Nance McCown, PhD, co-chair of the Department of Communications and Associate Professor of Communications at Messiah College, was honored as the 26th recipient of the prestigious Ernest R. McDowell Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a PPRS member. The award was established in 1991 to recognize an individual for sustained excellence in the field of public relations, in both the profession itself and the community. It is presented in memory of the late Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Relations with Capital Health System – today’s Pinnacle Health System – who set the standard for professionalism and community service with his good works and lifetime example.

Upon accepting the award Dr. McCown said, “I must first say how very humbled and honored I am to be here tonight. I am in awe when I recognize the many accomplishments of highly deserving prior recipients and know full well that any number of you enjoying this wonderful evening with me could just as easily be standing up here. So, with all my heart I thank you for this honor and can only hope with God’s help to do my best to continue Ernie’s legacy, so well borne by those of you wearing the McDowell pin.”

Christine Cronkright, Eric Kiehl and Joan Nissley were recognized as co-recipients of the Robert M. Fisher Membership Recruitment Award. Each of the three respectively recruited two of the 16 individuals recruited in 2016. This is the first time in the Society’s history that the award was shared by three members.

The annual installation of new officers began with the passing of the gavel from Erin Kanter, outgoing president to Crystal L. Hull, ABC, MPA, in-coming president. In addition, Larissa Bedrick was installed as vice president; Erin Waters-Trasatt at secretary and Ken Robinson, APR, as treasurer.

Photo: Erin Kanter, left, presents the Ernest R.McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations to Nance McCown, PhD. Photo by Roger That Photography. 


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