Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR), the oldest professional society for female communicators in the greater capital area, named the 2018 Emerging Leaders Awards (ELAs) honorees Tuesday. The ninth annual ELAs honored rising stars, ages 25-35, who have excelled in public relations and related fields, and given back to the industry by contributing their skills and talents to innovative initiatives and projects. Six winners from different sectors within the communications field were announced at the ceremony to recognize the diverse group of up-and-coming communications professionals.
The 2018 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards Honorees are:
Large Agency: Kristin Chapdelaine. Kristin serves as a Director at Golin, a global corporate communications agency, based in Washington, DC. With more than a decade of strategic communications experience, she specializes in the development and implementation of corporate reputation campaigns and executive positioning programs for C-suite executives in a number of industries, as well as messaging and strategies for clients around crisis and issues management situations, as well as social purpose. Kristin developed and leads Golin’s approach to executive relevance, which focuses on establishing executives as leaders who shape and move opinions.
Non-Profit: Mercy Chikowore. Mercy is a dynamic storyteller and Public Relations nerd with a passion to change the world. With over a decade of experience creating communications strategies for nonprofit, entertainment and private sector clients, Mercy has secured an impressive portfolio of local and national media placements. Mercy has landed clients in the Associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Root, Business Insider, and more. Over the years, Mercy has maintained a solid network of reporters, brand managers and business owners who have cross-connected as a result of her business savvy. At the core of her work ethic is Mercy’s ability to understand her clients’ needs and to execute with grace and ease.
Association: Elise Castelli. In her role as the director of communications and public relations for the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), Elise tells the inspiring stories of pioneering medical professionals who treat the toughest medical problems through a pinhole incision using image guidance. Elise began her communications career as a journalist. A natural storyteller, Elise was inspired to become a public communicator after reading a biography of Nellie Bly in first grade. As a journalist she shed light on the inner workings of state, local and federal government, writing for The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, New Hampshire Union Leader and Federal Times.
Boutique Sized Agency/Independent: Shelby Giles. In her role as an Account Supervisor at Vanguard Communications, Shelby helps clients take a research-driven, yet intuitive approach to developing strategies that employ inspiring storytelling and compelling data to engage audiences around today’s most pressing issues. At Vanguard, Giles leads the conceptualization and development of health communications campaigns and materials with a focus on underserved communities. Recently, she helped develop Vanguard’s newest business vertical.
Corporate: Tiph Turpin. In her role as the senior manager of global internal communications at Mars, Incorporated, Tiph creates and executes strategic business communications for corporate-wide objectives reaching more than 115,000 Associates. She led the team that developed and launched the first enterprise-wide, custom, social intranet with a native mobile app at Mars, resulting in nearly one million unique site visits and 24,000 app downloads within the first two months after launch.
Government Public Affairs: Tara Goodin Rabin. As a senior press officer and public affairs specialist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Tara serves as an agency advisor, spokesperson and project manager for the rollout of high-profile agency announcements, such as 23andMe’s Genetic Health Risk tests, the first ever FDA-approved automated insulin delivery device, and the FDA’s activities advancing the area of precision medicine. Tara also oversees the agency’s news media team that responds to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, like Zika and Ebola, and she led communications efforts for the launch of three FDA campaigns to educate youth about the harms of tobacco use.
A distinguished panel of judges selected the honorees based on their record of excellence and accomplishments in their careers thus far, as well as their leadership qualities and ethical standards.
The 2018 judges included:
Kathy Baird, Managing Director, Ogilvy
Jennifer Curley, President and CEO of Curley Company
Stephenie Fu, Principal at SLF Strategies and Senior Policy Advisory at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Kelly Mack, Public Affairs Specialist, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Lisa Powers, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications at the Personal Care Products Council
“WWPR’s Emerging Leaders Awards represent a special and unique moment to cheer on women in our ranks who are proving that talent does not have age requirements,” said WWPR President Danielle Veira. “This year, we’ve seen impressive experience from across the spectrum of the communications field displayed by a beautifully diverse group of finalists who represent a myriad of sectors and specialties. This event is a perfect example of what WWPR strives to provide for female communicators in this city: a sisterhood that celebrates and cultivates excellence at every stage in your career.”
The Emerging Leaders Awards is a special accolade for young women active within the communications field who have made a significant impact on the industry. The complete list of 2018 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards finalists can be found here:
The ELAs’ winners were announced at a cocktail reception at WeWork Capital Riverfront. Cameron Hardesty, Head of Merchandising at UrbanStems, sat down for a one-on-one chat with moderator Barbara Martin, co-founder and co-CEO of BrandlinkDC.
The 2018 ELAs were made possible by the following businesses: Connecticut Wines and Spirits for the wine, Double R Productions for the video footage, Popcorn Queens for the dessert. WeWork M street for the event space, Keairra Adams, Frames14 for the photos, Main Event caterers for the food and service and Washington Trophy Center for the awards.
Premier Sponsor: AARP
Platinum Sponsor: Axios and Strauss Media Strategies
Gold Sponsor: CRAFT
Silver Sponsors: Edelman, Hager Sharp, Ketchum, Ogilvy Washington and The Reis Group
Partners: Capitol Communicator
Venue Sponsors: WeWork and REQ