, a consulting organization that specializes in facilitating mergers and acquisitions in the public relations and related marketing communications industries. Mr. Stevens was CEO of LobsenzStevens, a prestigious independent public relations firms that was acquired by Publicis, and subsequently managed the New York office of Publicis Dialog. Throughout his career, Mr. Stevens has been an instructor and lecturer on public relations for numerous academic institutions and professional associations. He is a former president of the Publicity Club of New York and the PRSA-NY chapter as well as an elected member of PRSA's College of Fellows, an honor given to a select group of public relations practitioners for meritorious professional lifetime achievements. 

The awards will be presented during the 2016 Big Apple Awards presentation ceremony on Thursday evening, June 2, 2016, at the Mandarin Oriental New York. Additional event details, including early bird pricing, group discounts for tickets, and sponsorship opportunities, are available online at

About the Big Apple Awards
PRSA-NY established the Big Apple Awards in 1988 to celebrate excellence in public relations. Widely regarded as one of the industry's most prestigious accolades, the Big Apple Awards honor innovative and strategic PR campaigns and projects.

The Public Relations Society of America, New York City chapter is the industry go-to organization for knowledge and networking for communications professionals in the New York metro area. Established in 1948, PRSA-NY is one of the founding chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, the world's largest professional organization for public relations practitioners, and the third largest PRSA local chapter in the U.S. It serves the interests of public relations professionals working in business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. Chapter board and committee members are volunteer public relations professionals who work in the New York metropolitan area. For more information, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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