Our esteemed communications and HR specialists have been carefully selected as Jury members for the North American Excellence Awards to ensure a fair and balanced evaluation of all applications. The Jury members’ range of expertise covers a wide scope, from the perspective of both in-house and agency communication and HR departments. During an online voting session and a Jury meeting, the Jury decides which entries are shortlisted, and who the recipients of the North American Excellence Awards are. The Jury evaluates the innovation, implementation, strategy and impact of the projects submitted, to award the best in communications and PR and HR.


Rudolf Hetzel

Communication Director
Rudolf Hetzel is publisher of international Communication Director magazine, which is distributed worldwide. He is founder and CEO of Quadriga University in Berlin and Helios Media GmbH – the publishing house of Communication Director magazine. Rudolf studied political science at the Free University of Berlin, where he later taught.

Our PR Experts

Nicholas Ashooh

APCO Worldwide
Senior Director
Nicholas Ashooh, senior director of corporate and executive communication at APCO Worldwide, focuses on providing corporate communication services to C-suite clients. He is also a member of APCO’s International Advisory Council. Mr. Ashooh has more than 37 years of experience in corporate communications, serving as senior communications officer at five Fortune 500 companies across several sectors, including energy and utilities, financial services, insurance, metals and mining, and entertainment.Most recently, Mr. Ashooh served as vice president of corporate affairs for Alcoa, a global metals and mining giant. There, he was responsible for media relations, community relations, internal communications, marketing communications and corporate reputation. He also oversaw the Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States, and was a member of Alcoa’s Executive Council, which set strategy for the company.

Barbara Bates

Hotwire PR
Barbara Bates is the CEO of Hotwire North America, and the former founder and CEO of Eastwick Communications, which was acquired by Hotwire in 2016. She has more than 25 years’ experience working with brands to tell their stories, accelerate growth and build value working in Silicon Valley and beyond. She has partnered with some of the world’s biggest technology brands as well as emerging leaders to create high-impact communication strategies and was proud to be named in Business Insider’s 2014 list of 50 Best Public Relations People in Tech and one of the Top 5 Women in PR by the PR World Awards.

Kathy Bloomgarden

Ruder Finn
Kathy Bloomgarden is CEO of Ruder Finn, one of the world's largest independent communications agencies. Having helped guide global communications activities for many of the world's greatest companies including Novartis, Pfizer, PepsiCo, Citigroup, Barclays, McKinsey, Cisco, Nokia, Kering, and Mondelēz International, Dr. Bloomgarden has pushed her agency to lead in an era of fast moving markets, disruption and evolving business models. Transformation has become the agency’s business, with particular competencies in reputation and brand strategy, integrated cross-channel marketing, multimedia storytelling and bold creative campaigns designed to ignite movements among internal and external stakeholders. Under her leadership, Ruder Finn opened one of the first global communications offices in China over 25 years ago, now has four offices and several hundred professionals on the ground.

Kathy Dean

University of Iowa Health Care
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
As chief marketing and communications officer for University of Iowa Health Care, Kathy Dean leads brand management, social media, issues management, marketing and internal and external engagement for the state’s nationally ranked academic medical center.  She has extensive senior leadership experience with large health systems throughout the U.S., including Geisinger Health System (Danville, PA) and Oregon Health & Science University (Portland, OR.) Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in business economics and a master’s in strategic communications and leadership, and is an active member of several national health care marketing and communications associations.University of Iowa Health Care is Iowa’s only academic medical center and includes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, as well as University of Iowa Physicians, the state’s largest multi-specialty physician group practice. UI Health Care serves as a resource to the state, nation, and world through its tripartite mission of biomedical research, medical education, and patient care and service. In its 2016 listing of “America’s Best Employers,” Forbes magazine ranked UI Health Care as the nation’s No. 1 employer in the health care industry and the No. 7 employer overall.

Doug Donsky

FTI Strategic Communications
Senior Managing Director Financial Services & Corporate Communications (Americas’ Lead)
Doug Donsky is a Senior Managing Director in New York, leading financial services and corporate communications for FTI Strategic Communications in the Americas. With over 20 years of experience, he advises senior management and directors of public and private companies on financial communications, media relations, transaction communications, activism defense, and litigation and crisis communications. He’s a recognized expert in advising on reputational risk and strategic corporate positioning.Since joining FTI in 2007, Mr. Donsky has supported financial institutions and executives facing commercial, class-action and private litigation, as well as regulatory enforcement actions and tax matters. Engagements led include AIG, HSBC, Legg Mason, Lehman Brothers and NYSE Liffe. Mr. Donsky also serves as U.S. spokesperson for several private equity and hedge fund sponsors, and regularly advises on IPOs, M&A and corporate issues for private equity-backed portfolio companies.Prior to joining FTI, Mr. Donsky held senior positions at Kreab Gavin Anderson and Edelman. In 2003, he led the team supporting CIT Group’s IPO/spin-off from Tyco International, named “Campaign of the Year” in PR Week. Mr. Donsky began his career as a reporter with American Banker in Washington D.C., and then Commercial Property News in New York.

Natan Edelsburg

Muck Rack & Shorty Awards, The Drum’s Found Remote
EVP, Executive Editor
Natan Edelsburg is the EVP at Sawhorse Media where he's the senior supervising producer of the Shorty Awards (honoring the best of social media) and handles the business side of Muck Rack (where journalists and sources connect). Edelsburg is also the Executive Editor of The Drum's Found Remote where he covers the future of TV and interviews top executives at TV networks about the impact social is having on their companies. He's previously worked on influencer marketing campaigns for Nokia, Showtime, WellPoint, PepsiCo, BIO, A&E and more. Edelsburg’s also worked at 360i, Bain & Company, Showtime and LinkedIn.

David Hoff

Ledcor Industries Inc.
Senior Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs
David Hoff, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Ledcor, Vancouver, Canada.The Ledcor Group of Companies is one of North America's most diversified construction companies, serving the building, oil & gas, infrastructure, mining, power, and telecommunications sectors. Ledcor also own operations in property investment, forestry, aviation, and marine transportation services. Ledcor employs over 7000 people across 20 offices, and numerous construction sites. At Ledcor, Mr. Hoff is responsible for Ledcor’s brand, reputation and external communications, including marcom, government, media and stakeholder relations.Mr. Hoff's past experience is in corporate communications, marketing and public affairs with Bell Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Treasury Board.He has also been a corporate consultant for telecommunications, information technology, finance, transportation, manufacturing, construction and environmental organizations.Mr. Hoff is currently serving on three boards of directors: VIA Rail Canada, the Vancouver Board of Trade and the Jack Webster Media Foundation.

Jim Joseph

Cohn & Wolfe Agency
Worldwide President
Entrepreneur of the Year, Agency of the Year, Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year, Most Creative Agency, Best Place to Work, Social Media Icon, Hall of Fame – these are the accolades that Jim Joseph has amassed through his long career in marketing. But none are more important than the daily badge he wears with the most pride – Dad. As the Chief Integrated Marketing Officer and President of the Americas for Cohn & Wolfe, Jim brings over twenty-five years of consumer marketing leadership, bold management prowess, and a fine head of hair to the agency. Jim’s an award-winning three-time author; a professor at New York University; and a member of the Board of Directors for the number one branding school in the country, The Brandcenter at VCU.

Lynn Kenney

Head of Corporate Communications, North America
Lynn Kenney currently leads the Corporate Communications function for the North American business at RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), with US operations headquartered in Parsippany, NJ. She oversees all of RB’s internal and external corporate communications strategies including executive communications, employee communications, corporate reputation, issues management, media relations, corporate advertising, social media and community relations in for North America.  Lynn began her communications career working for public relations agencies, including Edelman, Cohn & Wolfe and Noonan Russo in New York City, where she supported global communications programs for blockbuster healthcare products for nearly 10 years.  Following her agency career, she moved to the corporate side of the business, serving as Director of Global Product Communications for Merck, where she led all global communications supporting the company’s diabetes, respiratory (asthma) and infectious diseases (HIV) initiatives around the world, and as head of Corporate Communications for the US subsidiary of Eisai, a Japanese-led pharmaceutical company

Carlos Lopez

ENroute Communications
Founder & Director
Carlos is a visionary professional who has 15 years of experience in the tourism industry. His proactive development in areas of the public, private, and governmental sectors have positioned him as an innovator and strategist with strong relationships with tourism leaders.In 2009 he moved from his hometown of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to New York City to become part of the team at the Mexico Tourism Board’s office in New York and later a Trade Director in a New York based public relations agency where he developed strategies for tourisms destinations and tourism brands.In 2014 he founded ENroute Communications which he has positioned as one of tourism public relations newts leading agencies signing on clients such as Quito Tourism, the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board and properties in Mexico and Costa Rica.He has a Bachelor's degree in tourism from Mexico’s Guanajuato University, as well as a Master's Degree in Tourism Development from the University of Madrid, Spain. He is an advocate for the LGBT Rights and dog lover.

Jodi Moss

USI Insurance Services
National Director, Marketing & Branding
Jodi Moss has overseen USI’s corporate marketing since 2014. She is responsible for developing and implementing a national marketing and branding strategy across nearly 140 local offices with over 4,000 employees. She is a passionate marketer with 17 years of experience developing integrated marketing, branding and communications programs on both the agency and client side. Before joining USI, she worked on product innovation and brand activation at PepsiCo, served as communications director for a Columbia University-based non-profit and held marketing positions at Dynamic Diamond Corporation and L’Oreal USA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in marketing and management from Columbia Business School.

Michael Petruzzello

President and North American Practice Leader, Public Affairs
President of Qorvis MSLGROUP, and North American Practice Leader, Public Affairs, Michael Petruzzello has extensive marketing and communications consulting experience at the regional, national and global levels and has led Qorvis' development into the leading integrated communications firm of the Greater Washington, D.C. area.Michael is the former North America CEO of Weber Shandwick. There he served as a member of the Global Executive Team; chairman of the Mergers and Acquisition Task Force; director of global marketing and business development; and director of industry practice groups. He was responsible for all aspects of management, including Shandwick's 22 offices, $175 million in revenue and 1,200 employees.

J. Christopher Preuss

Delphi Automotive
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
J. Christopher Preuss is the senior vice president of marketing and communications, a position he has held since September 2014. He also serves as the chairperson of the Delphi Foundation. Mr. Preuss came to Delphi with more than 25 years of global communications experience as well as perspective gained from his role as president and CEO of OnStar — a leader in in-vehicle safety, security, communications and convenience services.Prior to joining Delphi, Mr. Preuss was head of communications for the Americas and Global Product at Ford Motor Company, a role he assumed shortly after leading a multi-agency team serving the global Ford accounts at WPP Group.Mr. Preuss' career also includes more than 13 years at General Motors, where he held various leadership roles. In addition to leading OnStar, he also served as vice president of Global Communications where he was instrumental in managing the company's transition out of bankruptcy. Before that he was GM's vice president of European Communications in Zurich, Switzerland. His time at GM also includes an assignment based in Washington DC and focused on various government and regulatory issues.

Suresh Raj

Ogilvy Public Relations
Global Chief Business Development Officer
Suresh Raj is Global Chief Business Development Officer at Ogilvy Public Relations and leads new business across the agency globally - focusing on multi-country business that further strengthens the agency’s growing network of multi-country clients, regional focused briefs as well as individual country opportunities. Suresh is responsible for pulling together the best minds and resource within the network to meet a client's needs. Suresh believes that the evolution of marketing communications means that earned media has a greater place in integrated communications, and in more recent times, plays a pivotal role in campaign strategy development and ideation.For four years running, Ogilvy PR has remained in the Top 3 position of the Holmes Report’s Creativity Index globally.Suresh is a member of the Global Executive Committee at Ogilvy Public Relations and was very recently named on the Global Top 100 Most Influential Ethnic Minority Executives by the Financial Times. He holds an MBA in International Management and is based in New York, having previously been based in London.

Kate Talbot

Director of PR
Kate is an award winning communications specialist, with an international career spanning a decade across the US, UK and Australia. She has worked for some of the world’s biggest blue chip brands, as well as nurtured smaller start-ups. She's a highly skilled publicist, using her global experience to bring fresh thinking to the people and brands she works with.An expert in strategic thinking, crisis and issues management and creative development, she's practiced at working on integrated marketing initiatives across advertising, digital, media, experiential and social. Integration and a wider approach to creative thinking, beyond traditional PR, is an integral part of her work, helping her to deliver engaging and cutting edge campaigns for clients.

Melissa Womack

VP Global Marketing
Melissa Womack is VP Global Marketing at KPIT where she responsible for articulating, disseminating and reinforcing the KPIT brand. She leads business unit marketing and develops global and regional marketing programs for customers, partners, analysts and media that span from market analysis and planning through delivery, management and measurement. As a technology marketing leader Melissa contributes to company growth by building brands, developing products and smoothly integrating acquisitions. She inspires global teams to achieve measurable success in marketing, communications and growth.Melissa brings 20 years of experience in marketing and channel partnerships for multinational public companies. She previously served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Development for Software Spectrum, Inc. and Insight Enterprises. She also served as Director - Sales & Marketing for Travelocity, the popular online travel website. She holds an MBA from University of Texas at Dallas and was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Marketing Technology leaders in Asia by World Marketing Congress.

Pete Wootton

WE Communications
Executive Vice President
Pete Wootton serves on the leadership team of the agency's Technology Sector, and partners with Microsoft on their corporate communications and cross-company storytelling. He specializes in brand, corporate strategy and executive transitions, as well as reputation management and financial communications.

Our HR Experts

Tobias Junker

LSG Group
Vice President HR Total Rewards & Labor
Tobi is Vice President HR Total Rewards & Labor Relations at LSG Group in Dallas and moved to Texas in 2015. Holding a degree from University of Cologne, Germany, Tobi has been with the Lufthansa Group for 20 years and has always worked internationally. He was involved in managing decentralized accounting processes spending time in Johannesburg, Beijing, Tehran, Lagos, Tunis, London and Toronto. Afterwards he was responsible for revenue accounting and internal auditing based in Cologne with assignments in Hamburg, Cracow and Bangkok. He became involved in HR and specifically Compensation & Benefits in 2007 and was responsible for managing Lufthansa’s total compensation packages in 90 countries all over the globe. Tobi was Director of several UK Pension Trustee companies and also sits on pension committees in the US and formerly in Canada, Hong Kong and South Africa where he chaired the Board of Trustees.

Anthony Musyoka

International AIDS Vaccines Initiative’s (IAVI)
Vice President Human Resources
Anthony Musyoka is currently the Vice President – Human Resources for the International AIDS Vaccines Initiative’s (IAVI), where he leads Human Resources function around the world. He has held several senior management roles in both the public and private sectors, working for the Christian Children's Fund, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, SamKen Limited, Abercrombie & Kent, Madison Insurance, EngenderHealth and, most recently IAVI – An International Public Private Product Development Partnership, working to develop a vaccine for HIV AIDS. Anthony has extensive global management experience at both the strategic and operational levels with particular focus on leadership and organizational development, change management, talent and work culture management, stakeholder and operations management. His HR management experience spans several countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Anthony is active in several HR forums including PDP HR Forum, InsideNGO and the Human Resources Certification Institute were he serves in various capacities and committees. Anthony was a fellow of the Institute of Human Resources Management, Kenya and a Board Member before his relocation to the United States.

Matthew D. Owenby

Senior Vice President; Chief Human Resources Officer
Matthew Owenby joined Aflac in 2012 as vice president of HR Business Partners, bringing with him more than a decade of HR experience at Bank of America and General Electric. In May 2015, he was appointed to his current position as senior vice president; chief human resources officer, where he executes on Aflac’s global initiatives while providing strategic direction for both the Human Resources and Leadership, Learning & Development teams. While at Aflac, Matthew has been honored with prestigious awards, including the 2016 Leadership Excellence Award, ranked No. 1 in the Top Corporate Leader category, and the Gold winner of the 2015 Best in Biz Awards in the HR Executive of the Year category. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University. He is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management.

Amy Panzarella

American Public University System
Vice President of Human Resources and Community Affairs
Amy Panzarella is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Community Affairs at American Public University System. She joined the University in 2008 and is responsible for all aspects of human resources including budget; healthcare benefits; professional training and development; recruiting and onboarding; and compliance.  Ms. Panzarella has worked in human resources for over 20 years in a variety of industries to include finance, gaming, manufacturing and now higher education.  She holds a Master’s degree in Management with a concentration in human resources.  Ms. Panzarella holds a Senior Professional Human Resource Certification (SPHR) and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM, SCP) designation. Ms. Panzarella was named “HR Professional of the Year” in 2011 by the West Virginia Society of Human Resources State Council.  She graduated from the Leadership West Virginia program in 2011 and continues to be a contributing writer for the “Around the Panhandle” magazine offering human resources, management and professional advice to its readers.  As an active member in her local community, Ms. Panzarella serves on several Boards of Directors, to include: President of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia University Hospitals – East Foundation Board (Director), the Charles Town Old Opera House (Secretary), Vice President of the Charles Town Rotary Club, and she was appointed to the West Virginia Commission on the Arts by the Governor in 2015 for a three year term. Ms. Panzarella is a founding member of the Eastern Panhandle Society for Human Resources (EPSHRM). Additionally, she volunteers on the Local School Improvement Council (LSIC), the Career and Technical Education Council in Jefferson County, and the Marketing and Technology Advisory Council for Washington High School.  Ms. Panzarella lives in Charles Town, WV with her family.  She enjoys spending any free time that she has with her husband Chris, their sons Andrew and Tyler, and their two dogs Bella and MJ.  They spend their weekends working on projects around the house, hiking in Harpers Ferry and spending time with family.

Tim Richmond

Senior Vice President Human Resources
Prior to AbbVie’s separation from Abbott, Mr. Richmond served as Divisional Vice President, Compensation and Benefits.  He also served as Divisional Vice President, Talent Acquisition.Previously, Mr. Richmond worked at 3M Company in a variety of HR roles including compensation and benefits, multiple manufacturing HR assignments, an international assignment based in Dubai as HR Manager for the Middle East region, assignments as HR leader for the cardiovascular medical device and pharmaceutical divisions and as a Six Sigma Black Belt.  His last role at 3M was as global leader for 3M’s Talent Management organization.He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in labor and industrial relations from Michigan State University.


Any questions? Please contact us:
Sophia Toth-Feher
Award Manager
+49 (0)30 8485 90