Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
News & Press: General Announcements

PRSA-NY Recognizes PR Industry’s Rising Young Talent with the Third Annual 15 Under 35 Awards

Tuesday, April 17, 2018  
Share |

Helen Shelton or Kellie Jelencovich
212.593.6443 or

NEW YORK, April 17, 2018 – The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NY) is once again recognizing the most inspiring and ambitious young talent in communications with the 2018 PRSA-NY 15 Under 35 Awards. The awards, now in their third year, acknowledge and celebrate 15 of the foremost emerging leaders in communications in the New York metro area, the global center of media. The awards stand apart in being the only of their kind honoring rising New York PR professionals, awarded exclusively by those best equipped to judge: New York PR professionals.

Now through May 1st, mentors, professors, managers and supervisors alike are encouraged to recognize top talent and nominate a PR professional under 35 years of age, whether employed at an agency or in-house, with at least five years of experience. Self-nominations are also being accepted. There is no cost for submitting nominations. Winners will be honored during the 2018 Big Apple Awards gala on June 11. In addition, winners will be given a one-year seat on the PRSA-NY Young Professionals Advisory Committee, part of the PRSA-NY Board of Directors, from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019.

“The 15 Under 35 awards are an amazing award opportunity for strong and advanced young PR leaders to be recognized in this highly competitive field,” says Sharon Fenster, President - PRSA-NY. “As many industry professionals are looking for ways to stand out among the rest, these awards have been known to be resume builders and have ultimately set up award winners for success within their current organizations and beyond. The 15 Under 35 awards are now integrated into PRSA-NY’s signature event of the year, the Big Apple Awards Gala, which is focused on recognition in the communications field.”

“The 15 Under 35 award candidates are the biggest and brightest of them all, executing the most impressive public relations campaigns to date," says Sarah Katz, Senior Vice President, Client Services, D S Simon Media and Senior Director, Big Apple Awards, PRSA-NY. "Now that the 15 Under 35 awards are associated with the Big Apple Awards, the 2018 winners will be recognized in front of best PR practitioners in the media capital of the world, New York City.”

To nominate an outstanding PR Professional under 35, visit the nominations page on the PRSA-NY website. For inquiries regarding the awards and sponsorship opportunities surrounding the PRSA-NY 15 under 35 Awards, contact

“As an inaugural 15 Under 35 awards winner and now leading the awards as the Senior Director, it has been an extremely rewarding experience to be at the forefront as well as promoting 15 Under 35 to deserving candidates in the New York metropolitan area,” adds Kellie Jelencovich, Account Supervisor, MSL and Senior Director, 15 Under 35 Awards, PRSA-NY.

This year’s 15-Under-35 honorees will succeed a stellar group of young professionals from 2017: 

2017 Winners

  • Melissa Baratta, Senior Vice President and Healthcare Practice Lead, Affect
  • Al Chen, Co-Founder, Keycuts Excel Consulting; Co-Founder, Coopertize
  • Melissa Duren Conner, Partner and Managing Director, Jennifer Bett Communications
  • Natan Edelsburg, Chief Operating Officer, Muck Rack
  • Cynthia Inacio, Vice President, King + Company
  • Meredith Lejeune, Owner, Thought Bubble Communications
  • Michele Mendelson, Account Supervisor, Kwittken
  • Stephanie Meyering, Account Supervisor, Kellen
  • Kerry L O'Grady, Clinical Assistant Professor, Public Relations and Corporate Communications, New York University
  • James O'Malley, Senior Vice President, North America Analytics Lead, Porter Novelli
  • Alexandra 'Alex' Peterson, Senior Vice President, GCI Health
  • Maria J Ramirez, Public Relations Manager, Fidelis Care
  • Elliot Schimel, CEO, Mission Control Marketing
  • Brian Shiver, Senior Director, Special Situations Team, Strategic Communications Segment, FTI Consulting
  • Emily Simmons, Vice President, Ketchum


The 15 Under 35 Awards will be showcased during the 2018 PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards, which are the gold standard of excellence for PR practitioners in the New York metro area and celebrate the tremendous work of PR agencies, companies, governmental bodies, and not-for-profit organizations implemented during the prior year. Multiple exclusive and non-exclusive sponsorship packages are available to position your company or brand in front of the nation’s largest and most influential workforce of professional communicators. Sponsorship opportunities can be found here.


Introduced in 2016, the awards are presented annually. Nominations are open to anyone 35 and under who works in PR in the New York Metro area (in-house and/or at agencies, including self-nominees) with at least five years of PR experience. Entrants who were previously submitted but not selected may be nominated again in a future year so long as the age criteria is still met. Award recipients are chosen by a panel of distinguished industry judges as representing the “Best of the Best” in public relations practitioners. Award recipients will also be invited to sit on the PRSA-NY Young Professionals Advisory Committee, part of the PRSA-NY Board of Directors.  To join the conversation, please use the following hashtags #PRSANY #15toFollow.


The Public Relations Society of America, New York City chapter is one of the founding chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, the world's largest professional organization for public relations practitioners. Founded in 1947, the chapter 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 volunteers who live and work in the New York metropolitan area. For more information, please visit Follow PRSA-NY on FacebookTwitter, and  LinkedIn. For inquiries or question on the awards, please reach out to

Follow Us


PRSA-New York
555 8th Avenue, Suite 1902
New York, NY 10018

 © 2016 PRSA-New York All rights reserved