Presidents Award 2016

At our last event of 2016, Thane Maynard, Director of the Cincinnati Zoo, was presented the 2016 Presidents Award.

Friends and colleagues honor Thane Maynard, recipient of the 2016 President's Award

Past presidents gather around Thane Maynard. Back row, from left: Carrie Phillippi, APR; Rob Pasquinucci, APR, Mike Boehmer, APR; Thane Maynard, Lee Oberlag, APR; Shara Clark, APR; Lauren Doyle, APR; Jonathan Kissell, APR. Front row, Rick Pender, APR, Fellow PRSA; and Tom Schick, APR, Fellow PRSA.  

Past presidents gather around Thane Maynard. Back row, from left: Carrie Phillippi, APR; Rob Pasquinucci, APR, Mike Boehmer, APR; Thane Maynard, Lee Oberlag, APR; Shara Clark, APR; Lauren Doyle, APR; Jonathan Kissell, APR. Front row, Rick Pender, APR, Fellow PRSA; and Tom Schick, APR, Fellow PRSA.


Thane Maynard is indeed a worthy recipient. He is one of the most respected zoo leaders in the country, but the past year truly let his ambassadorial light shine. As the chief spokesman of the zoo during a protracted crisis, he was called upon again and again to represent the zoo in the sometimes unforgiving glare of the public spotlight. He did that with clarity and empathy for all those involved, from the family to the zoo team to the public itself.

Congratulations, Thane, on this well-deserved award and thank you for all your work on behalf of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Zoo.

Presidents Award 2015

On June 3, 2015, Sister Rose Ann Fleming, SND de N, athlete academic adviser at Xavier University, was presented with the Presidents Award. During the luncheon ceremony, four of her long-time colleagues – Gary Massa, Sister Rita Sturwold, Jamal Walker and Tom Schick, APR – shared their recollections of working with the tenacious nun during her 30-year career at the university. In addition, Sister Rose Ann shared her own advice for success in life.

She spoke of principles that applied not just to basketball players, but public relations professionals. These principles include: defining one's successes not by the amount of wins and loses, but about performing at your personal your personal best; ensuring there is continuous improvement; and one all PR professionals can relate to, putting the team first. For a more detailed look at Sister Rose Ann's comments, see the PR Visions blog post, Sister Rose Ann's principles of success through a PR lens.

Sister Rose Ann was a fine honoree for this year’s Presidents Award.

Presidents Award 2014

The recipient of the 2014 Presidents Award is Anthony Muñoz of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation. for his efforts to impact the lives of Tri-State youth mentally, physically and spiritually. It is estimated that the foundation has touched the lives of more than 30,000 youth - and counting. While his roots are in California, his jersey hangs in the Hall of Fame, but his heart and his passion are in Cincinnati. For that, and for his never-ending inspiration and encouragement, we salute him.

Presidents Award 2013

In 2013, Cincinnati PRSA presented its annual Presidents Award to Dr. Catherine Roma of MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir, May 15 at St. John's Unitarian Universalist Church. The award-winning MUSE kicked-off the event with an inspirational performance. The chapter extends a special thank you to its past presidents who served as special "patrons" of the event. The Presidents Award honors individuals who are not PR professionals but who use PR to improve the Greater Cincinnati community.

PRSA Cincinnati Chapter Honors NKU President James Votruba as 2012 Winner

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Cincinnati Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America honored Northern Kentucky University President James C. Votruba with its annual Presidents Award on Tuesday during a luncheon at NKU’s Griffin Hall.

The award honors those who use public relations toward achieving a significant improvement in the quality of life in Greater Cincinnati.  

Votruba has served as NKU’s president since 1997 and will retire at the end of July. During his tenure, the university has experienced unprecedented growth in enrollment, campus facilities and reputation.

As president of the largest state entity in Northern Kentucky and the second largest higher education institution in Greater Cincinnati, Votruba has worked tirelessly to connect the university to the community in unprecedented ways. “One of the things for which I am most proud during my time here has been the extent to which this institution has become a part of the fabric of our region,” Votruba said. “It is said in higher education that an organization’s reputation lags reality by about 10 years. Our challenge has been to compress that timeframe so that everyone would be aware of the tremendous things that are happening here.”

During Votruba’s 15 years leading NKU, student enrollment has climbed 34 percent to nearly 16,000. The university has added 19 bachelor’s degree programs, 42 master’s or graduate certificate programs and two professional doctoral programs during his presidency. NKU also opened the Dorothy Westerman Herrmann Natural Science Center, a Student Union, The Bank of Kentucky Center and the Griffin Hall informatics center under Dr. Votruba. NKU’s creation of or participation in programs such as its Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, Mayerson Student Philanthropy Program, Northern Kentucky Forum, Center for Applied Informatics, Center for Applied Ecology and Kentucky Center for Mathematics, the university has also emerged as a national model in community engagement.

PRSA Presidents Award Recipients

  • Anthony Muñoz, Cincinnati Bengals Hall-of-Famer and President, the Anthony Muñoz Foundation
  • Dr. Catherine Roma, MUSE, Cincinnati Women's Choir (2013)
  • James C. Votruba, President, NKU, 2007 - 2012 (2012)
  • Tom Cody, Tireless Community Volunteer and Civic Leader (2011)
  • Kathy Wade, International Entertainer/Producer and Community Bridge-Builder(2010)
  • Eric Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Maestro and international conductor (2009)
  • Dan Hurley, WKRC-TV reporter and Cincinnati historian (2008)
  • Cathryn Hilker, Founder & Director, Cincinnati Zoo Cat Ambassador Program (2007)
  • Ross Love, Entrepreneur and Community Volunteer (2006)
  • Ed Rigaud, Founding Exec. Director, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (2005)
  • Jean-Robert de Cavel, Chef de Cuisine and Restaurateur (2004)
  • Nick and Nina Clooney, Greater Cincinnati celebrity couple (2003)
  • Ed Stern, Producing Artistic Director, Playhouse in the Park (2002)
  • Sheila Adams, President & CEO, Urban League (2001)
  • Dr. Leon Boothe, President Emeritus, Northern Kentucky University (2000)
  • Sister Jean Patrice Harrington, S.C., former President, College of Mount St. Joseph (1999)
  • Charles Mechem, retired Chairman, Cincinnati Bell (1998)
  • David Phillips, CEO, Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. (1997)
  • Bobbie Sterne, former Mayor of Cincinnati (1996)
  • Dr. Lawrence Hawkins, Chairman of Omni-Man and retired educator (1995)
  • Clement Buenger, retired Chairman, Fifth Third Bancorp (1994)
  • Charlene Ventura, Executive Director, Cincinnati YWCA (1993)
  • George Rieveschl, Ph.D., retired chemist and long-time philanthropist (1991)
  • Paul Flory, Director, Thriftway ATP Tournament (1990)
  • Stephen Gibbs, Director, Cincinnati Free Store (1989)

The Public Relations Society of America, based in New York City, is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals helping to advance the profession and the professional. Its nearly 20,000 members, organized into 116 chapters nationwide represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. For info about the national PRSA, please visit