Ferne Bonomi honored at OctPRFest

Ferne Bonomi, accredited PRSA member since 1969, was recognized at the 2019 OctoPRfest PRIME Awards. Ferne has a life-long career in public relations and has been involved in the Central Iowa Chapter for several years. Her skill and dedication have benefited many members as they worked toward their Accreditation in Public Relations.

Ferne’s devotion to the industry resulted in her involvement coaching candidates for their accreditation in public relations (APR). When she led Iowa's APR prep course, our chapter experienced a 90 percent success rate during a 13-year period, bettering the national average of 50-70 percent. This work resulted in an invitation from the Universal Accreditation Board to write the coaches guide in 1988 which she also revised in 2003.

In addition, the Accreditation JumpStart program was designed to acquaint candidates with the topics and information required for study. A podcast recorded January 2007 provides an overview of the JumpStart program developed by Ferne and other PR colleagues.

During her career, Ferne worked as a newspaper journalist, state government information officer, communication director and operated her own business. In 1992, Ferne G. Bonomi became the first Iowa woman and the fifth Iowan elected to the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America.

Ferne has been added to the Plaza of Heroines at Iowa State University. Her biography, written by her late husband and past PRSA member, Wayne Davis, can be viewed by clicking here.

Thank you, Ferne, for your dedication to the profession and the inspiration you have provided to so many of our members.


At the 2019 OctoPRfest awards ceremony, Ferne G. Bonomi, APR and Fellow, was recognized for her dedication and service to PRSA and the public relations profession. She has been instrumental in developing the Accreditation in Public Relations credential. Watch the tribute video here.

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