The Plank Center names its 2023 Milestones in Mentoring Honorees

by | Jul 11, 2023

TUSCALOOSA, Ala., July 10, 2023The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations will honor six influential public relations professionals at its 13th annual Milestones in Mentoring Gala, on Nov. 2, 2023, at the Union League Club of Chicago.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Betsy Plank Award: Maril MacDonald, founder and CEO, Gagen MacDonald
  • Legacy Award: Patrice Tanaka, chief joy officer, Joyful Planet LLC
  • Agency Award: Mike Doyle, president & CEO, Ketchum
  • John “Jack” Koten Corporate Award: Jennifer Temple, executive vice president, chief communications officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Bruce K. Berger Educator Award: Dr. Alisa Agozzino, associate professor of public relations, Ohio Northern University
  • Emerging Leader Award: D’Anthony Jackson, vice president, director of strategy, Ogilvy

“We are delighted to honor the north stars of our profession. These exemplary mentors have led by example throughout their careers,” said Joanne Bischmann, chair, The Plank Center Board of Advisors. “We look forward to celebrating them for their extraordinary leadership and commitment to developing the future leaders of our profession.”

The Milestones in Mentoring Gala honors public relations leaders who have demonstrated a superior commitment to mentoring others and who are committed to accelerating the success of others in the following categories:

  • Betsy Plank Award: recognizes an exemplary professional who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to mentoring and has had a profound impact on others, who, in turn, have gone on to generate influence and foster relationships within their organization, community and profession.
  • Legacy Award: honors an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to mentoring others and who, through their mentoring, has impacted the lives of public relations professionals throughout their careers.
  • Agency Award: awarded to an individual who has been an outstanding mentor in an agency setting or consulting role.
  • John “Jack” Koten Corporate Award: awarded to an influential public relations leader that recognizes and demonstrates a commitment to mentoring others. The award is named in honor of Jack Koten, an influential public relations leader.
  • Bruce K. Berger Educator Award: recognizes an individual who is, or has been, a full-time educator who, through mentoring, has touched the lives and careers of students, whether in the classroom, in student-run firms, pre-professional societies and/or in scholarly endeavors. The award is named in honor of Bruce K. Berger, an exceptional public relations leader and educator.
  • Emerging Leader Award: honors young professionals who are up-and-coming leaders while providing reverse mentorship to more senior professionals. 

“That the honorees are introduced and presented with the award by one of their mentees makes the evening special and inspiring,” Plank Center Director Karla K. Gower said. “It is a reminder of the power of leadership through mentorship.”

The awards ceremony will be followed by a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. CDT. For more information on the 2023 Milestones in Mentoring Gala, including registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit the Plank Center’s website.

About The Plank Center

The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations is committed to empowering and advancing the next generation of emerging leaders in the profession through mentorship, programming, education and fostering meaningful connections. The Center ensures future leaders possess the knowledge, skills, history, ethics and empathy to foster strong relationships between institutions, organizations and the public they serve for mutual benefit. Established at The University of Alabama in 2005, the Center is named in honor of Betsy Plank, the “First Lady of PR.” For more information, please visit plankcenter.ua.edu and follow our social media channels (@PlankCenterPR).

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