Home / Conferences & Awards / Awards / Section Awards / Lloyd B. Dennis Award

Lloyd B. Dennis Award

Each year, the Public Affairs and Government (PAG) Section presents the Lloyd. B. Dennis Distinguished Service Award to an exemplary professional who has used his or her public affairs skills to promote truth, demonstrated high standards of integrity and honesty in business dealings, and who has helped effect positive change within an organization.

The award is named in honor of one of the great leaders among public relations practitioners, a true friend to the PRSA, and former chair of the PAG Section, Lloyd B. Dennis.


Nomination Procedures

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2024 Lloyd B. Dennis Award. Any PRSA member may nominate a candidate for the award. The nominee does not need to be a PRSA Public Affairs & Government section member, but should be recognized in public affairs, government, military, public sector or regulated industries. PRSA PAG involvement highly encouraged.

Process for Submitting a Nomination
Write the nomination letter and collect supporting material. The letter of nomination must contain the following information:

  • Statement of the nominee’s achievements. Contribution of the nominee to the practice and profession of public affairs and government public relations, and to the Public Affairs and Government section.
  • The nominee’s volunteer service, board offices and committee assignments with PRSA and/or other industry associations. PRSA PAG involvement highly encouraged.
  • Description of the way the nominee’s involvement in the profession has advanced the practice of public affairs and government public relations.
The 2024 nominations are due no later than Aug. 1, 2024, and should be submitted to the Public Affairs and Government Section at pag@prsa.org.

Judging Criteria

Nominees will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Industry commitment. What has the nominee done to impact the profession and practice of public affairs and government public relations? What has the nominee contributed to the Public Affairs and Government Section of PRSA?
  • Professional experience. How have the individual’s contributions demonstrated ethical public affairs and made a positive impact on government (local, state or national)?
  • Community service. Has the nominee demonstrated a commitment to serving the community? How has the individual changed the lives of those in the community?

A selection committee of former Lloyd B. Dennis Award winners will review nominations and recommend a winner in August. PRSA PAG Section Chair-elect serves as ex officio.

The Committee will recommend the winner to the PAG Executive Committee at its September meeting, and the Executive Committee will formalize the winner. The committee will inform nominees of their decision in mid-September. The Section will present the award at the PRSA International Conference in October 2024 and publicly announce the winner afterward. For questions, please contact the Public Affairs and Government Section at pag@prsa.org.

Previous Award Winners

  • 2023: Laura Lord-Blackwell, APR, Communication Advisor, Orange County Government
  • 2022: Paula Pedene, APR, Fellow PRSA, Paula Pedene and Associates
  • 2021: Lori Croy, Director of communications for the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance
  • 2020: Judith Webb, Executive Vice President, Communications, International WELL Building Institute
  • 2019: Rick Callender, Chief of External Affairs, Valley Water
  • 2018: Jennifer Day, APR, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • 2017: Janelle Guthrie, APR, Fellow PRSA, Communications Director, Washington State Employment Security Department
  • 2016: Capt. Brook DeWalt, APR+M, Fellow PRSA, Chief of Public Affairs, U.S. Strategic Command
  • 2015: Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR, Senior Public Affairs and Public Relations Executive, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • 2014: David M. Dozier, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, Professor of Journalism & Media Studies, San Diego State University
  • 2013: Julie H. Wilson, APR, founder and president, Reasons Group, Inc.
  • 2012: No award
  • 2011: No award
  • 2010: Robert Hastings, APR+M, senior vice president, communications, Bell Helicopter
  • 2009: Joseph V. Trahan, III, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, president/CEO and media relations trainer, Trahan & Associates
  • 2008: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, director, public relations, Indiana Departments of
    Revenue and Labor
  • 2007: Col. F. William Smullen, III, director, National Security Studies, Maxwell School of Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • 2006: James E. Lukaszewski, APR, Fellow PRSA, ABC, chair and president, The Lukaszewski Group
  • 2005: Dr. Larissa A. Grunig and Dr. James E. Grunig, internationally recognized educators and authors
  • 2004: William Novelli, CEO, AARP and founder and former co-president of Porter Novelli

    About Lloyd B. Dennis

    Lloyd B. Dennis was president and founder of Dennis & Associates, a public affairs consulting firm he established in 1993. Before launching his firm, Dennis served as executive director of public affairs at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility. For 15 years prior to that, he served as senior vice president and director of public affairs for First Interstate Bank of California. His Washington, D.C. experience included serving as a speechwriter and public affairs officer to three secretaries of the treasury in the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Before that he worked as a journalist for nearly 10 years at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and Congressional Quarterly.

    Dennis chaired the PAG Section in 2000 and continued to serve as a member-at-large until his death; and he served as editor of the 1995 book, “Practical Public Affairs in an Era of Change.” He served on the International Editorial Board for the Journal of Public Affairs and was a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of PRSA. Dennis is missed by all who knew him, and remembered for the great good he did in furthering our profession.