• Ben Finzel

It Takes a Career and a Community: Thanks and Acknowledgments on a Hall of Fame Honor

What does one say about being inducted into a Hall of Fame in recognition of their work? Thank you, of course, but for what and to whom?


This summer, my friend Shonali Burke told me she intended to nominate me for the Public Relations Society of America National Capital Chapter Hall of Fame. This is an honor reserved for public relations professionals who have been working in DC for at least 10 years and in our industry for at least 30 years. After having the conversation about how I couldn’t possibly be eligible and learning that indeed I was, I relented and accepted the fact that: a) I am that old; and b) a colleague wants to recognize me for my work in a way that others will notice.


I suppose I’m over the shock of being selected now, but I’m still thinking about the question of what to say and to whom. So I’ll start with thank you to Shonali for nominating me. And I’ll thank my colleagues Wendy Hagen and Annette Larkin for supporting my nomination. I’ll continue the thanks by acknowledging some of the many people who helped me by hiring me, working with me, giving me chances to advance and shaping my career in more ways than they may even realize. No one of us gets to the point of being honored in this way alone. The people with whom we’ve worked play such a big role in who we become and how we engage in the world. I’ve been so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many, many wise, wonderful, funny, creative, smart and talented co-workers, clients and colleagues. The list below is my attempt to say “THANK YOU” to as many of them as possible and to acknowledge that I wouldn’t be here without them.


Career-Starters (Capitol Hill, etc.)


Marty Rendon. Neal Flieger. Rep. Bill Sarpaulis (D-TX). Rep. Tim Valentine (D-NC). Ed Nagy. Edith Wooten. Jack Blaylock. Pat Lawrence. Gloria Gold Casson. Diane. Mark Harkins. Jerry Capps. Jean-Louise Beard. Rep. Bill Richardson (D-NM). Margaret Van Tassell. Kathy Keith. Miguel Marquez. John Lewis. Chris Berkheimer. Donda Morgan. Soledad Roybal. Regina Griego Kelleher. Robert Raben. Peter Larson. Bob Ensinger. Joel Lawson. Shayne Gill. Heather Mizeur. J.W. Arnold. John Hasselman. Karen Anderson. Angela Park. Chris Stearns. Holly Propst. Jeff Coudriet. Jeff Trammell. Jimmy Williams. John Aravosis. Ken Kero. Kirk Fordham. Holly Propst. Greg Wetstone. Stacey Staniak.


Knowledge and Experience Deliverers (Edelman, DOE, etc.)


Jayne Brady. Leslie Dach. Mike Deaver. Dan and Ruth Edelman. George-Ann Rosenberg. Dana Vickers Shelley. Jana LaSorte. Audrey Waters. Lisa Fels. Cristi Barnett. Wayne Besen. Debbie Drucker. Stacey Sobel. Stacey Smith. Mary Christ-Erwin. Steven McCauley. Chris Cimko. Kerry Patzke Safir. Rob Rehg. Mary McCarty Earley. Sarah Steven. Annika Jensen. Anika Jackson. Eric Hoffman. Amanda Leesburg. Justice Wright. Dan Reicher. Vernellia Johnson. Natalie Wymer. David Leiter. Paul Bledsoe. Rick Leach. Betsy Mullins. Bob Witeck. Chris Jones. Linda Lingle. Clare Giesen.


Industry Whisperers (FleishmanHillard, Widmeyer, Glen Echo Group, etc.)


Henry Hubbard. Christine Middleton. Annette Larkin. Steve Kauffman. Jessica Lass. Lowen Baumgarten. Sarah Prudhomme. Eileen Marcus. Shanna Duncan. Stan Collender. Jon Haber. Lori Rivera. Sela Thompson. Breanne Reynolds. Mary LoJocano. Heather Rosenker. Saralee Boteler. Donna Rohrer. Bill Black. Frank Kauffman. Silvio Marcacci. Juliet Johnson. Annalisa Rosmarin Meyer. Liz Mahar. Jim Mulhern. Stacey Kerans. Diana Conconi. Dana Hughens. Donald Ferguson. Carmel Ferrer. Carolyn Fearing. Carolyn Cawley. Nabeeha Kazi. Coleman Hutchins. Katie Geffken. Kelly Gannon. Dan Horowitz. Dan Hubbard. Jay Buys. Matt Billingsley. Allen Hopper. Michael Adolph. Marc Dionne. Kathy Baird Westfall. Chuck Sundin. Cynthia Yaworske. Roman Gaponenko. Anne Isenhower. April Isenhower. Claire Sheahan. Sonia Osinloye. Denise Keyes. Chris Lisi. Monica Talan. Phillip Sontag. Eddy Evans. Ivette Lopez Sisniega. Laura Nguyen. Bryan Blaise. Rich Ferraro. Malin Jennings. Bill Fay. Tracey Mills. Kim Martin. Danny Maiello. Peter Klaus. Anne Banner. Kelly Moran. Ann Davison. Fran Cox. Jessamyn Sarmiento. Katie Geffken. Jim Margolis. Gadi Ben-Yehuda. Jack Dougherty. Geoff Gaspar. Ana Rita Gonzalez. Aaron Perlut. Tony Calandro. Tom Pagano. Ruth Kim. Becky Vollmer. Jennifer Goldston. Cynthia McCafferty. Matt Doering. Dan Wilinsky. Danielle Paige. David Tager. Deb Pacyna. Della Sweetman. Debra Hotaling. Kathie Thomas. Kathleen Siedlecki. Sarah Chisnall. Claudia Carasso. Dave Senay. Bill Garber. Sandy McLean. Camelia Gendreau. Neil Giuliano. Greg Louganis. Tanya Churchmuch. Tom Roth. Christina Yumul. Tom Gray. Randy Swisher. Christine Real de Azua. Susan Sloan. Bree Raum. Khrysanne Kerr. Bob Kipp. Kateri Callahan. Rozanne Weissman. Christy Cavallini. David Shepherd. Mike Bergey. David Blittersdorf. Joy Silver. Jane Steinberg. Cynthia Sandherr. Suzanne Struglinski. Steve Krikava. Scott Widmeyer. Margaret Dunning. Gina Maffei. Jim Luetkemeyer. Elizabeth Curwen. Kristofer Eisenla. Erin Robertson. Christina Saull. Chris Messina-Boyer. Renee Rosenfeld. Armando Diaz. Stacia Tipton. Ana Angelova. Wendy Hagen. Betsy Stephenson. Kristie Arslan. Kathleen Reilly. Scott Wolfson. Inez Tenenbaum. Janet Evans. Wanda Butts. Tankeeya Butts. Johnny Johnson. Greg Snapper. Elizabeth Birch. Joe Fuld. Eric Carlson. Maura Corbett.


Career Builders (RENEWPR, etc.)


Brad Crabtree. Patrice Lahlum. Kurt Waltzer. Jessie Stolark. Madelyn Morrison. Jill Rook. Lauren Schultz. Marcene Mitchell. Shari Friedman. Judi Greenwald. Stuart Ross. Armond Cohen. Deepika Nagabhushan. Lee Beck. John Thompson. Lisa Jacobson. Laura Tierney. Dan Whitten. Gary Thuro. Danielle Danko. Andrew Goldberg. Russ Callahan. Chase Maggiano. Hugh Welsh. Debora Haman. Tim Mealey. Katherine Hamilton. Shannon Heyck-Williams. Freya Burton. Jennifer Holmgren. Al Collins. Ron Painter. Dan Pfeiffer. Alison Mallhan. Julie Kruse. Denise Brogan-Kator. Shelbi Day. Anna Libertin. Ed Harris. Anna Drèves. Janet Peace. Kevin Townsend. Mayor Annise Parker. Sean Meloy. Reggie Greer. Elliot Imse. Darren Goode. Taylor Gross. Demetrious Karoutsous. CC Jaeger. Steve Lanzano. Abby Auerbach. LaTricia Woods. Alexis Davis Smith. Chino Chapa. Brandie Balken. Catherine Pino Duran. Ingrid Duran. Anthony Shop. Thomas Vasquez. Danny Allen. Chiqui Cartagena. Deborah Sauri. Jonathan Lovitz. Brad Townsend. Lee Beck. Jeff Swenerton. Marcia Sitcoske. Jennifer Martin. Michael James Timberlake. Bob Keefe. Sandra Purohit. Robin Dillard. Shonali Burke.




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