Spotlight on: Individual Award of Excellence Recipients!

On Thursday, Oct. 18, more than 150 public relations, marketing and communication professionals gathered at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Downtown Des Moines for the annual OctoPRfest. This annual event hosts notable speakers within the industry and an awards ceremony to acknowledge the work of individuals and teams within Central Iowa doing award-worthy work. 

In this month's newsletter, we are highlighting the award winners for individual excellence that were recognized at the PRIME Awards Ceremony. Please join in celebrating the following indivudals:

2018 Outstanding Student Member: Baillee Furst, Simpson College

The Outstanding Student Member Award is given to a PRSSA student or former student who demonstrates academic excellence in public relations, devotes times to mentoring or developing other students and is involved in extracurricular activities.

Baillee has been involved in the PRSSA chapter at Simpson College for the last two years. During this time, she has had several leadership positions, including marketing committee chair and co-chair for the chapter’s signature event, the Goodwill Fashion Show.

Last spring, Baillee served as director for the chapter’s student-run PR firm, C-Street Agency, where she created a business plan, led agency team meetings and advised account teams on client projects. In addition to her role in PRSSA, Baillee is also the social media director of Simpson’s Campus Activities Board, a student coach for Simpson’s softball team, the advertising and marketing director for the Simpsonian and ID Magazine and first-year experience colloquium leader.

Congratulations, Baillee!

2018 Outstanding New Member: Ashley Dalsing, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

The Outstanding New Member Award recognizes a Central Iowa PRSA Chapter member with three or fewer years of membership, who has enthusiastically contributed to chapter activities, demonstrating an eagerness and willingness to get involved with chapter activities as a way to improve professional skills and increase knowledge of the profession.

Upon joining PRSA a little more than a year ago, Ashely has been actively involved in the chapter. She volunteered to serve as the newsletter co-chair—a role that involves managing the monthly process of coordinating content submission from other board members as well as writing articles. Aside from coordinating the newsletter’s creation and distribution, Ashley has had an integral role in creating a new process to ensure content is also updated on the chapter’s website blog. In addition to her newsletter responsibilities, Ashley also served on the awards committee, helping craft a communication plan designed to encourage and increase participation in the annual awards program.

Ashley works at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a Content Marketing Coordinator for their B2B audience.


2018 Outstanding Chapter Member: Abby Delaney, Bankers Trust

The Outstanding Chapter Member award recognizes a PRSA member whose distinctive contributions to the chapter have had a positive impact on the chapter’s success and value to members, and whose involvement has provided insight and leadership to other members.

Since joining the PRSA in 2013, Abby has held several leadership positions, including Professional Development Chair, Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer. In her current role as Public Relations Chair, Abby took on the responsibility of not only managing public relations efforts for the chapter, but also overseeing areas including newsletter, social media, job bank and website. She has earned coverage in local media outlets to promote every chapter event held this year, while serving as a resource to her committee chairs, and making suggestions and improvements resulting in positive change for the chapter. Abby's insights and opinions on chapter activities are thoughtful and intuitive, and she continually demonstrates the ability to be a smart problem-solver. She has strong leadership and project management skills, making her a dependable and well-respected among other board members.

Abby works at Bankers Trust as a content marketing specialist.

2018 Outstanding Public Relations Professional: John McCarroll

The Outstanding Public Relations Professional is the highest honor from the PRSA Central Iowa Chapter which recognizes a member who represents the best of public relations. And, whose public relations and community service activities during the past year have had a significant impact on the local, regional and/or national community.

A former Central Iowa PRSA president, John is a dedicated supporter of the chapter's accreditation process. Since earning his APR in 1993, he has worked in partnership with other chapter professionals to provide instruction and guidance in the areas of communication planning, implementation and evaluation. John also leverages his public relations skills to help Iowa organizations – including Iowa Public Radio, the Animal Rescue League and Central Presbyterian Church in Des Moines – grow and thrive.

In his role at Iowa State University, John sets the standard for success. ISU president Wendy Wintersteen noted, “John excels at developing and implementing strategies to promote Iowa State’s priorities and successes. In addition, he provides counsel to the president and president’s leadership team regarding the management of critical issues impacting the university. Finally, he provides leadership for all the communications staff on campus.”

John represents the highest ideals of our profession – transparency, integrity, ethics – and contributes greatly to his community and peers. Equally important, he is a role model for all of Iowa State's public relations professionals, building a strong foundation both at the university and in the broader Iowa PR community.

Congratulations to all!

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