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2019 Recipients of PRSA Puget Sound Annual Professional Achievement Awards

A Husky and a Coug Are the 2019 Recipients of PRSA Puget Sound Annual Professional Achievement Awards

Former UW Communications Icon Norm Arkans to Receive the Jay Rockey Lifetime Achievement Award

Janelle Guthrie, APR Fellow PRSA and WSU Alum to Receive the Hugh Smith Community Service Award

An iconic communicator who helped shape the public image of the University of Washington (UW), and a strategic PR pro known for leading communications in some of the largest public agencies in Washington State are the recipients of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Puget Sounds’ top professional achievement awards. The honorees will be recognized November 13 at the PRSA Puget Sound Annual Meeting. Colleagues and friends of the recipients are encouraged to register to attend to celebrate their contributions.

Dr. Norman “Norm” Arkans will be honored with the PRSA Puget Sound Jay Rockey Lifetime Achievement Award. Arkans retired in 2017 as Associate Vice-President of Media Relations and Communications at the UW, having served as the university’s chief spokesman and communications leader for more than three decades.

The Jay Rockey Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2002 in honor of Jay Rockey’s commitment to the public relations profession. This award recognizes the career achievements of a Puget Sound area public relations professional who has advanced the field of public relations and demonstrated outstanding professional ability and conduct throughout his or her career.

A Philadelphia native and graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Norm Arkans came to Seattle to pursue graduate studies at the UW, where he earned a Ph.D. in English Literature for his thesis The Mediated Vision of Thomas Hardy’s Collected Poems, a study of the work of the Victorian poet Thomas Hardy. He held a teaching position at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, before returning to Seattle where, in 1985, he was tapped to lead UW’s communications efforts. Over the course of thirty years, the university’s perspective on issues was communicated in local and national media through Arkans’ voice.

Upon his retirement, the University of Washington Board of Regents noted that Arkans had “provided excellent and thoughtful communications counsel to seven University presidents, starting with the late Bill Gerberding” and that “his service to the UW has also included years as a special assistant to the Intercollegiate Athletics Department on behalf of the President and representing the University on the Puget Sound Public Radio Board of Directors since 2004.”

Janelle Guthrie, APR Fellow PRSA will be honored with the Hugh Smith Community Service Award. The Hugh Smith Community Service Award recognizes a Puget Sound area public relations professional who has demonstrated outstanding citizenship by contributing public relations expertise to an important community issue and/or non-profit organization(s) across the span of the candidate’s career. Hugh Smith was a longtime PR professional who gave as much out of the office as he did in his professional career.

Guthrie currently serves as the Communications Director for the Washington State Department of Corrections. Prior to that role, Guthrie led communications for the Washington State Employment Security Department and for nine years, Washington Attorney General’s Office. She has also served in roles for the Washington State Grange, Senate Republican Caucus, Gubernatorial Candidate Dino Rossi campaign is a former Executive Communications Program Manager for Microsoft. Janelle earned her BA in Journalism at Washington State University, is accredited in public relations and is a PRSA Fellow, the profession’s highest honor.

Renaissance Hotel

Guthrie will be honored for her community service contributions outside of work, namely her contributions to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, as well as the United Way of Thurston County. A fello

w volunteer nominated her, stating, “Janelle shows up, and she follows through on her promises. She has dedicated so much of her limited free time to raising awareness, fundraising, and connecting our nonprofit leaders with media and other key stakeholders. The Thurston County Relay for Life event has become the largest in our area, and I truly believe Janelle has played a key role in getting us to this point. There are a lot of volunteers (myself included, at times) who show up just once or twice per year. Janelle isn’t like that. Janelle ALWAYS shows up, and she is always ready to help.” Additionally, Janelle has served for many years in volunteer roles for PRSA at the national, district and local level. She currently serves as a delegate for PRSA Puget Sound.

The PRSA Puget Sound Annual Meeting will be held November 13 at the Seattle Renaissance Hotel from 5 to 8 pm. Attendees will enjoy networking with great food and drink, chapter elections, several awards including the President’s Award for Volunteerism, and a reputation management panel, When Bad Things Happen to Good Brands. Panelists include professionals at the center of some of the nation’s biggest headlines:                                                                                                             

Erik Moser – Senior VP. Issues and Crisis – Edelman Northwest.

Erik Moser is the head of the Issues & Crisis practice for Edelman Pacific Northwest, where he specializes in issues preparedness, reputation and risk management, and crisis response. Erik has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands through a number of significant reputational crises. This includes helping Equifax through the data breach in 2017 and being an integral part of the Starbucks issues response team during the summer of 2018, including the closure of all U.S. stores for a half-day of unconscious bias training.

Nathan Hambley, APR -Policy & Communications Manager – Uber

Nathan Hambley, APR, is Policy and Communications Manager for Uber Northwest, where he helps to manage the reputation of one of the leading ride share companies in the nation. He’s also served on the official and campaign staffs of U.S. Senator Patty Murray. Nathan’s worked at a variety of small, medium and global PR agencies, has served as a speaker at PRSA conferences and panels and sits on the boards of MCEI Seattle and Seattle CityClub.

Bill Marler – Managing Partner – Marler Clark Food Safety Law Firm LLP, PS

An accomplished attorney and national expert in food safety, William (Bill) Marler has become the most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America and a major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world. Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life altering injury and even death.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting PRSA Puget Sound.

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