Platinum Awards

Recognize your chapter “MVP”

 

By Andrea Clark, APR

We all have them: the amazingly dedicated individuals who find time for their “day jobs,” families and friends, communities AND PRSA.

They care deeply about the profession and their peers, and often get involved first at the chapter level, graduate to the district level and often engage at the national level – whether on the board or through committees, special projects or conference. These seemingly tireless folks are usually the ones who also write papers or articles educating and informing about public relations, and make time to mentor others who strive to make an impact through strategic communications.

Do you have someone like this in your chapter? Most of us do. Shining a light on their dedication and commitment can be an incredibly powerful motivator for others, and these PR champions deserve our recognition.

That’s why every year the East Central District (ECD) presents the Platinum Award to one outstanding professional from one of our 17 chapters. Named after former national PRSA board member; ECD PRSA board chair and Detroit PRSA Chapter President Donald P. Durocher, APR, Fellow PRSA, the Platinum Award recognizes a practitioner who has achieved a distinguished service record and is clearly identified as a role model for others.

The ECD has been privileged to have so many talented and committed practitioners calling our district home. In 2018, the board recognized Rick Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA, of the Greater Cleveland Chapter with the Platinum Award. Rick serves on the PRSA National board, and has also served at the district and chapter levels.

Batyko reinforced the importance of the Platinum Award. “As PR practitioners, we delight in earning recognition for our organizations and clients through professional awards from esteemed associations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). We do not seek the spotlight for ourselves,” Batyko said. “The PRSA East Central District (ECD) Platinum Award is one of our profession’s ways of turning the spotlight on the professional whose career achievements and community contributions set her or him apart. It is a high honor bestowed upon one professional each year by colleagues across six states and 17 PRSA chapters. Few awards in our profession mean as much to an individual as the ECD Platinum Award.”

Each chapter is encouraged to nominate one leader from their ranks. All applications are due by Friday, Aug. 30 to Andrea Clark, APR at andrea.clark@kellogg.com. For more information about the award and criteria, see this link.

Photo caption, from left to right: Bob Rotatori from the Greater Cleveland Chapter, Batyko and John Palmer from the ECD Board.

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2018 Platinum Award Winner: Rick Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA

Every year PRSA Chapters within the East Central District (ECD) region are given the opportunity to submit a nomination from their membership for consideration of the District’s top practitioner recognition, the Platinum Award.

This year five nominations were received. The PRSA ECD Board was impressed with the quality of all the applications. After careful review, the Board selected Rick Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA, of the Greater Cleveland Chapter as this year’s honoree.

Rick has more than 30 years of Fortune100 and nonprofit public relations, marketing and brand management experience. Currently, he is serving as senior vice president for marketing, communications and development for Team NEO in Cleveland. Prior, he has served as director of communications for Babcock & Wilcox; as a director of communications and brand management for AlliedSignal; as manager, e-media and news management at Honeywell International; and prior to Team NEO as an officer and vice president for marketing and communications at The Cleveland Foundation. He began his career in PR leadership roles with Rio Grande University and Lake Erie College.

“I’ve had the good fortune to serve on the East Central District board with Rick in the past and have appreciated his support and leadership as a national board member,” said ECD board chair Andrea Clark, APR. “This is a well-earned recognition.”

Batyko is a graduate of Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism with a major in public relations, and received his Master of Arts in public relations from Kent State University in 2012. He holds his Accreditation with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication, teaching courses in the Masters of Public Relations program.

Rick is on the PRSA National Board of Directors representing the ECD region, and was recently voted in to continue on the Board at the national assembly.  He is a past president of the Greater Cleveland and the Akron Area Chapters of the Society and past chair of PRSA’s East Central District’s Board of Directors. He has presented at a number of PRSA’s international and regional conferences, chaired or held positions on several national committees and has been a delegate at six national assemblies. He served on the 2013 College of Fellows Selection Committee, co-chaired the 2014–16 College of Fellows Strategic Planning Committee, a member of the PRSA Investment Committee, and a Champion for PRSSA.

For his service to the profession, Batyko was inducted into PRSA’s College of Fellows in 2009. In 2013, PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter presented him with its Lighthouse Award, which acknowledges a senior-level practitioner for contributions to the field and the community.

His writings have appeared in an ABC-CLIO book on advertising titled, “We Are What We Sell” (2014); in a University of Akron Press book on community-building economic development titled, “Under the Rustbelt” (2015); and in a Praeger book titled, “Debates for the Digital Age” (November 2015). He is editing for ABC-CLIO (Greenwood imprint) an encyclopedia of the global digital. He has been published in the Public Relations Journal and in other outlets. His thesis, “The Impact of Japanese Corporate and Country Culture on Crisis Communications: A Case Study Examining Tokyo Electric Power Company,” was published to OhioLink in 2012.

Batyko’s son, Bobby, is a graduate of Kent State University in public relations and is working for a nonprofit in Oberlin, Ohio. His daughter, Erica, is also a graduate of Kent State University in public relations and is working for a full-service advertising agency in Cleveland, Ohio. His wife, Mary, teaches for Akron Public Schools.

 

Photo credit: Team NEO
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Platinum Award Winner

Please join us in celebrating our 2017 Platinum Award recipient Karen Stiffler, APR, of the White Pine Chapter.  The award,  the East Central District’s top individual recognition, was presented in November by Melinda Shriner, former chair of the East Central District, who read a letter of commendation from the ECD board.

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Platinum Award Winner – 2016

Please join us in recognizing our 2016 Platinum Award recipient Joe W. Gollehon, APR, Fellow PRSA.  The award,  the East Central District’s top individual recognition, was presented in November by 2016 ECD Secretary MJ Clark, APR, Fellow PRSA. During that meeting, we was recognized with the PRSA-West Virginia Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

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