Presidents Award 2017


We're proud to announce that Buddy LaRosa is the recipient of Cincinnati PRSA's 2017 Presidents Award. The Presidents Award is the highest honor PRSA Cincinnati Chapter can bestow on a non-public relations professional. The award honors a Cincinnatian who doesn't work in the public relations profession, but who uses PR essentials - strategy, storytelling and brand building - to bring positive awareness and build the positive reputation of the City of Cincinnati.

Buddy embodies all these qualities and more. Not only has his iconic pizzeria, LaRosa's, greatly impacted the Cincinnati region, but he continues to give back to the community in many ways.

Buddy's favorite quote:

"Good Better Best, Never Let It Rest, Until Your Good Is Better and Your Better Is Best"

It's easy to see how Buddy has taken this quote to heart in all his endeavors.

In 1954 Buddy opened his first pizzeria on Boudinot Avenue in Western Hills after his discharge from the Navy. LaRosa's now has 65 family pizzerias which serve communities throughout Greater Cincinnati; Northern Kentucky; Southeast Indiana; Dayton; Columbus; and Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as locations at Kings Island, Coney Island, The Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Great American Ball Park.     

He is also the founder of the Cincinnati Golden Gloves for Youth; a non-profit organization serving our community youth in the OTR Boxing Center focused on programs building character, self-esteem, discipline, sportsmanship and values to live productive and drug free lives. He is a member of the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame, the Roger Bacon High School Hall of Fame and the Hamilton County Sports Hall of Fame.

Buddy was celebrated at the 2017 Blacksmith Award Ceremony on November 16.

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 Presidents Award Recipients

  • Buddy LaRosa, Founder, LaRosa's Pizzeria (2017)
  • Thane Maynard, Director of the Cincinnati Zoo (2016)
  • Sister Rose Ann Fleming, SND de N, athlete academic adviser at Xavier University (2015)
  • Anthony Muñoz, Cincinnati Bengals Hall-of-Famer and President, the Anthony Muñoz Foundation (2014)
  • 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