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French/West/Vaughan CEO Rick French Wins Raleigh Public Relations Society Lifetime Achievement Award

by | Oct 26, 2018

Rick French, founder, chairman & CEO of Raleigh-based French/West/Vaughan (FWV) was honored by the Raleigh Public Relations Society (RPRS) with the prestigious Watt Huntley Award, an award recognizing lasting and meaningful contributions to the field of public relations over the course of a career. French accepted the accolade at the 2018 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards hosted by the RPRS.

“Rick’s career and accomplishments have had a wide-ranging impact on the PR industry nationally, and especially here in Raleigh,” said Lindsay Priester, RPRS president. “For more than 25 years he has demonstrated how important our profession is in communicating the stories and values that drive business, keep us informed and improve our quality of life.”

FWV, which also operates account service offices in New York, Tampa and L.A., is the Southeast’s largest independently-held PR and marketing agency with 113 associates working in public relations, public affairs, advertising and digital media. French opened the agency in Downtown Raleigh in April 1997.

Under French’s leadership, FWV has won over 850 PR and advertising awards and has been named National Agency of the Year 12 times. The CEO has earned nationwide recognition for his thought leadership, industry vision and expertise in strategic communications. He is an American Advertising Federation Silver Medal recipient (its highest individual honor), a two-time PR Agency Professional of the Year, and a 2018 inductee into the N.C. Media & Journalism Hall of Fame.

“I am extremely grateful for this recognition inspired by the legacy of Watt Huntley, but no one wins anything by themselves,” French said. “This is really a team honor that I share with all of my past and current colleagues who have contributed immeasurably to the success I’ve had in my professional career, none more so than my partners and associates at FWV.”

Extending his agency’s influence, French is also involved in feature film development through Prix Productions, founded with screenwriter/director Patrick Shanahan. In addition, he is co-owner of the Daytona Tortugas, the Advanced A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, where he helped create the Tortugas Care Foundation, bringing Little League baseball back to Volusia County, Fla., and providing grant funding to numerous non-profits in the region.

French serves on numerous non-profit boards, including Teen Cancer America (founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend of The Who), the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from his alma-mater, Oakland University.

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