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    A look back at 2019’s PRSA Nebraska Service Award honorees

    It is that time of year again! PRSA Nebraska (PRSANE) is accepting applications for its chapter service awards and will recognize the efforts of individual chapter members at the 2020 Paper Anvil Awards in January 2021. Each of the six Chapter Service Awards recognizes individuals and organizations in Nebraska who have risen to the top and represent the highest PR standards. We were proud to present service awards at the Paper Anvil Awards in January 2019 to Cindy Workman, Karen Weber, Brittney Ryba,  Emspace + Lovgren, LeAnne Morman and Erin Grace.  

      • Professional of the Year - Cindy Workman
      • Special Achievement in Public Relations – Karen Weber
      • Nebraska Chapter Service Award – Brittney Ryba
      • Community Service Award – FORGE Student Program - Emspace + Lovgren
      • Newcomer of the Year – LeAnne Morman
      • Media Partner of the Year (Nominees do not need to be PRSA Nebraska members to be considered for this award) – Erin Grace

    Professional of the Year:
     Cindy Workman

    The PRSA Professional of the Year Award honors an individual who represents the best in public relations; a PR practitioner who has made significant contributions to the profession over a period of years and has used public relations and communications techniques in a highly professional manner to accomplish significant objectives. This award is the highest honor bestowed on a PRSA member.

    Cindy Workman, director of public relations for Creighton University, has worked with constituents and news media locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Over the past three decades, she has managed some of the most difficult and exciting stories involving Creighton University. 

    Through Workman’s tireless work, Creighton University’s faculty and staff have been cited in national news outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CBS News, “The Today Show” and “Nightline.” In addition to promoting Creighton’s people and stories, Workman is known for being at her best when performing the most difficult aspects of her job. She helps the families of students who have met tragedy, often working as the liaison between them and the media. 

    Cindy uses the experience she developed as a freelance producer for network and syndicated television news programs to mentor, develop and enrich the education of journalism and mass communication undergraduates. Many of her students received their first internships, assignments and careers in journalism as a result of her advocacy.

    Special Achievement in Public Relations: Karen Weber

    The Special Achievement in Public Relations Award is presented to an individual, regardless of years in the field, for an outstanding singular achievement or the outstanding representation of the profession through his or her job.

    Karen Weber is a UNO professor and serves as UNO’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Advisor. She earned a huge award recognition for her chapter, as well as herself this last year adviser of the year. She has been an educator of future PR pros for more than twenty years and is an asset to Nebraska’s PR community!

    Nebraska Chapter Service: Brittney Ryba

    The Nebraska Chapter Service Award recognizes a PRSA member, who through his or her service to the organization, has provided leadership, exceeded the expectations of his or her responsibility, or in some way assisted in strengthening the chapter.

    In Brittney’s first two years on the board, she has gone above and beyond in promoting our chapter, developing a very consistent, engaging presence on social media. From live-tweeting our monthly programming to volunteering to host a Facebook Live, Brittney brings new ideas to the table and is always willing to invest the time to see the idea through to successful execution.

    Brittney is currently the PRSANE Vice President of Communications.

    Community Service Award: FORGE Student Program - Emspace + Lovgren

    The Community Service Award recognizes an organization or business that has made significant contributions to the common good of the community through participation in important activities and elevation of the professional practices of public relations.

    Forge started in 2012 when Emspace + Lovgren introduced a free program for area college students around the region who were seeking a degree and career in the communications field. Since then, Forge has had over 70 graduates.

    This program offers valuable professional insights on multiple facets of the creative communications field including the diversity of disciplines and how, as professionals, our roles integrate as we collaborate to create effective and sustainable creative solutions.

    According to Elizebeth Murphy, President of Emspace & Lovgren, “Forge is a way of encouraging local talent to be a part of the metro Omaha’s professional communications and design community while earning their degree. We want them to be aware of how much opportunity is right here in Omaha, and to leave school with a strong network in place.”

    Newcomer of the Year: LeAnne Morman

    The Newcomer of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has been a member of PRSA for one to three years and has made a significant contribution to PRSA Nebraska through leadership and/or committee membership.

    LeAnne Morman has played a tremendous part in the PRSA Nebraska chapter communications. She takes initiative to create new tactics to engage our members and engages volunteers while streamlining communication processes. She has been involved in our content and programming, communicating with members while getting materials and communications finished promptly.

    Projects exemplifying LeAnne’s contributions include a member testimonial piece for On Brand 2019, participation in the panel for the PRSA October luncheon, “Making the Move: Journalists Share Transitions to PR” and a promotional Facebook Live clip promoting the Paper Anvil Awards Gala. LeAnne is currently the PRSANE Communications Chair.

    Media Partner of the Year: Erin Grace

    The Media Partner of the Year Award is the newest service award category. The award recognizes a media professional in Nebraska who has made a significant effort to foster connection and community in his or her market. This includes, but is not limited to, a focus on truth, accuracy and fair representation.

    Born and raised in Omaha, Erin Grace has been tirelessly working to tell stories in the community for over two decades. Erin has covered topics ranging from how easy it is for someone to access a firearm, to the spring flooding that caused Fremont residents to be cut-off from the outside world, to an investigative look at reports of sexual abuse by priests. She has written thorough spotlights on numerous community members including the Creighton student working to ensure access to menstrual hygiene products in Namibia, the former state senator turned adolescent health advocate who retired after decades of public service, the refugee women who share their food and their stories, and more.

    Additionally, she is an advocate for local news. Erin has been in every part of Omaha and beyond, shining a light on injustices, celebrating new developments, and holding elected officials accountable.

    PRSA Nebraska is proud to have honored these recipients at our last Paper Anvil Awards Gala and we encourage you to share your amazing work and nominate your colleagues for the 2020 PRSANE Service Awards!

    To learn more about how to nominate a colleague or organization, visit the Paper Anvil Awards page. The submission deadline is Monday, Nov. 30, at 11:59 p.m.


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