With WVB, we recognize the best among our peers. It's time to nominate for 2015

By Chris Kemper

“People will forget what you said.

People will forget what you did.

But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

- Maya Angelou

That’s how I concluded my remarks upon receiving the Werner VonderHaar Bogart Award last year. And it's true -- it was a great feeling to be recognized by my peers. It gives you a sense that the sum of your work in this profession is much greater than the parts.

I would venture to say that the other 32 honorees would share the same sentiment.

Chris Kemper after he received the WVB award at the Blacksmiths last year.

Chris Kemper after he received the WVB award at the Blacksmiths last year.

The WVB is a huge honor -- the highest honor our chapter can bestow upon a member -- although sometimes I think it doesn't receive the recognition it deserves.

Of the W, V and B, I've only had the honor to meet one of them -- Judith Bogart. You might not know it, but Judith is a giant of our industry -- one of the people who put PR on the map.

In fact, Judith was named one of the 34 Living Legends by The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. (Anecdotally, I can tell you that a national PRSA president once snuck in a visit to Judith when visiting our chapter. He later told me it was almost like kissing the ring.)

A few years ago, Kevin Dugan, APR (WVB '12) captured a brief video of Judith talking about Werner and VonderHaar. It gives you a sense of appreciation for who they were and what they did -- and an awareness that the WVB is founded on the shoulders of giants.

It also further emphasizes the pedestal the WVB rightfully sits on in the history of our chapter.

We all know that someone -- that person who has spent a career going the extra mile for our profession and our community. Who should be recognized? Your mentor? Your boss? A colleague? You?

The nomination process is easy and can be done online. The deadline to nominate is Oct. 9.  We will then announce the recipient at the end of October and he/she will be formally recognized at the Blacksmith Awards on Nov. 19.

The WVB is a chance to make a deserving honoree feel like he or she never has before. And I can tell you from experience, the recipient will never forget it. 

The legendary Judith Bogart is at left. Chris Kemper is the 2015 chair of the Wener-VonderHaar-Bogart Award.