This past November, members of North Florida PRSA (the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America) gathered at The Carling for a night of good company, networking and awards recognizing the best in their field. Steel drums highlighted the island-themed event and WJXT Channel 4â€™s Mary Baer was the guest speaker. Local PR representatives and business professionals took their seats as the program began. We knew there were many talented award candidates, but we were confident that Leah Craig would be among those honored. One by one, the winners went up to be recognized for work in program categories such as Community Relations, Consumer Marketing, Crisis Communications and other specific public relation disciplines. Then individual award winners were announced in several categories. As they announced the winner of the 2011 Rising Star award, Leah made her way to the stage.
With that, we would like to congratulate Leah, one of our stellar board members, for being recognized as a young professional who has made significant achievements and displayed excellence in public relations. “I was surprised to have been nominated for the Rising Star award and was honored to receive it,â€ť Leah says.
Well, we with AIGA Jacksonville canâ€™t say weâ€™re that surprised. Leah has been such an amazing asset to our chapter when it comes to public relations, participation and involvement. From volunteering at shows to coordinating promotions in the local media, she has created many opportunities for AIGA to reach a broader audience and has helped keep the spotlight focused on our events and members.
â€śSince joining AIGA Jacksonvilleâ€™s board this year, Iâ€™ve tried to focus on getting more press coverage of AIGAâ€™s events since they are so great and interesting,â€ť Leah says.
On top of a full-time career as the Communications Manager and Sizzle Editor-in-Chief at the American Culinary Federation, she is also a member of North Florida PRSA. She spent most of 2011 volunteering with the groupâ€™s Marketing and Communications team for the PRism Awards. â€śIâ€™ve been a member of North Florida PRSA for a few years now, but this year I really got plugged in working on the Prism Awards committee.â€ť
Even with a full schedule, Leah has joined our local AIGA chapter and serves as our Public Relations Chair. Since joining, her experience has helped our events reach our members much more effectively. Thanks to Leah, AIGA Jacksonville has been featured on the Channel 4 TV weekend morning show highlighting what was to come at our Designerâ€™s in Toyland show. She organized a story featured in the Times Union the day of the toy show and set up a radio interview on WJCTâ€™s â€śFirst Coast Connect.â€ť She also helped get the word out about the poster show, with EU Jacksonville writing a story and getting the event listed on local calendars.
Her willingness to volunteer with AIGA hasnâ€™t just been focused on media relations. You may have also seen her helping with our charity efforts at St. Baldrickâ€™s Foundation or volunteering at our poster show. She has been an integral part of our events behind the scenes and at the scene. â€śLeah has been amazing as AIGA Jacksonville’s Public Relations Chair. Buttoned-up, on-point and self-motivated. She’s easy to work beside and a joy to collaborate with. I am so glad she’s part of our team,â€ť says Varick Rosete, past AIGA Jacksonville president.
Leahâ€™s success can be seen in all of her endeavors and we would again like to congratulate her on this well deserved award. She displays her â€śrising stardomâ€ť with all the help she lend to us. We canâ€™t thank her enough.
~ Bryan, Social Media Chair
(photography by becphotography)