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Chapter Individual Awards
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A touching aspect of the annual PRSA-NY Big Apple gala program is the recognition of achievement by individual public relations practitioners. Two of the awards that are presented that evening – the Philip Dorf Award for mentorship and the John W. Hill Award for professional achievement – are open for nomination by members of PRSA-NY; a third award is named by the Chapter’s president.

In 2018, the honorees were:

  • Olga González, FGA DGA, CEO/Founder, Pietra PR-The Jewelry PR Agency, who received the President’s Award;
  • Shelley J. Spector, President, Spector & Associates, who received the Philip Dorf Award; and

  • Roger Bolton, President, The Arthur W. Page Society, who received the John W. Hill Award.

Following a public nomination period, a committee of esteemed PR industry executives presents its recommendations to the chapter’s leadership for confirmation and endorsement. Descriptions of the awards, along with criteria and a list of past award recipients, can be found below.

Questions on the criteria or selection process for individual awards may be directed to PRSA-NY at or 212.228.7228.

John W. Hill Award

PRSA-NY’s top honor, The John W. Hill Award, recognizes professional achievement in the practice of public relations.  Named for the founder of one of the world’s preeminent PR firms, the award has been presented annually since 1977. Recipients are industry leaders who exemplify Mr. Hill’s beliefs that experience, quality, integrity and judgement are the cornerstones upon which the profession has been built.

To be considered for this award, nominees must meet the following criteria:          

  • Leadership in the development of the practice of public relations.
  • Demonstration of the highest standards of integrity.
  • Fostering and promoting understanding among people.
  • Service to the public beyond the scope of the nominee's regular duties.
  • Promoting communications and understanding through education and the exchange of ideas.

Nominees may not be the current PRSA-NY president or a recipient within the past 10 years of the PRSA Gold Anvil or similar award. A recommendation for the 2019 honoree will be made by a selection committee to the PRSA-NY Board of Directors.

Roger Bolton, President, The Arthur W. Page Society







Roger Bolton is the president of the Arthur W. Page Society, the premier global professional association for senior corporate communications executives.

He is also a trustee and a past chairman of the Page Society.

Previously, Bolton served as senior vice president of communications at Aetna, a $60 billion provider of health care benefits, with responsibility for all internal and external communications, advertising and brand management. The Aetna Foundation reported to him and he chaired Aetna’s Council for Organizational Effectiveness – a group of senior executives responsible for helping the company achieve high performance through culture change.

Before Aetna, Bolton led IBM’s global media relations and directed communications for the IBM server and software groups.

Prior to his business career, Bolton served as assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs under President George H.W. Bush; assistant U.S. trade representative for public affairs in the Executive Office of the President under President Reagan; and special assistant to President Reagan in the White House, with responsibility for the president’s relations with business and labor.

Bolton is a recipient of the U.S. Treasury Distinguished Service Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior from Trust Across the World. He was also named one of the 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Institute.

In addition to Page, Bolton serves on the boards of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, the Elon University School of Communications, the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University, the Baruch College MA in Corporate Communication Program and the Ethisphere Institute.


2017     Al Golin
2016     Grace Leong
2015     Barri Friedman Rafferty
2014     Bill Doescher
2013     Paul J. Gennaro
2012     Margi Booth
2011     E. Ronald Culp
2010     James E. Lukaszewski      
2009     Valerie Di Maria
2008     James E. Murphy
2007     Kenneth D. Makovsky
2006     David Finn
2005     Howard J. Rubenstein
2004     Richard Edelman
2003     Thomas Hoog
2002     Art Stevens
2001     Joan Capelin
2000     Philip G. Ryan
1999     Helen I. Ostrowski
1998     Jeannette Paladino
1997     David Drobis

1996     P. Michael McDermott
1995     David M. Bicofsky

1994     Denny Griswold
1993     Harold Burson
1992     Jerry Danzig
1991     John Sattler
1990     Phyllis H. Berlowe
1989     Joel Strasser
1988     Charlotte Klein
1987     Bert Hochman
1986     Barbara W. Hunter
1985     Sid Gross
1984     Richard Weiner
1983     Lloyd N. Newman
1982     John H. Paluszek
1981     Sondra K. Gorney
1980     Chester Burger
1979     Lee Bieringer    
1978     Elaine Pitts
1977     George Hammond

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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.

To be considered for this award, the candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Leadership in guiding and inspiring the careers of entry level and other young PR professionals.
  • Demonstration of the highest standards of the profession in a selfless role as a mentor.
  • Service to young professionals beyond the scope of the nominee's professional duties.

Nominees may not be the current PRSA-NY President or a recipient within the past 10 years of the PRSA Gold Anvil or similar award. A recommendation for the 2019 honoree will be made by a selection committee to the PRSA-NY Board of Directors.

Shelley J. Spector, President, Spector & Associates





Shelley J. Spector is president of Spector & Associates, Inc., a PR firm she founded in 1991. The firm has represented a variety of global corporations, such as AT&T, Bayer, HP, Philips, ITT, for whom it has won more than 40 industry awards. In its first year of operation, the firm won Best of Show in the CIPRA (now SABRE) awards competition. In its following years, the firm was named by Paul Holmes as one of the top ten "most creative" firms and as one of the top ten "most innovative."

In 1995, Shelley and her husband, Barry, founded the Museum of Public Relations, a 501(c) 3 educational institution chartered by the State of New York. It is the world's only Museum honoring the field's history. The archive contains artifacts, film and papers-- plus more than 650 books-- from industry pioneers including, Edward L. Bernays, Ivy Lee, Arthur Page, Paul Garrett, Ofield Dukes and Inez Kaiser, plus a video collection of more than two dozen oral histories. Shelley has given lectures at the Museum to more than 2000 students, scholars and professionals in the four years the Museum has been housed at Baruch College. Her educational postings on Facebook over the past five years has extended the Museum's international reach to nearly 70 countries, with more than 8800 followers.

Shelley has used the Museum as a platform to attract more diverse young people to the field. By showcasing the lives of minorities who have been left on the sidelines of the history books she has provided minority students an historical connection to the field, long portrayed as a profession just for white men. Events such as BlackPRHistory, LatinoPRHistory and PRWomenWhoChangedHistory have introduced hundreds of young people to outstanding PR pioneers of the past. It's the Museum's hope that these events will help inspire young minorities today to become the PR leaders of tomorrow.

For the last decade, Shelley has served as an adjunct professor at NYU and Baruch College, where she has mentored and advised scores of students from all over the world. She has also provided internships at her firm for scores of minority students over the year.

In 2016, she co-authored with Louis Capozzi the book Public Relations for the Public Good, a series of case studies which looks at various social movements-- like civil rights, suffrage and LGBTQ rights-- through the lens of public relations. The book reveals how the field has been used as a force for change, and attempts to "reposition" the field in a way that would attract socially minded students, especially those with diverse backgrounds.

Currently, Shelley is working with the PRSA Foundation to publish Diverse Voices, a book that will feature first hand accounts of more than three dozen diverse leaders in the field. It is hoped that the personal histories of these leaders will resonate with diverse students, and demonstrate how they, too, can find success and fulfillment in the PR profession.

Shelley's career has spanned decades, during which she worked for several agencies, including Lobsenz Stevens, Ruder Finn and Hill & Knowlton, as well as serving as press manager for the American Stock Exchange. She earned a B.A. in Journalism at the University of Rhode Island and an M.S. in Radio/TV/Film at the Newhouse School, Syracuse University. She and her husband, Barry, have two grown children, and live in Millburn, NJ.


2017    Mike Fernandez
2016     Joe Cohen
2015     Michael P. Rinaldo           
2014     Harry R. Zlokower
2013     David M. Grant
2012     Maria P. Russell
2011     Leslie E. Gottlieb
2010     Deborah Radman
2009     William F. Doescher
2008     Roberta Elins
2007     Emmanuel Tchividjian
2006     John L. Paluszek
2005     Bob Stone
2004     Alex Stanton
2003     Helio Fred Garcia
2002     Don Bates
2001     Michael Greece
2000     Edward J. Menninger
1999     Lynn Appelbaum
1998     Robert M. Weintraub
1997     Art Stevens
1996     Anthony J. Russo
1995     Terrie Williams


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PRSA-NY President's Award

The PRSA-NY President's Award honors a current or former member of the chapter who exemplifies the highest standards of ethical conduct and outstanding service within the public relations profession and to PRSA and its New York chapter. The award has been presented annually since its creation in 2003.

To be considered, nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Current (or recent past) membership in PRSA-NY.
  • Adherence to the highest standards of ethical conduct.
  • Service to PRSA generally and the New York Chapter in particular

Nominations for the President’s Award may be submitted by current PRSA members to the NY Chapter president; the 2019 honoree will be selected solely by the current chapter president.

Olga González, FGA DGA, CEO/Founder, Pietra PR-The Jewelry PR Agency









Embracing the crossroads between arts and entrepreneurship, Olga González grew up admiring those who built communities while continually innovating themselves. She strives to do the same personally and professionally.

Active in the Girl Scouts, Olga was a council board member by the age of 15. She helped pioneer the Nepal Project, a free US/Nepalese Day Camp for children in Kathmandu before attending Rutgers University. Upon graduation, she worked as both an Exhibition Assistant at Christie’s and the Membership Development Manager for her local Girl Scout Council. She pursued a Master’s Degree in Art Connoisseurship in London, and interned in the curatorial department of The Goldsmiths’ Company.

While finishing the program, Olga began working at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A). As a Manager, she was overseeing the PR, marketing, membership, and events for the organization. Gem-A was celebrating their 100th anniversary and needed international rebranding. The pairing of working with PR and gems was where her calling was found.

For Gem-A, Ms. González passionately promoted gemological education, organized trade shows, and planned international conferences. She also became a certified gemologist and diamond grader. Upon moving to New York, she worked in product development with museums, in PR and sales for jewelry made for museums based on their art. Ms. González also become certified in appraisal. Six years ago, freelance clients encouraged Olga to start her own business by coordinating a collective retainer. What started as an experiment, has continued going strong with Pietra PR. Today, Pietra PR offers full communications services to companies in the gem, jewelry, and luxury watch trades, working with: jewelry brands, associations, labs, dealers, and manufacturers.

In her current role, Ms. González is Immediate Past President of PRSA-NY, serving her fifth year on the chapter board. She has enjoyed the friendships and education, as well as supporting members throughout various initiatives, including the inaugural 15 Under 35 awards. In addition, Olga serves as the Director of Networking for the Women’s Jewelry Association New York Metro Chapter, and is a member of Gem-A, ASJRA, New York Mineralogical Club, and GSUSA. Ms. González writes for publications on gem and jewelry related topics, and is a mentor to students, regularly speaking at schools and events.

Outside of the PR and gem world, Olga enjoys dancing, cooking, sailing, church, and theatre. She is single and loving it, with an incredible family in New Jersey.


2017    Joan Cear

2016     Art Stevens

2015     Lynn Appelbaum, APR, Fellow PRSA

2014     Deborah Radman

2013     Emmanuel Tchividjian

2012     Barri Rafferty

2011     Karen J. Arthur

2010     Grace T. Leong

2009     Sandra Fathi

2008     Michael P. Rinaldo

2007     Jeanne M. Salvatore

2006     Linda Krebs

2005     Liz Beck

2004     Christopher Guidette

2003     Don Bates

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