Individual Awards

Newcomer of the Year

The Newcomer of the Year award recognizes someone new to public relations for demonstrating exceptional leadership and professional achievements during his/her initial years in the profession.

All public relations professionals who have been in full-time practice for less than five years are eligible. This period excludes internships and part-time employment while working on a degree. Each entry should include up to a two-page nomination made by a senior-level executive or supervisor at the nominee’s organization.

Past recipients include:

  • 2016 – Greg Thilmont
  • 2015 – Scott Kerbs
  • 2014 – Andrea Mestdagh
  • 2013 – Amanda Arentsen
  • 2012 – Jesse Scott
  • 2010 – Georgeann Pizzi
  • 2009 – Michelle Mosbacher
  • 2008 – Elizabeth Higginson
  • 2007 – McKinzie Cogswell
  • 2006 – Paige Candee
  • 2005 – Shannon Hiller
PR Practitioner of the Year

The PR Practitioner of the Year award recognizes an established practitioner with 6-15 years of full-time practice for outstanding professional accomplishments and exceptional leadership during the previous year as well as career achievements.

Each entry should include up to a two-page nomination by another established practitioner. The nominee may be an independent practitioner or work for an agency, corporate organization, non-profit, or government/education institution.

Past recipients include:

  • 2015 – Michael Bertetto
  • 2014 – Dawn Britt
  • 2013 – Kassi Belz, APR
  • 2011 – Holly Silvestri
  • 2010 – William Marion
  • 2008 – Solveig Thorsrud-Allen
  • 2007 – Elizabeth Trosper
  • 2006 – Lynn Purdue
  • 2005 – Paula Yakubik
Senior PR Practitioner of the Year

Established in 2014, the Senior PR Practitioner of the Year award recognizes an established practitioner with more than 15 years of full-time practice for outstanding professional accomplishments and exceptional leadership during the previous year as well as career achievements.

Each entry should include up to a two-page nomination by another senior practitioner. The nominee may be an independent practitioner or work for an agency, corporate organization, non-profit, or government/education institution.

Past recipients include:

  • 2016 – Jeremy Handel
  • 2015 – Melissa Warren
  • 2014 – Kurt Ouchida
Roger Buehrer Lifetime Achievement Award

Occasionally, when merited, this award is given to a senior practitioner who exemplifies PRSA’s professional ideals and has contributed greatly to the practice of public relations in our community. This individual has an impressive working knowledge of the profession and has provided valuable service to PRSA and to the Las Vegas chapter.

Individuals must be nominated by another practitioner for having a profound effect on the practice of public relations in the geographic area covered by the annual awards — Southern Nevada, Northern Arizona or Southern Utah.

Each entry should include up to a two-page nomination by another established practitioner with at least 15 years of full-time experience in public relations.

About The Award
Roger Buehrer, APR, Fellow PRSA, earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in communications from American University. In 1983, he began his public relations career in Southern Nevada as manager of corporate communications for Southwest Gas Corporation. He served in this role for 22 years, after which he transitioned to public information officer at Southern Nevada Water Authority where he served for seven years before retiring.

Buehrer was instrumental in reviving the PRSA Las Vegas Valley Chapter and served as president 1985-86 and 1988. He served on the national board of ethics and professional standards and helped guide the development of the member code of ethics. As a member of the PRSA Western District Board of Directors, he served in all leadership positions culminating in district chair. Buehrer has taught public relations courses at UNLV for several years and mentored students. In 1995 he was instrumental in developing the Certificate in Public Relations for the UNLV Department of Continuing Education, having written course guidelines, program requirements, and then teach the program from 20 years. He was elected to the PRSA College of Fellows in 2000.

From the chapter’s inception, Buehrer has been involved in sustaining and growing the chapter, from membership to programs. In 2000, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to honor Buehrer with a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to the local organization and public relations profession. Today, the award is named after Buehrer and is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the profession over an extended period of time.

Recipients include:

  • 2005 – Vicki Taylor, APR
  • 2000 – Roger Buehrer, APR, Fellow PRSA

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