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Public Relations Society of America, LA Chapter to recognize champions of diversity and inclusion at the third annual Sunrise Honors

by | Dec 3, 2021

The Public Relations Society of America Los Angeles Chapter (PRSA-LA) celebrates excellence in diversity and inclusion communications with the return of its third annual Sunrise Honors on December 10 at The City Club of Los Angeles from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Sunrise Honors recognizes leaders across the public relations industry who continue to champion opportunities and representation for African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, members of the LGBTQI+ community, and people with disabilities.

The PRSA-LA breakfast celebration will honor distinguished PR mavericks including Valarie De La Garza, CEO of Fenton; Kim Hunter, Chairman and CEO of The LAGRANT Foundation, LAGRANT Communications and Managing Partner of KLH & Associates; Debra Nakatomi, President of NakatomiPR, and Steve Roth, executive director for ORAHM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of these leaders who illuminate the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in our society,” said Melissa England, president of PRSA-LA and director of consumer public relations for The Wonderful Company. “Living in one of the most diverse cities in the country, we know the beauty and meaningful impact that come with representation, as well as the responsibility we have as communicators to champion our differences and raise up all voices – something each of the Sunrise honorees epitomize.”

More on the 2021 Sunrise Honors honorees:

  • Valarie De La Garza is the CEO of Fenton,the nation’s first social change agency. With a career spanning 30 years, she has worked for boutique, mid-sized and global agencies, including The Rogers Group (now Finn Partners), MS&LGROUP, her own successful consultancy, as well as nonprofit organizations. As the first woman and person of color to lead Fenton in its 39-year history, she oversees 80 employees across the country dedicated to creating a more just and equitable world. Fenton’s clients are at the forefront of social change and include Center for Popular Democracy, Color of Change, Black Voters Matter, the W.K. Kellogg, and the Annie E. Casey foundations. Before joining Fenton, Valarie led communications and marketing for the California Community Foundation, one of the most prestigious community foundations in the country. Valarie earned her BA in Sociology from UCLA, where she was honored to serve as the first Latina editor-in-chief of The Daily Bruin in its 60-year history.
  • Kim Hunter is the Charmain and CEO of The LAGRANT Foundation, CEO of LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS and Managing Partner for KLH & Associates. For more than 30 years, this award-winning professional has been at the helm of creating multicultural and culturally sensitive campaigns that appeal to the Hispanic, African American, and LGBTQIA+ consumer markets. His work has received multiple industry awards, including 6 PRism Awards, 22 Hermes Creative Awards, 6 Latino Marketing Awards, and 2 PR & Marketing Association Golden Advocate Awards. The LAGRANT Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, has provided more than 643 academic scholarships (totaling $2.7M) to Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC). As chairman and CEO, Kim single-handedly recruits, interviews, and selects new board members from leading organizations, including Microsoft, GM, Google, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, and Walmart. He also helps raise funds to support multicultural students around the country, with more than $9M raised to date. To date, the firm has secured roles for more than 20 qualified mid-and senior-level executives in Fortune 500 or national companies.
  • Debra Nakatomi is the founder and President of NakatomiPR,a strategic communications firm dedicated to advancing social change and promoting equity. She has devoted her career to supporting public and private sector clients, philanthropy, and nonprofit organizations to succeed through strategic communications. Outside of the firm, Debra serves mission-driven organizations dedicated to expanding philanthropy, promoting health, and advancing wellness. She is past chair and trustee of The California Wellness Foundation and former president of the Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation. Debra serves on the Advisory Councils for Asian Americans Advancing Justice–Los Angeles, Kizuna, Peace Over Violence, and the Irene Hirano Inouye Philanthropic Leadership Fund. A lifelong advocate for women and girls, she serves on the World Board of the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, a global organization of 10 million members in 152 countries.
  • Steve Roth is the Executive Director of Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM), a pioneering organization working to protect exceptionally vulnerable LGBTIQ refugees and asylum seekers. A globally-oriented strategic thinker and connector, Steve leads the organization’s strategic development in conjunction with its board of directors; directs its programmatic work, development, and communications; and overseas operations and partner relations. Before that, he served as Senior Director of Global Initiatives at Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, where he led the organization’s efforts to advance LGBTIQ workplace inclusion globally. In addition, he managed industry-leading programs in education, training, and capacity-building; launched a successful Global Fellowship program; and produced major global workplace inclusion events in India, Brazil, China, and Eastern Europe. In 2008, he founded OutThink Partners, a boutique communications, marketing, and advocacy organization specializing in the LGBTIQ market. Steve graduated from the University of Chicago in Latin American Studies and speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.

Previous PRSA-LA Sunrise Honors honorees include CBS Entertainment’s Tiffany Smith AnoaiBill Imada of IW Group; Gilbert Dávila of Dávila Mutlicultural Insights; Alan Acosta with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center; Rashad RobinsonAmity Paye and Rashid Shabazz of Color of Change; and Zandra Zuno Baermann with We Are UnidosUS.

Sunrise Honors is open to all PRSA, Black Public Relations Society, and Hispanic Public Relations Association members, non-members, and students. The breakfast event begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at The City Club of Los Angeles (555 Flower Street, 51st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071).

To purchase tickets, and for more information, please visit: https://bit.ly/3rriEoJ.

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