Friday, August 11, 2006

A Great Night for the San Antonio Chapter of PRSA

The evening of August 3 was a fantastic opportunity for the local chapter of PRSSA, which calls University of Texas at San Antonio home to see the superstars of public relations in San Antonio being recognized at the Fourth Annual Del Oro Awards. It was so wonderful for me that I had to really think about what I wanted to write for this blog posting. I first want to thank all of my executive board members for attending the event and I also want to thank Cynthia Hokanson, our vice president for acting as the student reporter for the evening.

As a student of public relations and the president of the UTSA-PRSSA it was an honor to be able to provide my executive board this opportunity. But a larger honor was being able to visit with so many of the PR professionals in San Antonio at one time, enjoying the opportunity to network and talk a little shop in order to pick brains.

I enjoyed meeting the 2006 Del Oro Tex Taylor Lifetime Award recipient, Bob Howard of the American Red Cross and learning that quite a bit of his career with ARC had been as a volunteer. It is wonderful to know that there are some selfless individuals still around.

It took some patient waiting to have a moment with 2006 Del Oro Public Relations Professional of the Year recipient Lorraine Pulido-Ramirez, Director of Marketing for CityView - a Henry Cisneros communities venture. Pulido-Ramirez was recognized for her work as the director of communications and public relations with the Edgewood Independent School District (EISD). In this position she was the spokesperson for the District. It was well worth the wait to shake her hand and tell her congratulations.

While the above mentioned recipients were intriguing and gave very heartfelt acceptance speeches, I would have to say there could not have been a dry eye in the room after listening to the acceptance speech of the 2006 Del Oro Horizon Award recipient, Carol Schliesinger who was recognized for her work as the Director of Public Relations at Southwest Mental Health Center. Schliesinger is responsible for making the media and community aware about the issues of chidren's mental health which is not recognized enough in San Antonio, let alone the rest of the country. This touched me personally as in my life I have known many chidren who have had to deal with mental health issues, and have had the opportunity to mentor some when I was a young teenager. I was extremely honored to meet Carol Schliesinger, and I am glad that she does the work that many people do not want to do.

I want to close with a final thought on Marilyn Potts, I had written previously that I did not know Marilyn. As I sit here in the position of president of my organization, I wish I had. Seeing the wonderful, fitting tribute to her did bring tears to my eyes and I got choked up. I know that if she were here today, I would have just one more mentor to learn from. San Antonio has truly lost a legend and she will be greatly missed.

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