I had the privilege of sharing a table with three sons of Juanita and Tex Taylor. Our biggest individual award is named after the late Tex Taylor. His wife passed away a few weeks ago. Several of the speakers talked about Tex's generous support of young PR professionals.
I'm also happy to say we raised good money for the Marilyn Potts Endowment Fund. In the silent auction, I personally took home vouchers for 17 pizzas (if you know me, you'll understand).
Our PR Professional of the Year winner, Kami Watson Huyse, APR, has shared her wonderful speech on her blog. I've been given permission to share the speech of our Horizon Winner, Randy Escamilla below.
Fellow Honorees or Stars as we're called tonight: Kelly, Kami and Adrianna; fellow PRSA members; Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word;ladies and gentlemen. Thank you all very much!
I have to tell you a little story: When I found out I was the recipient of the Horizon Award I sent out an email to some of my friends. One of them, quickly responded, "Could this be Divine Intervention?"
Certainly, this could not have happened without help from Above. And, fortunately I have had rich and meaningful guidance from friends along this new-found journey into public relations.
Exactly three years ago this month-I left a fun and crazy career in TV news. There was no doubt I'd transition into public relations...and I've had to learn that PR means much more than just press releases.
I would not be here tonight without the guidance and support of the Public Relations Society of America and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. There are Sisters present here tonight -- giants of our community. Please stand and be recognized.
And it's not by accident that both organizations; PRSA and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, share values and missions which mirror each other with a clear focus on ethics. Two great institutions which not only invite me to join-to be a part of---but allow me to serve. And what an honor that is.
The truth is, tonight's award is not about me. It's about the people who really have allowed me to further my knowledge, interest, investment and love of public relation
specifically Sister Walter Maher, Kami Watson Huyse, APR, and Pascual Gonzalez.
I'd also like to acknowledge Bob McCullough, APR, and Lorraine Pulido-Ramirez who nominated me for this award. Please stand and be recognized. I'm also grateful to the late Marilyn Potts, our Chapter president, who we lost tragically a couple of years ago. I met Marilyn at my first PRSA mixer and she immediately made me feel welcome. It is Marilyn's warm and genuine spirit which lives on in our Chapter and encompasses PRSA.
Never could I have imagined just a few years ago that I'd be travelling around the world as part of a team working with the world's poorest people and saving African babies from AIDS. It's part of my journey in this honorable profession. And this award is for them.
Tonight, we are called stars of public relations. Stars are bright, warm and glowing. Stars always shine brighter when they're part of great constellations.
It's an honor for me to receive the 2008 Horizon Award and to be a part of the great constellations of PRSA and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.