This year’s Best In Maryland reception was held at the 1840s Ballroom, a beautiful venue with outstanding service. Guest entered through a gated courtyard where staff directed them upstairs to the 1840s Carroll Salon. The evening started off with a chance to networking and dig into some delicious food and drink catered by Hunt Valley Catering.
The Best in Maryland awards portion was opened with a few words from Katie Mercado, our vice president and Best In Maryland co-chair, who welcomed everyone reminding us that this is the 50th anniversary of Best In Maryland. She gave us a quick recap of what Best In Maryland means to our chapter, and thanked the board of directors and the BIM committee for their hard work in planning this year’s reception. She also acknowledged Dave Imre of IMRE for his continuing support of PRSA Maryland, and our go-to photographer Bob Stockfield of Stockfield Photography. (Check out our photos of who came at Gallery of faces and who won at Gallery of awards photos.)
The awards were presented by Reagan Warfield of the Mix 106.5 Morning Show, who did a great job announcing the winners while delighting the crowd with his charm, and Katie Mercado, who handed out the awards to each winner (Katie got her picture taken quite a bit that night!). During the ceremony, Reagan pointed out that this year we added new categories and streamlined others making the competition tougher—and more interesting—than ever. Several of our categories had a large number of entries with Story Placement leading in number received. For a detailed list of all winners, go to 2011 Best In Maryland Award Winners!.
We then turned to the New Professional of the Year award. Eleni Polites from Weber Shandwick took this honor, a complete surprise for Eleni who had no idea she was even nominated. It was fun watching her realize she was the recipient as Reagan read her bio. And it was even better when she discovered we had been hiding her family in the corner where they waited eagerly for her chance to shine.
The Lifetime Achievement award was presented by Gene Bracken (the 2010 recipient) to Jacqueline Lampell of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Jacqui was nominated by her co-workers for her professionalism and dedication to excellence within her field. Her nomination was lauded by other seasoned professionals, especially Gene who was honored to present her with the award.
The final two awards of the evening were announced last. The Best Representation of Theme is presented to the entry that best exemplifies the current theme, and this year’s went to Baltimore Gas and Electric’s for BGE Smart Energy Savers Program Marketing.
The Best In Show is presented to the most outstanding entry in the Program category. This year, the honor went to Catholic Relief Services for their The Haiti Earthquake: Catholic Relief Services Responds to a Major Disaster. The crowd erupted into cheers when the announcement was made. John Rivera accepted the award on behalf of his staff, lauding their continuing dedication to the CRS mission.
After the awards presentation, the evening continued with an array of yummy desserts and the chance to continue the celebration.
Finally, we’d be negligent if we didn’t thank our judges—the Rochester Chapter of PRSA—who said they were impressed by quality of the entries. We thank them sincerely for their hard work.
Winners: Additional awards may be ordered by clicking here. All orders must be received by COB Wednesday July 6, 2011.